Citizens around the world have been reacting excitedly to the news of a measly compromise struck by their governments at the recent UN climate talks in Warsaw. Delirious from lack of sleep, delegates of the world’s governments agreed in the dying moments of the conference that they will no longer be making commitments to one another about action on climate change but will instead propose “contributions”. Worse, they went on to agree that these “contributions” should be put forward by early 2015, but “only by those Parties who are ready to do so”. So it’s whatever you want, whenever you want.
Inspired by this agreement, people everywhere have been rushing to apply the new international norm in all aspects of their lives. Many countries have seen a stampede of wedding applications this week, with thousands of young couples finally agreeing to make the leap now that they no longer need to make commitments to one another, choosing instead to propose vows based around contributions.
Governments themselves are even taking advantage of the new trend. For months the British government has been wondering how it can justify its u-turn from its 2010 election commitment to be the “greenest government ever” to its recent alleged efforts to rid itself of “green crap” policies. Easy! Those weren’t really commitments, you see, just contributions. And the contributions have got a bit smaller. Certainly no more huskies around.
Across the business world, bosses of small firms have been taking the opportunity to rid themselves of lazy staff members without needing to go through termination formalities. “You have an employment contract, you say? Oh that wasn’t really a commitment, we were just choosing to contribute your salary and now we’ve decided not to”. Meanwhile, in the corporate stratosphere, Vodafone reacted coolly to the world-wide frenzy. “This doesn’t change anything for us”, said a spokesperson, “we have always considered taxes to be a voluntary contribution, so what’s new?”
Across the pond, however, it seems that even Hollywood has proven fickle to this intercontinental vogue. Tinseltown has been awash with rumours that a remake of the famous 1991 movie about an Irish soul band is now underway, with a release of “The Contributions” scheduled for next year (but, the producer is said to have added, “only if we are ready”). The new film’s soundtrack is expected to include the hapless Dubliners playing covers of Carole King’s “It’s too late”, REM’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it” and “Here comes the flood” by Peter Gabriel.