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International Community Attempts to Negotiate with Nature in Paris

International Community Attempts to Negotiate with Nature in Paris

Nat Parry

With more than 40,000 negotiators from 196 governments descending on Paris this week to negotiate a comprehensive accord to tackle climate change, it is hard to imagine that they could possibly reach an agreement that will satisfy everybody.

We can but hope that it is just a precedent and that in light of worsening climatic conditions that targeted goals will be modified.

It is worrisome that they talk of goals reached by mid century or century’s end based on current estimates of the future climate.
Perhaps a clause expressing the need for a flexible increase of efforts should be included addressing the limited accuracy of current scientific projections?

“In this sense, the 40,000 negotiators engaging in two weeks of discussions and horse-trading in the French capital are not really negotiating with each other, but with Mother Nature.”

The linguist (or natural observer) has to wonder if it’s a Freudian slip (or worse) that the term capitol–which means the seat of any nation or state’s government, and capital–which means money have become interchangeable.

I notice this mistake often on Commondreams, and to my surprise–it shows up often in the no doubt professionally-edited text, “The Devil’s Chessboard.” Mr. Talbot’s comprehensive work, published by Harper Collins surely has fact-checkers and editors that know the distinction… or is that so many government bodies, now beholden to Big Capital make that term applicable to State Houses?

It’s also interesting how these two writers (Betsy Hartmann, Jan Selby) featured today on C.D. seek to discredit the narrative that ties war in with climate change, while the following reinforces it:

"Besides extreme weather, there are also the compounding security threats associated with climate change, with the Council on Foreign Relations – for one – warning as far back as 2007 that climate change was contributing significantly to terrorism and conflict. The organization noted that “declining food production, extreme weather events, and drought from climate change” could “contribute to massive migration and possibly state failure, leaving ‘ungoverned spaces’ where terrorists can organize.”

"These concerns have also been raised by the Pentagon, which refers to climate change a “threat multiplier” because it “has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism.”

From the juxtaposition of these arguments, two insights come to mind:

  1. The Make-War machine can use climate change as a de facto way of avoiding their own contribution to the destabilization of nations

  2. That whenever ONE causative agency is celebrated, it always sets up a prism that loses sight of the multitude of factors that generate events of magnitude.

Climate change is a serious problem AS IS militarism. Comparing one with the other, or setting up the normative “sports’ world frame” that pivots on winners and losers diminishes a holistic comprehension of the key contributing factors. Notice that fossil fuels are not part of this bipolar equation.

The human race sees its own destruction and can do nothing to avoid it. I used to read to my children from an illustrated “Jungle Book.” In it the great snake KA hypnotizes a tribe of monkeys who watch fascinated as the snake devours them.

i quote you: “Your comment would be vastly improved if you understood the proper usage of these words.”

Capital vs. Capitol:

Capital vs. capitol
As a noun, capital refers to (1) a city that serves as a center of government, (2) wealth in the form of money or property, and (3) a capital letter. As an adjective, it means (1) principal, (2) involving financial assets, and (3) deserving of the death penalty. There are other definitions of capital, but these are the most commonly used ones.

Capitol has two very specific definitions (outside ancient Rome): (1) a U.S. state legislature building, and (2) the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. State capitols are located in the capital cities of U.S. states, and the Capitol is located in the capital city of the U.S. If you’re not talking about any of these capitol buildings, then the word you want is probably capital.

The Capitol building located in Washington, D.C. is spelled with a capital C, but state capitol buildings ordinarily don’t have the capital C (which is not to say that some writers don’t capitalize them anyway).

EDIT: No problem SR, thanks for your appreciation and respect. Always happy to help when i see people making simple errors of word usage. /sarc

  • crickets -

Keep priorities in order:

No Ecology? No Economy.

ALL human economic activities must be organized with this basic understanding at the foundation.


And that is only one of the massive, clearly understood outcomes. Yet the paving stones for the road to disaster churn out faster, and faster…

When i was very young, i determined that humans’ greatest skill, is fooling themselves.

This is no time for climate cowardice - time has run out.
The IPCC mooted 2 DegC target is now unachievable - 3 to 4 DegC is almost certain by 2100 given current CO2 trajectories.

The cost of not taking action will be horrific - devastating to almost all life on Earth as we know it.
Many scientists are of the opinion that +4DegC is beyond the limit where organised human life on Earth is possible.
Be aware that a +4 DegC mean rise in Earths’ temperature equates to +12 DegC to ‘hottest day’ temperature during heatwaves.
At possible temperatures of over 50 DegC (122F) cities can quickly become unlivable as power/transport infrastructures fail, crops/unsheltered animals are killed in the field.
Remember there is only 3 days food supply in most cities, and without refrigeration there is little alternative but to seek food elsewhere.

We are locking future generations into a deadly climate version of ‘Russian roulette’ - with a live round in every chamber.
Excuses like ‘We cannot afford the economic costs …’ will ring very hollow to our children’s children.
Refer this (15 min video) Kevin Anderson for some enlightening detail on the impossibility of achieving the IPCC’s 2 DegC target.
Technology has not yet delivered negative emissions, yet IPCC have factored it in to +2DegC projections.

  1. Climate Change Challenges

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Pollution Include:

  1. Carbon Dioxide (CO2), 82%
  2. Methane (CH4), 9%
  3. Nitrous Oxide (N2O), 6%
  4. Flouronidated Gases, 3%
    Source: EPA
    Implement low-carbon energy base that promotes conservation, conversion into renewal energy sources and fusion technology, providing a fair transition from fossil fuels and a “global treaty” to block the export of fossil fuels. How to do these?

(A) Implement the climate protection bill by Sen. Barbara Boxer and Sen. Bernie Sanders that includes a carbon tax on the nearly 3000 of the largest fossil fuel polluters, covering about 85 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

(B) Implement the modest Obama’s Clean Power Plan that pushed for 32 percent diminishes in carbon dioxide surges from power plants by 2030 with the base year of 2005, and requiring a 28 percent of a power production to be generated from renewable sources.

© End tax breaks and subsidies for big oil, gas and coal companies. Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act to stop taxpayer-funded $135 billion giveaways to oil, gas and coal companies.

(D) Eliminate and inevitably boycott Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) gasses which are intense greenhouse gasses used as a part of fridges and ventilation systems and are discharged essentially amid repairing of or toward the end of the life-span of these items. In October 16, 2015, Obama administration has announced new efforts to diminish the use of hydrofluorocarbons as a piece of worldwide treaty to confine their uses.

(E) Keep it in the Ground Act. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders, have introduced in Nov 2015 the bill Keep It In The Ground Act, that would bar new leases on coal, gas, oil, and tar sands extraction on federal lands in the U.S. The bill, would likewise preclude offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean and forbid the renewal of leases that haven’t yet produced fossil fills.

[F] Expand research and development into climate change mitigation techniques. These include efforts to cut or prevent the emissions of greenhouse gases-limiting the magnitude of future warming. It might likewise include attempts, for example, (a) carbon capture and storage and (b) geoengineering

[G] Revitalizing Coal and Oil producing regions. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has disclosed in Nov 2015, the Plan For Revitalizing Coal Communities to invest in coal and oil country, to recover as the “clean energy economy” develops, saying “We can’t ignore the impact this transition is already having on mining communities, or the threat it poses to the healthcare and retirement security of coalfield workers and their families.

[H] Fossil fuel divestment This is the elimination of investment resources including stocks, securities, and speculation reserves from companies included in extracting carbon and fossil fuels, trying to diminish climate change by accelerating the adoption of renewable energy through the stigmatizing of fossil fuel businesses. A number of environmentalist and student groups advocate fossil fuel divestment, which in 2015 was apparently the quickest developing divestment development in history. By September 2014, 181 organizations and 656 people had resolved to divest
over $50 billions.

For details, read more: For details, read more: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/11/29/1455241/-What-to-Do-to-Mitigate-Looming-Climate-Change-Specific-Policies



Siouxrose, Capitol refers to the building in Washington, DC, where Congress meets. Paris is the capital city of France and Washington, DC, is the capital city of the US.

It is true that climate change can cause social disruption because climate change caused the French Revolution. There were bad harvests in the years before 1789 and this resulted in starvation. Because the peasants were starving and the aristocrats were not starving and because Marie Antoinette in all her infinite wisdom thought the peasants should eat cake if they did not have bread, the peasants rebelled against the privilege of the aristocrats and took their land (and the land of the Church because the Church told the peasants that it was God’s will that they were poor and the aristocrats were rich) and divided the land among themselves (a Marxist revolution before Marx was born). We now know that it was an increase in volcanic eruptions that caused the earth to cool. When a volcano erupts, so much dust and other matter is spewed into the atmosphere that there is a decrease in solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth and the earth cools. The year after Mt. Tambora erupted was called the year without summer. But as G. E. Moore told us: no matter what is factually true about something, you can still ask the question: “Is it a good thing or a bad thing?” Was the French Revolution a good thing or a bad thing? It was bad if you were an aristocrat and lost your head, but it was good if you hated the monarchy and wanted a republic.

H. Rap Brown famously said: “Violence is as American as cherry pie.” One could also say that militarism is as human as breathing. The Homeric heroes (Hector and Achilles) were great warriors. Caesar became dictator of Rome because he controlled the army and subsequent Roman emperors were only in power as long as they controlled the army. Many men became emperor because their troops put them in power. After Caligula was assassinated, the army made Claudius emperor because without an emperor, the army would be unemployed. This is the primary reason our Founding Fathers disbanded the Continental Army after we beat the bloody Brits and wanted citizen soldiers in a militia to protect the new nation from all enemies domestic and foreign. Had George Washington had the ego of Caesar, he could have been a military dictator.

ISIS is fighting a holy war because they are killing infidels because this is the will of Allah. They think that if they die in jihad, they will be immediately transported to paradise where they will be met by 72 virgins. Perhaps the only way to get people to refrain from killing people in the name of their god would be to require that all people who want to be religious to convert to Buddhism because Buddhists do not have gods who tell them to kill infidels.

In the great Stanley Kubrick classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the first thing our hominid ancestors did after being enlightened by the monolith was to discover that a bone could be used as a weapon to beat the crap out of other hominids to control the water hole.

Aristophanes’ play “Lysistrata” proposes that war can be stopped by females withholding sex from males. Instead of complaining about militarism, why don’t you convince women to withhold sex from men until they stop fighting? One problem for you is that Greek soldiers were encouraged to have male lovers because one is highly motivated to fight when fighting alongside a lover. So, should females get heterosexual males to stop fighting, you will still have the problem of gays fighting. You also will have to do something about the number of females that are now in our military. Israel has always had female soldiers and they are as militaristic as the males.

Do you remember the Ebola crisis? People were talking about preventing people from regions were Ebola is prevalent from coming to the US, just as people today are talking about preventing Syrian refugees from seeking asylum in the US.

The problem is that Ebola is a pimple on your ass compared to the cancer that was the influenza pandemic in 1919. More people died from influenza than died in the Great War.

ISIS is a threat to infidels, but climate change is a threat to all living organisms on the surface of the earth.

Climate change will change the earth’s ecosystem; climate change will not destroy the ecosystem. A catastrophic meteor impact caused climate change because so much dust and debris was ejected into the atmosphere that blocked solar radiation from striking the earth; this caused the earth to cool. Dinosaurs could not adapt to the changed climate and went extinct, but mammals thrived and evolved rapidly to fill the niches vacated by the dinosaurs. Since we are mammals, we are only here because of climate change.

Because of natural selection, should the earth warm, natural selection will result in a change in the species complex in the ecosystem (new species will evolve that can survive at warmer temperatures–this is called evolution). Since there are thermophilic bacteria that can survive at temperatures above 100 C, it is not possible for global warming to kill off all life on the earth. And since humans can adapt to different climates using technology (in the summer, I turn on the AC and in the winter, I turn on the furnace), rich nations with access to technology will certainly survive (we have survived on the moon because of technology; we will certainly survive on a warmer earth).

The problem for us is that we know that climate change will cause mass extinctions of species (see above concerning the dinosaurs), the question for us is: “What moral obligations do humans have to all those species that will go extinct because of our love of the internal combustion engine?”

Since, poor nations do not have access to technology and since humans do not passively allow their world to collapse, climate change will cause social upheavals. How will the rich nations react to the suffering of the poor nations? Since they are already suffering and the rich nations are not reacting to this, I suspect we will simply let them suffer and if they threaten us because of our privilege, there is always the bomb to put them out of their misery. “They shoot horses, don’t they?” (This paragraph is mostly tongue in cheek.)

“Excuses like ‘We cannot afford the economic costs …’ will ring very hollow to our children’s children.”

Looking at current trajectories, i believe these excuses will “ring very hollow” far sooner. The way climate chaos is accelerating, consistently beyond “worst case” scenarios of the rates of change of numerous measures, i don’t think “our children’s children” will be the generation that suffers generalized catastrophe. i expect to see it. i’m 56.

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Don’t leave out - Nationalize All Utilities and Natural Resources and used them only as public health and safety all for the benefit of society and maintaining a livable world.

One of the greatest producers of GHGs is animal agriculture. People have to stop eating meat and dairy or we are toast. See Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. Animal ag causes more global warming than all the transportation sectors in the world, by far.

It’s unspeakably disgusting that the governments of the world—the US above all—are so willing to negotiate a mass murder suicide pact like the one that will probably come out of Paris in the next 10 days. The banning of the planned protests in Paris are just the latest move in the systematic removal of all wise and sane feedback from the process, making sure our “leaders” stay insular, unconnected to reality

Anyone with the job Figueres has should resign rather than consent to spread such a lie and collaborate with the surrender. The idea that this agreement will be anything close to sufficient if it’s methods are simply ramped up as needed, in the future, is a lie. The gross inadequacy of the framework, the goals (even if it could keep us to 2C, that’s way too high to have a reasonable chance of preserving civilization or the millions of species at risk), and the methods is a sure sign that we need to go way beyond it, now. An agreement to reduce GHGs fast enough to theoretically hold temperature rise to 1.5C or less would be something more in line to be acceptable now and ramped up later, as some countries fail to meet their promises.

The fake agreement-for-the-sake-of-agreement plan is despicable; it’s a form of denial at least as dishonest, and arguably even more insane, than the arguments of those who simply deny the existence of warming outright.