Tarzie Vittachi, a Sri Lankan journalist who in his final years was the bemused occupant of a high United Nations office, once summed up with his characteristic terse wit a central truth about international affairs: “Everything is about something else.”
The story of Chinese "princeling" Bo Xilai, his "Jackie Kennedy wife" Gu Kailai, and murdered "British businessman" Neil Heywood is a textbook case of mass media hypocrisy in covering international affairs.
If civil society activists create their own action plan to save the planet, there would be no need for governments to negotiate common standards for nations and communities widely unequal in wealth and technical capacity.
Unless civil society activists launch their own programme of action at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro next summer (Jun. 4-6), the event will be little more than an expensive talkfest.