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Stakes Are Higher Than Ever at UN Climate Meeting


Stakes Are Higher Than Ever at UN Climate Meeting

Sonali Kolhatkar

Because 'life itself and the future of humanity is at stake.'


Until the politicians gain the courage to revamp the system of money throughout the world to encapsulate what are now externalities, we are SCREWED. Money drives decisions and we are on the wrong road.


“Organisers have declined his request [James Hansen] to speak directly to the delegates about what he sees as a threat that is still massively underestimated.” (article below)


This is not one the high profile international climate meetings like the ones held in Copenhagen in 2009 and Paris 2015 but the important thing is to make progress toward the big meeting in 2020. In the past we have seen disagreements results in failed conferences and stalemates. However, the mood now is much more cooperative. There is no longer a western block led by the US and a block of developing country block led by China. Except for the US all countries are pretty much on board. And in the US, below the level government, many states and local governments are on board. The US is unique in having a large political group on the extreme right. The group consists of a coalition of free marketers, Ayn Rand enthusiasts, white supremacists, anti-government types, religious fundamentalists, etc. These people, lumped together as climate deniers on this issue, is large enough to hinder US efforts. It may even be able to significantly hinder the efforts of the world. This group is one reason why I think the 1.5C goal, although technologically possible, is out of reach. Even the 2C is probably out of reach but it is too early to abandon it. Unless much more is done it could to be reached by 2040 or even a little sooner. It should also be kept in mind that there is a 30-40 years lag until temperature reaches an equilibrium. That means if greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere level off the temperature will increase by a few tenths of a degree Celsius over the next several decades.


Those in power Must join with the People who have Compassion!


I posted on this at Truthdig. There is a growing awareness that more needs to be done from concerned citizens, I’m just not sure how much people are willing to give up to survive to the next century, It’s obvious governments, large ones anyway, don’t care or have the extraordinary will needed to make the hard choices to move as fast as possible away from fossil fuels. The US’s non-response and accelerating disregard for all things living is, for sure, a joke world wide or should be anyway. The US military uses vast amounts of fuel and other valuable resources and not a word is ever said about them. Until then the other thing not mentioned is the absolute destructiveness of the meat and dairy industries. To survive these both need to END. Yes, the military and meat industry must end and I don’t see that happening until after the inevitable coming collapse of world economy and world order. Most don’t take this seriously but a growing number of prominent scientists are seeing this outcome, the matter of when remains to be determined, hopefully after I die because I won’t survive it.


Hansen’s book, “Storms of My Grandchildren” was one of the first books I read when seeing what the ‘controversy’ was all about in the media. Well it turns out, as I believed, these is NO controversy. I’ve read several dozen books since then and only one, written by the resistance, was not in agreement, some were truly frightening. “Six Degrees”, by Mark Lynas was especially haunting, I didn’t even read the 6th degree chapter because we’re terminal before then. No government wants to make the hard choices to guarantee survival and that’s the real problem. Turns out the preppers had the right idea after all.


Preppers = survivalists, I presume ?

Never a bad idea to be prepared - fortune favors not only the bold, but also the prepared.

I have Jim’s book “Storms of my Grandchildren” on my shelf, and I have many others, as do you Olhippy.

Since you are obviously interested, may I suggest a couple of books that may interest you? Of course you may already have them, or have read them, but just in case, and more to the point, I think these two address larger aspects of our times.

It is so easy to get disheartened - and there is certainly cause for this.

But any soul surfer knows the trough is only part of the wave.

These Conference of the Parties have always been bureaucratic in the extreme, but this is part of the solution, though not the solution itself.

They are like the United Nations itself - ponderous - unwieldy - yet still - hope manifests in many ways, and this is one of them.

While we wait for the bureaucracy to catch up - here are two books that I greatly admire, or rather their authors and the subjects discussed, because they are both so ‘human’, and highlight the spirit of man which will ultimately determine our fate, with always the caveat - That we will need some luck too.

To the books:

  1. “Thin Ice”, by physicist Mark Bowen, about mountain glaciologist & climate scientist Lonnie Thompson and his remarkable crew - their adventures as it were (2005).

  2. “Gorgon” (Paleontology, Obsession, and the greatest Catastrophe in Earth’s History) (2004), by deep time/mass extinction expert/NASA Indiana Jones personality Peter D. Ward, and his time in the Karoo desert of South Africa - who also wrote “Under a Green Sky” (about our current climate prospects).

I guess that’s three books - whatever !

Perspective is extremely important, and I believe that these two, or perhaps three books, will lend a hand in that regard.

We may as well become amateur experts in both contemporary climate science, but also in deep Earth time, as it is unlikely things are going to change quickly on the political & bureaucratic fronts.

And being citizens, of whatever country, and on this one Earth - well - it is obligatory that we inform ourselves on the issues that involve existential risks to kith & kin.

If you have a book or two that struck you particularly, I would welcome its title.

Ciao from Calgary


These meetings have no meaning. Only actions matter now.


That’s the point of the meeting.


It is not the re-vamping of money, but the abolition of money that is required.
Socialism originally meant, not state-ownership or a command economy but a society where goods would be voluntarily produced, and services voluntarily supplied to meet people’s needs. People freely taking the things they need. - From each according to ability - to each according to need.


Absolutely not. The meeting is a dog-n-pony show meant to obfuscate the real intentions of capitalists to maintain the status quo and increase their wealth and power.


No way. All the leaders who met, except perhaps Trump, are well aware of the threat of climate change, and so are most of the people in their countries. The capitalists of course are looking out for their selfish interests but they don’t have the power to control the purpose of these meetings. This is about people concerned about climate change meeting through the UN to try to find a way to cooperate to address this problem. Being leaders they also have concerns about the economic conditions of their countries which is a major reason why there has been reluctance to take stronger action in line with the science. However, the developed and developing countries are at least somewhat on the same page now but it may be a little late at this point since all the delays have made climate change much more difficult to address then it would have been a couple of decades ago. Each year without adequate action makes it that much harder to deal with.


Please give me a source to scour. I want to learn more about this!


I think Sonali’s article backs you up on that. She stops just short of concluding that these COP meetings are completely useless.


Thanks for the link to the Guardian article, which is focused on this theme:

James Hansen says the litigate-to-mitigate campaign is needed alongside political mobilisation because judges are less likely than politicians to be in the pocket of oil, coal and gas companies.

I really don’t see much hope for litigation, but I hope I’m wrong and Hansen in right about this one. Look at the Standing Rock litigation. For a couple of centuries, court rulings have been just another way of telling Indians to get the hell out of the way. There’s no sign of that ever changing.



You probably heard of De Leon and the Socialist Labor Party. This party is part of the same tradition as are these




Thanks. My “Thanksgiving” tradition is to “ear worm” Les Miserables (“the blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France”). I wish I to hear more people sing!


I think it all helps - litigation another solid plank in a leaky boat much in need of a sailor’s TLC, i.e., “shipshape”.

We will rebuild this ship as Joshua Slocum did the Spray, from the ground up, and she will sail again, around the world - and come back ‘ten years younger for it’, so to speak.

Aleph - I am reading an inspirational autobiography - and I haven’t been inspired like this since JFK. Shimon Peres was a few years younger than John, but lived to 93. I have always had a soft spot for Israel and its people, as I have for America and its people, even though both have drifted of late politically and morally - one might say - ‘three sheets to the wind.’

And yes - I was once a Sea Cadet, HMCS Hochelaga, Montreal, Quebec.

Highest recommendation - for all sorts of reasons - most especially in these times:


As for the Native Americans - yes - straight uphill - but making progress nonetheless I think.

The Jumbo Ski Resort was just given the go ahead in British Columbia against the wishes of the First Nation involved - but I don’t think it will proceed.

The First Nations are getting their feet on the ground, after a terrible period of trial - not unlike the Jewish diaspora.

I have confidence in them, rather than our courts, in other words.

As in the birth of the United States, and of Israel - you have to assert your right to exist.