The recent UN Climate Change meeting in Durban, South Africa was in many ways the marmite of such events. Opinions are polarised on whether to love or hate the outcome.
Here's a funny thing. It was possible to stay perfectly busy at the climate talks without going anywhere near the actual talks. This was not about sitting around gossiping over a cup of coffee, although there seemed to be plenty of that going on. Nor was it about dressing up as a polar bear or a lump of coal and waving placards outside.
The final episode of Frozen Planet featured narrator Sir David Attenborough as he explained the ways in which shrinking ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctic are radically changing life at the poles for all species, including humans. But the seventh instalment of the BBC's extraordinarily successful series has attracted undeserved controversy for its focus on the impacts of climate change.
Whether we like it or not, alternative energy sources must be invested in. The 'green' issue cannot be ignored just because the world's economy is in freefall and we're all distracted by whether there will be any money left to pay our pensions or not. Now is the time to put pressure on our MPs and government to tackle these issues and, while we look to them to take the big steps, we must remember our responsibility to all the little steps - even those that require more effort than sorting the plastic bottles and newspapers into different coloured bins.
We've had nearly 20 years of negotiations under the UN Climate Convention, and this is now the seventh year that countries have met to discuss ways of cutting greenhouse gas emissions after 2012. The pledges currently on the table are so weak they will lead to 5°C global warming that will cause catastrophic climate change threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. How did it come to this?
As governments gather in Durban for the annual UN climate change conference, climate change is worryingly low down the international agenda. This is perhaps not surprising given the turmoil in the global economy. However, the stakes at Durban are very high. The meeting is the last real opportunity for governments to provide certainty on the future of the Kyoto Protocol and lay out a path to a future global climate agreement.
Governments can hardly claim they haven't been warned. In the last few weeks, four pieces of news have landed on their desks that ought to cause them grave concern. These weren't the latest growth rates or unemployment figures, or the latest credit rating agency downgrades. But they are every bit as worrying.