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Is the Paris Climate Conference Designed to Fail?

Is the Paris Climate Conference Designed to Fail?

Brian Tokar

From the end of this month through early December, much of the world’s attention will be focused on Paris, the site of the upcoming round of UN climate negotiations.


Is the Paris Climate Conference Designed to Fail?

Lots of words, I could edit it for you, I’d cut the article down to one word; yes.


‘George Bush [41] told the world that the “American way of life is not negotiable.”’ George Bush makes his home in Houston, which is a poster child of how to allow unplanned growth to develop into a fossil fuel feeding frenzy. So much time must be spent in a car (or a truck, if your name is Bubba) in that mess of asphalt that it truly is the city of the oil, by the oil, and for the oil. Damn the grandchildren, full speed ahead.


“Indeed a 2013 speech by Obama’s lead climate negotiator, Todd Stern, made it clear that the primary US role in the process remains one of obstruction and obfuscation (the full text is available on the State Department website). Stern blamed poorer countries for resisting an “agreement applicable to all parties,” and celebrated the focus on “self-determined mitigation commitments” instead of legally-binding obligations to reduce emissions.”

Clearly, the likes of Frank Luntz and P.R. professional con-persons are behind this inversion of responsibility.

It seems as if the most important issue of our time is being decided by a bunch of adolescents who are so focused on their personal possessions, privileges, and material wealth as to miss–entirely–what this living planet is undergoing and what this accelerating process of climate derailment will mean for all forms of life, sentient and otherwise.


“For example, a recent report commissioned by PNC Bank found that leading financial institutions view public opposition and regulatory uncertainty (itself often shaped by public opposition) to be the most significant barriers to the continued expansion of oil and gas. The global coal industry is in rapid decline, and wind and solar are now the fastest growing energy sources. We have a long way to go, and not much time, but if anything can help raise our hopes that it’s not too late, it is the power of social movements to intervene to change the story.”

Thank you for ending this painful (to take in) report on an optimistic note. It is the 11th hour… a time when Universal Forces support the type of genius that induces a massive paradigm shift.


How wise are you, Wise Owl? Do you eat meat, the activity responsible for half of all greenhouse gases? If you do, you are the one saying Damn the grandchildren, full speed ahead. Please tell me that you are a vegetarian or are at least working toward that goal.

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Okay, Brian Tokar … thank you for all that info… I will even reread it. It was good. …and you almost got me hooked on hope there at the end… I have a little glimmer. It’s really faint, but it’s there.

uh, both activities are responsible… you always seem to be one sided… you really think that our transportation system is not at all partly responsible for our co2 over drive?.. It’s our WHOLE CULTURE…not one aspect of it…

Since agribusiness accounts for 51% of all greenhouse gases, it is more than just one aspect of the problem. It is the number one, primary source of the problem. If it is ignored, it makes little sense to focus on the other 49%.

I do not call myself wise owl. Of course I reduce before I recycle. Of course I fly from time to time. Going back to the Stone Age is not the answer to the climate change problem. However, the largest contribution a single individual can make to the problem of global warming is to go vegetarian. Yes, since you ask, I walk and bike and when I have to drive I drive my all electric car. I replaced my hot water heater with a solar collector before placing solar panels on my roof. I do not call myself wise: I call myself a true progressive. My constant theme in my comments is that Progressives who eat meat while complaining that politicians and corporations are not doing enough to solve the global climate problem are hypocrites. Until we accept personal responsibility and personal accountability, we have no standing to complain about politicians and corporations.


Nonsense. If you can’t see what is inherently wrong with eating meat you need to wake up. We are healthier without it. The fact that there are other activities that also contribute greenhouse gases entirely misses the point that meat-eating is the number one cause of global warming.

Too many people are making too much out of the 2C target. Nobody is even sure whether the climate can stop warming around 2C. Certainly some scientists have speculated, based on good reasons, that positive feedbacks such as thawing permafrost releasing methane or carbon dioxide are likely to really kick in after 1C and drive the temperature upwards at least 1-2C regardless of what actions are taken. The basic obstacles to whatever progress is made are largely political. The main dilemma is that the majority of emissions come from developing countries and these are the countries that are least able financially to make a transition away from fossil fuels. Therefore large sums of money have to be transferred from the developed countries to the developing countries which is a political problem that still has not been resolved.

Instead of playing the sports’ world version of a “which is worse” rating game, let’s agree that all of the following are major contributors. Nonetheless, the prescription that caters to the individual can, at best, have a very minimal impact.

Individuals can cut back on meat eating (or give it up altogether); yet if Big Agriculture sees fit to take down giant forests in order to plant Soy or set up cattle ranches, YOUR individual choice is very minimal to the overall calculus.

Fossil fuels CAN be replaced with OTHER; and fuel efficiency CAN be improved greatly.

Militarism also eats up a HUGE share of what’s needed for a balanced atmosphere and climate. All those troops sent to 1000+ bases, and all the infrastructure sent to all those bases; and all the fuel running old vehicles like Hummers on all those bases, etc. ad nauseum.

Fossil Fuels

All are in need of MAJOR remediation and transformation!


It won’t stop warming… this target will theoretically stop a runaway system of overlapping tipping points.

For how long can populations be sustained if hurricanes that go from 90 MPH to 150 MPH in a day hit numerous areas? Meanwhile, fires burn thousands of acres. California has dealt with 200 square miles of flames in one giant blaze, alone. Add in massive droughts in some areas, and record floods in others.

It used to be–back in the days when such events were a once-a-decade rarity and filled the cover and inner pages of “Life Magazine”–that a flood was rare, a major hurricane rare, a giant fire rare, a drought, rare, and so forth. Now these things are happening on a weekly and monthly basis. The frequency has sped up exponentially and THIS is at .08-degree increment to the overall, average annual temperature.

It’s already VERY bad and taking lots of lives… not to mention being (along with war) a major contributor to upwards of 6 million refugees.

Those who dicker about numbers are worse than Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

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Sorry, you’re wrong.

Plenty more articles if you want to look for them. Regardless of the ethical wrongness of cruelly farming and killing other sentient beings for a food source we don’t actually need and is actually unhealthy for us, the fact is that, as Zen practise says, it is a bigger contributer to climate change than any of the other factors you mention.


One day you will perhaps stop disempowering people by telling them there is nothing they can do and they have no effect. Are you perhaps a shill employed to spread that meme and stop people taking any action?

Big Agriculture only does those things because people, IE individuals, have a demand for it. Why would they plant a soya crop to feed animals if everybody had decided, individually, not to eat animals? It starts with the individual, their CHOICE. And please, no bullshit about advertising making the, in your world, utterly powerless people do it. I am subject to the same advertisments, so is Zen Practise, yet neither of us eat meat. In your world everyone is an automaton with no free will. Stop disempowering, it’s starting to get on my tits. You’re like a big wet blanket with your ‘we’re not responsible for anything’ meme crushing out every spark of revolution and self determined movement to action.

War and meat eating are connected. Surely you can see that? If we desensitise ourselves, deaden our empathy centres, by living with a meat industry and killing animals, then it’s no wonder we are able to desensitise and kill other humans too. You either cultivate empathy with life or you don’t. You can’t be selective about it, it’s an open centre or a closed one.

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None of us think it should be ignored. I understand that this is “your issue”… We all have our angle on this umbrella problem of climate change/disruption.

I sorta’ get your comment, but, saying that majority of emissions come from developing countries, put a angle on the problem that seems skewed… I agree that rich countries should be sending them money to help… but rich countries should also be extremely curbing their own emissions… as a matter of fact… Tim Garrets peer reviewed paper, 2009 states that civilization itself is a heat engine. It seems to me, that our “hope” only is in trying to come up with a world culture that is so out side the box, we would hardly recognize it… it’s not just machines and power plants spewing out emissions. It is also our activities which cause habitat loss and deforestation from many kinds of activities… we are at a cross roads and are being chased by the boogey man who is breathing down our necks, RIGHT NOW… it is time to stop WANTING LIFE TO BE EASY and come up with a plan that encompasses ALL the causes… we need to look inside our selves and ask “What is real”, what I really important for survival and for love… We need to change our thinking, which will change our behaviors, which will change our society. Only some deep deep self questioning will save us.

It is 100% DIS-INFORMATION to misrepresent my position.

Just because donkeys like you can only see the world through a bifurcated prism that allows only for “either/or” hardly means THAT is what my message is.

In describing the relative power of today’s global corporations to average individual citizens it’s Goliath to David.

It’s true that protests are beginning to chip away at the oligarchic controls but these sociopaths are one step ahead of the game; and that’s why their paid prostitute, Obama, is pushing so hard to get “fast track” tied up since it legally eviscerates any laws that pertain to labor rights, environmental protections, or public safety.

By stating that the individual can only do so much is hardly the same thing as saying that people have no power.

People have been DEPRIVED of power by a SYSTEM that is global, and this system has centralized controls through conditioning people to be dependent upon it.

How many individuals know how to make their own energy? Grow all of the food that they require? Produce their own water or water purification? Establish barter systems that would take the place of current currency? etc.

I would associate a diet that emphasizes red meat (and its blood) with Mars, the war god who feasts upon blood sacrifice via war.

So, yes, I certainly see the connection.

But you and your pals would rather maintain the either-or frame: which is worse, eating meat or not eating meat and this, in turn, gets readers’ attention away from other aspects of the article.

I would not find it surprising, for instance, if a think tank paid message-makers to focus on the meat eating aspect since that takes the spotlight off of Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Nuke, and Big Frack. With Exxon in the news for lying about all that its scientists had uncovered (as pertaining to oil and its relation to global warming), finding another viable target for the public’s vitriol would certainly be strategic.

I stand by my point: that mature individuals recognize the utility of cutting back (or eliminating) meat consumption while also recognizing that cuts to the U.S. military’s addicted-to-war machine AND fossil fuel usage are all of major significance… since taken together, this trifecta is KILLING the Great Mother.

All. Got it! Not “either-or.” That is your limited frame!

And by the way, genius, it’s a total right wing pro-business Talking Point to argue that corporations only give people what they want, what there is a demand for.

You obviously have ZERO understanding of how the world of Advertising works in manufacturing desires (in the public) for unnecessary items.

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I think everyone agrees that the developed countries should reduce emissions first (many already have including the US) and make more drastic cuts in emissions but since global emissions have to be reduced at least in half over the next three or four decades to stay around 2C even if all developed countries reduced their emissions to zero that wouldn’t be enough. Moreover, the emissions in developing countries continue to increase so when you look down the road an even higher percentage of emissions will come from these countries. I think the problem should be obvious.

The only way I see that the people, the 99%, can beat the corporations of the 1% is by using voter initiatives and referendums regularly and often, not just once every four years.

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