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COP21: Cheering and Fearing


#1

COP21: Cheering and Fearing

Gwynne Dyer

The climate deal that almost 200 countries agreed to in Paris on Saturday was far better than most insiders dared to hope even one month ago.

The biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, China and the United States, are finally on board. There is real money on the table to help poor countries cut their emissions and cope with warming. They have even adopted a target of holding the warming to only +1.5 degrees C, instead of the limit of +2 degrees that was the goal when the conference opened.


#2

Yes, the negotiators at the UN deserve some credit. And certainly Obama deserves a lot of credit for getting China on board a number of months ago and making slight headway with India. Climate scientist James Hansen believes the tipping point for positive feedbacks is very likely just beyond 1C so if he is right we can expect to reach uncontrollable global warming within the next ten years. Despite the progress made by the UN conference, plans by India, which had almost an 8% increase in carbon emissions in 2014, to build hundreds of new coal-burning plants and the building of many such plants by China in other countries that is going on now should make us skeptical about efforts to contain emissions. It is probably still technologically possible to achieve the 1.5 target but realistically there seems little chance. The link below described what it might take and it would be unbelievably challenging.

http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/news/150521-15-scenarios.html


#3

Yes, the World is lucky to have the United Nations(imperfect though it is), especially going forward. Also, the Montreal Protocol.


#4

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#5

Ecosystem collapse will continue due to population pressures, agribusiness practices (meat production, gmo's, palm oil production and the 'cides), plastics (in the oceans and estrogen disruptors) and climate change among some factors. These negotiations are completely myopic and linear. Humanities linear systems of governance and technology are unable to consider exponential and cascading impacts. So this agreement is like spitting into a tornado.


#6

This is the kind of fiction that sells. For one thing, it posits that it's public opinion--not those well-heeled corporations that decide policies as comprehensive as TIPP and TPP behind closed doors under major secrecy oaths--that defines the agenda.

In other words, this is an official narrative:

"...there is no government on the planet that is not frightened by the prospect of major climate change. In fact, most of them would have gone a lot further in Paris if they were not nervous about getting too far ahead of public opinion at home."

Public opinion, not Exxon or Monsanto.

Really?

This, on the other hand, was honest:

"We are having dangerous warming now – bigger storms, worse floods, longer droughts – and we are only at +1.0 C.

"At plus-two or thereabouts, what we get is catastrophe: runaway warming that can no longer be halted just by stopping human emissions of carbon dioxide. Nature will take over, and we will be trapped on a one-way escalator that is taking us up to +3, +4, +5, even +6 degrees. Hundreds of millions or even billions of people would die as large parts of the planet ceased to be habitable by human beings."

Public opinion that reflects the ACTUAL wishes of the DIVERSE body of persons is not the obstacle. But it's always convenient to use this ruse as cover. And it IS used often. It's an MSM Talking Point.


#7

"In fact, most of them would have gone a lot further in Paris if they were not nervous about getting too far ahead of public opinion at home." Is it really fair to blame "the public" for governments holding back ? Public opinion doesn't seem to hold governments back when they want to pass some corporate-friendly trade deal, or start a war, why would they be so sensitive about peoples' opinions about climate change ? And that's assuming people in general are less concerned about climate change than corporate-serving governments are, which I'm sure isn't the case.