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Climate Change and the Road Through Paris


Climate Change and the Road Through Paris

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

On Dec. 12, nearly 200 nations approved the “Paris Agreement.” The 32-page document spells out humanity’s new, official plan to confront the crisis of climate change. The accord was negotiated in a secure facility miles away in the Paris suburb of Le Bourget. Public demonstrations across France were banned under the “state of emergency” imposed after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Activists defied the ban, saying that same phrase, “state of emergency,” that describes the planet’s climate.


Because of the potential of positive feedbacks such as thawing permafrost and methane hydrates I really don't see how we can be sure what any level of action will lead to. Therefore, these arguments about 2C versus 3C, etc, may not really be very useful. All can really say is that we should reduce emissions as quickly as possible and hope for the best. The temperature targets may be more of a distraction than anything else as there are too many unknowns involved.


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The silence concerning the solution to the climate crisis remains deafening. The end of animal slaughter is the end of the crisis. Shutting down one industry cuts greenhouse gases in half and ends the crisis. No government action is needed. No corporate action is needed. No climate conferences are needed. Become a vegetarian and stop waiting for someone else to do something.


I guess that I am in the minority here but looking back to Kyoto which was such a depressing debacle that Paris seems much more encouraging. I am not being pollyannish about what Paris will mean but I am relieved that at least the world can say the words climate change and everyone take it seriously.

Not seriously enough? Agreed but it still is an improvement.

I am encouraged mainly because Paris is today and next year is next year. If the figures keep rising people will see and make their voices known. Climate activists will not be idle and whether governments think that they can pass this agreement and then everybody will grow quiescent then I think they are in denial of another kind.

As climate change approaches catastrophic climate change ... as droughts continue... as mega-storms continue... as winters disappear in parts of the world (like has a winter december in the eastern USA)... as fires burn in summer and heat waves continue to kill ...oh wait did I mention in the next five years ... um yeah. We no longer can expect not to see the effects of climate change every year. Maybe next year will be another Sandy or Katrina or the Philippines will see another triple mega-typhoon ... what will happen next year? Climate change is no longer hidden. Everybody knows. Paris shows us that much.

That is why this agreement is not written in stone. The governments and corporations are hoping that climate change will not occur as fast as it is occurring. But even they have no choice but to face that it might be. That is what this agreement showed. They see it really is happening, in fact it shows that they know that they can't avoid the issue any longer.

They may soon see that this agreement doesn't go far enough or fast enough. Lets hope so. But at least they have seen what they've tried not to see. It shows that they are getting scared.

Hey didn't you know? Catastrophic climate change will be bad for trade. Climate change will be bad for the economy. Climate change will be bad for business!

Once they see that maybe they will move faster.


See that is why you cannot be taken seriously. So tell us exactly just how would this 'shutting down one industry' occur? Stop telling people that we should but tell us how we could - how can the industry of raising of animals for food be ended? How? Don't be a kid and say "Oh they just have to stop doing it." Be an adult. How?

How could this be accomplished? Moreover stop pretending that vegetarianism is a new idea. People know what it is but they haven't all rushed to become vegetarians have they? So tell us how you figure they would do so?

Tell us how to do this stuff you keep telling us. How does the meat industry shut down?


It is bizarre that you tell people that action on climate change isn't necessary! Telling people that becoming a vegetarian will stop climate change is close to insanity.

If it were at all possible then yes technically it would reduce greenhouse gases but it is not possible. So please ... just tell people the facts of how going veg will help reduce their own contribution to climate change but please...please stop trying to convince people that this is the solution to the world's problems!

We literally don't have time for this. Please help but stop hindering. Going veg is great and welcome since it does help but there is no way to stop people raising animals for food in only a couple of decades... if ever.



I can't understand why you feel Kyoto was more depressing than Paris. In Kyoto there was a legally binding agreement to reduce emissions. The CO2 level was not yet close to 400 ppm and the temperature increase was not yet near 1C. Scientists had not yet reported many of the changes in the ice in the polar regions that we are now aware of. It didn't feel like it was too late to stay below 2C. China's emissions were still much lower than US emissions and India had not become a major emitter. I would think the Kyoto meeting would leave you with much more a feeling of hope than this meeting in Paris which ended with only voluntary pledges to reduce emissions or reach peak emissions or whatever.


What did Kyoto accomplish? Look at where the world is. I don't begrudge those nations that accomplished much but here we are facing disaster. I tried to convey that I don't believe in Paris but that it marks a turning point. I fully expect that people will force their governments and corporations to improve matters. Governments go to Paris and parade around as is they went willingly (some did and some did not) because they are responsible. Meanwhile we allow oil exports and other crap that undermine our commitment etc.

I think politicians would love to pretend that they can avoid the issue for another five years. I sure hope not. I hope people will act like Paris was inadequate and make them go much further towards avoiding passing 1.5C. The media presents the Paris agreement as the last word but I don't.

I know climate activists around the world don't either. Just what can we do about this agreement. It is what it is. If any agreement doesn't go far enough (which this doesn't) what is our recourse.

We will not be idle and the governments will need to respond just like our activities made them respond this time. Next time they'll have to do better. Kyoto wasn't good enough although admittedly some governments acted responsibly.


I thought you were referring to the Kyoto conference itself and not what took place afterward. What followed was very disappointing. The US did not ratify the agreement and eventually Japan and Canada withdrew. And so much of the emissions reductions were attributed to ambiguous offsets that it hard to figure out actually what did occur. It will be several years before we can really judge the Paris conference. I think a lot will depend on which party wins the presidency next November. I guess you could say it is bad luck that the Republicans seem to be turning into a no-nothing party as the US is so central to the fight against climate change. We simply have to elect either Clinton, Sanders, or O'Malley. I don't see any hope if we don't.


Strange that you criticize those who say Sanders is great but he can't win. Then you violate your own argument by insisting that vegetarianism can't work and that suggesting it is childish. We shut down the meat industry by refusing to buy its products. We can do that quickly and the change is free. Every other strategy is expensive and takes a long time. We don 't have that much time, especially if the number one driver of climate change is continually being ignored. And you have the gall to tell me to stop promoting vegetarianism? And you claim that I tell people to not pursue other means for averting climate catastrophe? And you throw out the insult that I am not an adult? I am sick of your arrogance. You do not own this site and you have no right to urge anyone to stop making arguments that you do not agree with. Of course I know that vegetarianism is not new; I never said it was but you enjoy straw man arguments, refuting arguments that were never made. It is new (2009) information, however, that meat-eating is the number one cause of climate change/global warming. That message needs to get out and your attempts to discredit my point of view by calling me names - a well-known childish technique - is repulsive.


Okay fine

Everybody in the world will all get together and stop eating meat okay? You are just not rational about it and can't take criticism. If you believe that hundreds of millions of meat eaters will all suddenly stop eating meat or that the government would close down the meat industry or anything else like that then fine.

Okay. My apologies for doubting your argument and asking you to realize that while vegetarianism is an excellent thing to recommend but it will not stop global warming. If you think that you can convince enough people to switch so as to effect climate change in time then please be my guest. Once again my apologies for contradicting your position.

Oh by the way as I mentioned to you once before the figures in that entertainment documentary are not accurate as per the EPA's own estimates. The EPA says agriculture accounts for only 20% of greenhouse gases. That is including all forms of agriculture combined including the meat industry.


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