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Seven Wrinkles in the Paris Climate Deal


Seven Wrinkles in the Paris Climate Deal

Oscar Reyes

The headlines from the Paris climate talks tell an inspiring story. Agence France-Pressereported an outbreak of “euphoria” as the international climate accord was sealed. Reutershailed a global “turn from fossil fuels.” The Guardian headlined “a major leap for mankind.”


These are certainly seven notable devils. It may take some time for digesting that pile of political rhetoric to see if there are even more such devils, more devilish ones, or, worse, little more than devils in it all.


The world is governed by the Petro-Dollar. Nothing will change until that does.


The carbon offsets should be eliminated from carbon trading. Optimally, some sort of global carbon tax (or fee) should have been added to the agreement. Without such a fee James Hansen labeled the agreement a fraud. There is no way emissions can get up to scale without a price a carbon. Expecting this agreement to work would be foolish. Expecting the temperature to eventually reach at least 3-4C would be realistic and planning for this eventuality should be done by all means.


A much appreciated and useful article that lays out the reality underneath the rhetoric.

Nevertheless despite the flaws in the Paris Deal, one thing was accomplished. It shows that the deniers have lost the battle finally. An obvious step but it has taken awhile to get here.

The next step is the gamble that is implicit in this deal. A gamble - a wager being bet by the powerful that we can squeak by a tight squeeze without having to do much and to keep the profits flowing unabated,

What isn’t being mentioned is that governments have been waiting until technology has come around to the point that money can be made out of solar and wind. Big money. Big enough for corporations to develop solar and wind voluntarily simply because they can make a lot of money if they do so!

So we wait and gamble as the the wager keeps growing larger as we do. We could legislate in favor of solar and wind but we don’t. We wait in the face of global warming so that the desire for profits will provide the motivation to save the planet from climate change. We want to wait until stopping global warming is profitable before we try to stop global warming.

We could mandate that new building construction incorporate solar roofs or office buildings wind turbines. We could invest in maglev high speed trains (we haven’t even a single one). We could and should but haven’t.

Seven wrinkles - unlucky seven - craps out? Or did we throw snake eyes in Paris?

All the talk… all the rhetoric… all the framework for change and targets etc… is all about waiting until stopping global warming is profitable enough for it to happen without governmental legislation.

Now that’s gambling!

But lousy odds.


I like James Hansen’s summary of the Paris agreement: “It’s just bullshit.”


All that negotiating was just Kabuki Theater. They could have phoned it in, because they really didn’t accomplish anything but “bullshit.”

For the credulous, it worked well for the international politicians to pretend to take global warming seriously, while the agreement itself is just promises, promises. I doubt that much of anything will actually be done.

Maybe the various survivalists stocking up food and water, etc., will be the only ones to survive the planet’s roasting by the rich oil barons. Though even they will have to be inventive enough to survive for decades of lack of water and arable land.


And #8 - IT DOESN’T TOUCH GROUND; that is, Giant Agribiz responsible for anywhere between a third and half of all greenhouse gases. Or SOIL - the only “proven technology” for taking CO2 out of the atmosphere - which, unfortunately, would preclude the monoculture of Giant Agribiz… hmm… See my article at TruthOut.org today [“If we converted all agribusiness and factory farming to regenerative agriculture and family farming, we would see a reversal of global warming immediately - even if we continued burning fossil fuels at current levels.”]


Item #4 just pisses me off. The US will never admit fault about anything until so much time has passed that it does not matter. That is one of the big reasons why the rest of the world hates and does not trust the United States.


Appreciate all the comments, all unimpressed with the results of COP21. No doubt they are valid. On the other hand, it’s quite a juggernaut that is being turned around. Denial is certainly fading, there is growing public activism on the issue, and recognition that ultimately the capitalist system must be changed. A huge revolutionary job. And climate change is only one of the tremendous challenges to a flourishing Earth.


Any ideas what they might be?

Cause from here it looks like there’s only one devil—the unwillingness of the global empire—the intertwined corporations, billionaires and owned governments of the rich world—to budge an inch no matter how many billions it kills, wars it causes (including nuclear wars), or species it disappears, and the inability of the world to survive unless the empire relaxes its grip very soon.

We’ve known this for years; there’s been no doubt every COP would turn out the same until we removed such people from the decision-making process. We’ve known they wouldn’t go without causing somewhere between some and many, many deaths. Violence will make victory impossible; the only way is a global peaceful revolution. (Peaceful on our side, anyway) The sooner we put our bodies on the line, blockade fossil fuel infrastructure and corporate headquarters and some of us die the sooner slightly larger, then eventually vast numbers of the public start to turn against the fossil fuel magnates and the fossil fuel financial world collapses.

If there are any other devils, it seems to me it’s that—our own side of climate denying delayalism, that it’s taking us a long time to face and act on the knowledge that only putting our own lives in jeopardy will move this process forward, and nothing in the world will even begin to change until we do that.


The other part of their gamble, conscious or not, is that they think they’re only betting the lives of the poor. In fact, they may be (unconsciously) hoping that that part of the bet comes out on the edge too—eliminating what many rich mostly whites see as the undeserving poor while leaving the rich world intact—a sort of natural neutron bomb for the entire global South.

They’ll lose that bet; nature is not amenable to such fine tuning. That must be part of our message to denying delayalists, and if there’s a way to prove that negative with science, we need such studies.


And if all else fails,
the global corporations
have the TPP to recover their ‘‘lost profits’’
from any serious government regulations
that would keep carbon in the ground.