I was considering writing a Rio+20 review, but what’s the point? There are plenty of them on the net, and in any case, you’ve probably made your own judgements already.
Do note, when deciding who to believe, that despair is not our friend. Not that “hope,” as we usually know it, is much better. But the challenge before us is clearly to save ourselves, and as much of First Nature as we can, and in this regard, it’s helpful to know — if only as a matter of pacing — that humanity’s total footprint is about twice as large as it was back in 1992.
Speaking of pacing, the schedule to flesh out the Sustainable Development Goals proposal calls for action by 2015, which is the same year that the climate negotiators have penciled in for their next big breakthrough. Lots of luck to everyone, ourselves included.
I picked my favorite “Rio was not a disaster” piece. It’s by Chee Yoke Ling of the Third World Network, and it’s called Renewed Political Commitment Obtained. I would have added “at least on paper” to the title, but this is not TWN’s point. Which, to be clear, is that Rio was a successful defensive battle, and that — at least on the “Common but differentiated responsibilities front” — we have lived to fight another day.
In any case, before being too blue about Rio, keep in mind the state of the climate talks. Until we have a breakthrough on that front, we can’t really expect transformative change on any other. At least not at the inter-governmental level.