Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, December 15, 2014

Climate Monday: An Agreement At Lima

I haven't really been following the COP 20 in Lima because I'm so pessimistic anymore about what these conferences do. They always seem to be agreements to do something sometime far away from now, that might almost effect things a little bit, if everyone holds up their end, which they probably won't.

So I think that a conclusion that says "We're gonna do a thing" is just brilliant, really.

The agreed document calls for:

  • An "ambitious agreement" in 2015 that reflects "differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities" of each nation
  • Developed countries to provide financial support to "vulnerable" developing nations
  • National pledges to be submitted by the first quarter of 2015 by those states "ready to do so"
  • Countries to set targets that go beyond their "current undertaking"
  • The UN climate change body to report back on the national pledges in November 2015

Environmental groups were scathing in their response to the document, saying the proposals were nowhere need drastic enough.

Sam Smith, chief of climate policy for the environmental group WWF, said: "The text went from weak to weaker to weakest and it's very weak indeed."

Because all the things that will be pledged "if possible" by "later on", will be to do "vaguely more than we're doing now, anyway".

But really. In 2015 we're simply going to just nail this climate thingy. You bet!


mikey said...

Nope. 2℃ by 2050, 4 or maybe 5℃ by 2100. 2-3 meters sea level rise. Massive displacement, resource wars, shifts in agricultural production, diseases, violent storms, starvation - a massive die-off of perhaps one third of the human population of the planet. Unexpected winners and losers. Water, food and nuclear weapons.

But I will be dead before much of that ever happens. Yeah, we broke it. Sorry guys. But check out the Drake equation. The last variable is the lifespan of an intelligent, spacefaring species. Based on the only sample we have, it's less than 200 years...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Water news from Jim H.:

This summer has seen the highest global mean sea surface temperatures ever recorded, including El Nino years.

Antarctic glaciers are melting at the rate of a Mount Everest's worth of ice every two years, contributing to rising sea levels.

Vixen Strangely said...

I used to just think my reticence to have kids was because of the whole "footprint" thing: overpopulation, limited resources, why make more people on a world that's just about supporting the ones we've got? Now, I just think it might be unfair to drop a hostage to fate in whatever we're leaving of this planet.

I'd like to think that a charismatic global green movement could whip people's asses in line in time to prevent one big nasty crisis that sends shit spiraling. Things will still slowly continue to suck, but in a manageable way. I like to think that...but I find it harder some days.

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, the problem is that the big polluters are China and India and other emerging nations. The US has been cleaning up air and water and insisting on regulatory initiatives for 30 years.

We don't have any traction on this issue, because the US is no longer respected in a leadership role. We are $18 trillion in debt and climbing, our bond ratings were lowered, and they could be lowered again. We are shrinking our military, and we have riots in the streets. Dope and violent criminals are pouring across the borders, setting up franchises and using American cities as hubs for narcotics distribution.

We no long have military authority, financial authority or moral authority We're not at the absolute bottom of the list, but we no longer have the ability to persuade other countries if they feel it flies in the face of their interest.

Most of the conversation on blogs in the US are simply directed at relatively powerless American citizens who have no authority in a government that has at best marginal ability to create global changes. We can yell to the rooftops, but that does not affect the Chinese or Indians, etc.

It might interest you to know that most conservatives are conservationists. We right wingers take to field and stream for hiking, hunting, camping, fishing and other wilderness adventures. We love the outdoors and frequently love animals.

If I may venture a suggestion, the approach of activists worried about warming could be improved.

First off, they should stop talking about global destruction and continue the theme of ridding the world of pollution: work on the process of making it happen and unhook it from an apocalyptic scenario that requires someone to have faith in a concept rather than a simple desire to have a cleaner environment.

Next they should stop criticizing groups like the NRA since this is a major group of outdoorsmen. Just try to make friends instead of enemies. Approach them on the basis of wanting to preserve our wilderness for their kids and grandkids. It would be fairly easy to get a group like the NRA sympathetic if activists were not constantly trying to turn them into opposition.

Still, with all that, the US isn't the problem. And other countries are not going to pay attention to us if we are just following them down the rabbit hole and depending on them to purchase of our bonds to pay for our programs. It puts them in the driver's seat, giving them authority over us in many cases.