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Climate Insurgency After Paris


Climate Insurgency After Paris

Jeremy Brecher

In December of 2015 – the earth’s hottest year since recordkeeping began -- 195 nations met in Paris to forge an agreement to combat global warming. The governments of the world acknowledged their individual and collective duty to protect the earth’s climate -- and then willfully refused to perform that duty. What did they agree to, and how should the people they govern respond?


"The governments of the world may rule the world but they don’t own the world – that is the common property of humanity. The Paris Summit was in effect a conspiracy of the world’s governments to rob the world’s people and their posterity of their common inheritance. Those governments acknowledged the devastation they are causing, but refused to be accountable to each other for correcting it. So now they need to be made accountable to the world’s real owners."

Powerful words, Mr. Brecher!


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" and most space heating and water heating to 100 percent renewable electricity."

Wrong! Heat and hot water is economically supplied with solar hot water collectors. Clean energy is much much more than electricity.

District heating with borehole seasonal storage supplies whole communities with 100% of their heat and hot water. Google 'Drake Solar' for such a solar system in northern Alberta Canada.


Blocking stuff by tens of thousands of people will not solve the problem. Who would believe that? What it might to is lead to more overcrowding in prisons. This is complex global problem but there are some easy to identify major obstacles. Overcoming such obstacles is what would be required. One obstacle is the Republican Party in the United States. I don't know what you do about a party that denies there even is a climate change problem and still attracts voters. Another problem is India. That country plans on doubling its overall coal-burning capacity, which already is large, by 2020 and then eventually tripling it. Another problem is lack of progress on energy efficiency. The demand for energy must be reduced dramatically if fossil fuels are going to be replaced anytime soon. Clearly governments are going to have to play a large role in the fight against climate change. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not into reality. I think the chances are overwhelming that the best efforts will fail so preparing for 3-4C is a good idea.


May seem like a bit of a "gotcha" comment, but, in the article it states: "The governments of the world may rule the world but they don’t own the world – that is the common property of humanity." not quite.... if anything the world is the "common property" of all beings that exist on it, humans being but one species in a vast panoply.


"Bangladesh plans to run entirely on solar energy by 2020".

If Bangladesh can aim that high, why cannot the more wealthy copuntires do the same? Solar is not just photovoltaic. The are enough places in the world in which to build mirrors to heat water to run steam turbines.


Just started reading this article and read this:

"Today there are 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon in the atmosphere, far above the 350 ppm climate scientists regard as the safe upper limit."

i sure wish people would stop saying that. Something more like this:

"Today there are 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon in the atmosphere, far above the 350 ppm climate that has been widely circulated as a number that scientists regard as the safe upper limit, although some scientists contend that a stable ecology requires us to restore a level considerably below 350 ppm."


"to reach the 2-degree target the world would have to get CO2 out of its system by 2070. To reach the 1.5-degree target it would have to eliminate CO2 emissions by 2050."

Considering the already accelerating effects, tipping points already passed and coming up, and both internal and external positive feedback loops in melting ice and other realms, those are ludicrously optimistic dates. In truth, even if we stopped burning fossil fuels completely this afternoon, we'd still pass 2 degrees above preindustrial temperature well before 2050.

Our only rational course is to reduce fossil fuel use as fast as possible through a global climate mobilization like the industrialization of the US, 1942-45. Replacing fossil fuel infrastructure with efficiency, conservation, and more ecological lives; building clean, safe, resilient renewable energy; reforesting the planet; transforming global chemical industrial agriculture to networked local perennial plant-based permaculture; and transforming industry to benign, closed-loop, biomimicing ecological forms.