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Old Rio is Dead?

 

Thursday, December 20, 2007.

 

By Nimmo Bassey

 

Today’s battles were lost yesterday

Tomorrow’s battles must be fought today

 

Tears rolled down many eyes

When your speech tumbled down

Parrots echo talks failed partnerships

Eco-tourists from rich nations

Eco-tourism in poor nations

 

Fossilised ideas revived and up-scaled

Pipelines

Cleaner dirty energy

Oil spills, gas flares: do they make you dance?

Don’t you know that carbon sinks will sink the world?

 

Today’s battles were lost yesterday

Tomorrow’s battles must be fought today

 

Would you just because you have a technology

Use it?

Would you use nuclear power to light a stove?

If clean technologies roast the sky

Won’t you think?

 

Be careful people

Snares are set in the matrix

And this is no movie

No matter how voluntary,

Shopping baskets work very poorly at the well

 

Today’s battles were lost yesterday

Tomorrow’s battles must be fought today

 

Tears rolled down many eyes

From shock, sorrows and agony

15 years since Rio

Should we still crawl?

Did we fly over the oceans, deserts and forests

To insist on replication of battles long lost

 

You say fossil fuels will last your lifetime

But what will you do

If your well runs dry?

 

Tomorrow’s battles must be fought today

For today’s battles were lost yesterday

 

Poem delivered by Nimmo Bassey, Director, Environmental Rights Action Nigeria at the UN’s Commission for Sustainable Development’s Intergovernmental Prep Meeting on Air Pollution and Climate Change.

 

Picture: Clear-winged butterfly (Photo provided by Colin Orians).

 

Please e-mail comments to comments@thenewblackmagazine.com

 

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