The talks here at Rio+20 have splintered off like a cluster of barnyard animals bickering over which bits of an un-agreed agenda they each get to chew up. A group of 77 rams are pushing against every bracketed fence post they can find, trying to get the prettiest northern Ewe over to the south side of the barn.
So I thought it was about time that I present the official alternative text on the sustain-libido development goals framing inter-gender negotiations on self-sufficient sexual and reproductive best practices.
You may have heard the rumours, but I assure you this is as substantive as it gets. Put away your sandwiches, and let me welcome you to the most up-to-date guide on surviving the official oyster, chocolate and strawberry (date) days ahead.
During the at-home preparatory sessions, ensure against ad-hoc blazer draping or ‘binding’ tie tying as these conditionalities may upset the procedural progress during the initial informal eye-contact groups.
Begin your opening intervention with an extended discussion highlighting the beauty of the host city. It’s easy and ‘Convention’al. You may also mention the weather, but be careful about mentioning the climate. Introducing new long-term commitments for action could upset fragile infrastructural framework for your sustain-libido relationship.
Conventional wisdom suggest you wait to argue about it at the future Party(s) you will attend, and maybe even delay the engagement until 2020.
But I say go for it! Highlighting your inner commitment might reaffirm your future goals and magically make them a reality. It will also avoid inefficient future meetings filled with awkward silences and cancelled meetings.
Once the names have been announced, repeat them for good measure. It helps you remember who each other is, and the family [group] names you represent.
If you have any common interests, be sure to recount them and share information on the agreeable experiences you have had among mutual friends.
Traditional relationship theory would have you avoid discussing anything that might disrupt the emerging consensus. I’m sure you’ll find issues of contention, but remember this is not a pledging session, you don’t want to get your high-level Heads locking horns before you at least get each others ‘contact’ details .
You might be horny, but this is not the time to ‘get it done’.
But one thing you might try is to Listen, learn and engage. Wait for a window of discussion, propose an opening for further consultative processes; but even better would be to fast-track discussions away from voluntary engagements to a legally binding ceremony that will unite your love in economic sickness and health, for better or for global warming worse.
In any case,
You should agree to finance the first few meals while everything’s still developing. This might be seen as a common responsibility in some western nations, but you must remember that things are differentiated here among the BRICS that build the favelas in Brazil.
Smooth dialogue will also be crucial. Using language as your tool has proved to be the best creative way to navigate consensus. As we move into the high-level debates about where to go later.
You might also try lubricating the process with some other incentives. I’m not advocating taking advantage of power imbalances, but if your goals are mutually beneficial, why not show some leadership, characterise transparency and put all your desires out there on the table.
Ambition will be key. And when combined with an equitable distribution of wine and other fruits of your labour, I’m sure the future will be bright for all.
But in the end, please remember…
There might be a lot of expectation over this initial event, but it won’t last as long as either of you wanted it to, and you’ll have to start thinking of post-Rio pillow talk soon.
But remember, it’s not the size of the text, but the motion of the neg-oce-a-tions.
About the authorChris Wright
Climate researcher, political ecologist, activist and an award-winning slam poet from Australia.