In less than a month, leaders and policy makers from around the world will descend on Durban for COP 17 to debate how much time humanity has left on earth before the dolphins declare, "Goodbye and thanks for all the fish". Any outcome is bound to be a success if measured against the Kyoto Protocol, because let's face it , there will be no meaningful change unless America and China agree to any emission targets. As a South African I should ashamedly be the last to throw stones because we are ranked amongst the highest polluting countries per capita. We talk the talk but when push came to load shedding, we opted for our old familiar friend, Mr Coal. But I am certain our leaders will take to the podium at the conference and talk about how conserving the environment is "enshrined in our constitution" and how we "intend" building a 100 MW concentrated solar plant to offset the two massive new coal fired power stations that we are building. Seems a bit like killing off an entire family, but offering to pay the funeral expenses!