Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:37 AM
polly7 (20,582 posts)
The Climate Deal Sham: Only Sharing can Break the Deadlock
By Adam Parsons
Source: Share The World's Resources
Monday, December 24, 2012
The latest round of climate negotiations in Doha once again demonstrated the sheer lack of cooperation, goodwill and willingness - or ability - of the world's governments to share responsibility for tackling climate change. Since the epochal failure to reach a global deal at Copenhagen in 2009, less and less attention is paid by the media and the general public to these byzantine and shadowy UN climate talks. After three years of further wrangling by governments with little to show, it required serious scrutiny from ordinary citizens to determine what was actually being agreed upon at COP18. Was it merely an agreement to make an agreement in 2015? An agreement based on emissions cuts and pledges for funding that will remain inadequate and far too late to deal with the climate chaos that is already upon us? And one that won't come into effect, in any case, until 2020?
As usual there was no shortage of analysis pointing out the growing gap between evidence of global warming and action to tackle its causes and consequences. Dozens more reports were published that highlighted the dangers of sustained inaction, not least UNEP's Emissions Gap report that argued it will be impossible to cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius if present trends continue - thus making it unfeasible to wait until 2020 to begin stringent emissions reductions. There was were even dire predictions about future climate breakdown from within the corridors of power, not least from the International Energy Agency, the CIA, a multinational business consultancy (PwC), and - with the worst prognostications of all - the World Bank.
These alarm bells from the establishment were accompanied by first-hand evidence of an already climate damaged planet, with 2012 marked by extreme weather events and climatic disasters across large parts of the world. This included the flash melting of Greenland's surface ice; historic droughts in Russia, Australia and the US; dramatic flooding in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Thailand and China; and of course the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, as well as Typhoon Bopha that fatefully struck the Philippines as COP18 delegates were in mid-negotiation. Just as the climate talks got underway, the Global Climate Risk Index revealed that many of the worst natural disasters of last year were also the most severe ever experienced by those countries affected. Less developed countries remain generally more affected than industrialised nations, the Index reported, while the overwhelming majority of disaster-related deaths are in the developing world.
5 replies, 1118 views
The Climate Deal Sham: Only Sharing can Break the Deadlock (Original post)
Response to polly7 (Original post)
Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:10 AM
modrepub (875 posts)
1. Not to be too depressing
but it's really too late to mitigate any effects at this point. The fight between Energy and Insurance companies was decided over a decade ago. Each side had trillions of dollars at stake in this matter; energy sitting on trillions of dollars of reserves and insurance trillions of dollars in premiums and insured properties. I think insurance has worked quietly to marginalize it's losses over the last couple of decades by letting the government take over flood insurance in areas where the impacts of global warming would be felt most along with crop insurance (for droughts). This quiet withdraw made them less interested in taking action since they no longer had as many assets in the way of harm. If you look at statements from energy companies they no longer deny the effects of climate change they now just say that the economy can't take the shock of switching from fossil fuels. One only has to look at how effective the Clean Air Act has been at cleaning up air pollution without wrecking the economy to know that this argument is false.
Response to modrepub (Reply #1)
Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:42 AM
4dsc (5,763 posts)
2. There's no alternative to fossil fuels
to run our transportation system. You're only fooling yourself to believe we can transition to another fuel source. Any other fuel source is dependent upon oil to begin with.
You are correct though when you state we are too late to mitigate any effects at this point. We are beyond the tipping point and its going to be a sadder world to live in in the coming decades.
Response to 4dsc (Reply #2)
Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:46 AM
modrepub (875 posts)
3. Not convinced it can't be done
for energy uses I think it might be possible but it's going to take some severe lifestyle changes, which I'm quite convinced most Americans won't agree to. I don't think most people realize how much our farming sector relies on petrochemical fertilizers. When the oil runs out our modern farming methods will probably not work.
Response to modrepub (Reply #3)
Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:42 PM
Redfairen (1,276 posts)
4. There is no alternative to diesel fuel. It will be our downfall.
The price of everything you buy includes diesel fuel. There is no alternative fuel that can be a cost-competitive replacement for it in shipping, rail, and trucking. Current alternative energy programs are attractive mostly for electricity generation. They do not address the problem of moving goods in tonnage. Take diesel out of the equation and prices for literally everything in the consumer economy would go through the roof.
People cannot afford to pay radically higher prices for basic necessities because consumer income is already weak. We will keep using diesel because we can't afford anything else. We will keep using it until it destroys the balance of the climate. Population growth makes it inevitable. There is no alternative.
Response to polly7 (Original post)
Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:47 PM
AverageJoe90 (10,745 posts)
5. Doha wasn't what many hoped it would be, but.....
The one thing that depresses me a little........Is just how many people on this website, and hell, people in general, seem to have bought into that "It's too late, we can't do anything" baloney, especially every time something doesn't work out; all of the legitimate evidence out there says that we still can indeed mitigate climate change(getting below 2*C may unfortunately be damn tough, though, that much can be said. OTOH, it's still not impossible yet.).
For those of you handwringers out there: C'mon, fellas, please do get a grip, no matter how pessimistic you may feel at the moment. Did we ever make real progress in ANY field by sitting down and, well.....wringing our hands? History says, no way Jose.
(P.S., polly7: I wasn't talking to you, btw, so my apologies in advance.)