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UN Climate Chief: 'We're at Five Minutes to Midnight'


#1

UN Climate Chief: 'We're at Five Minutes to Midnight'

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres on Wednesday highlighted the urgency of a global climate agreement, warning that "time is running out."

In an interview with the Associated Press, Figueres said that the upcoming negotiations in Paris, known as COP21, were a make-or-break point.

"We are at five minutes to 12 and Paris is the 12 o'clock strike of the clock," she told the news agency.


#2

The corporations and the wealthy of the world are saying, by their silence and denial... bring it on! They hope to survive the coming catastrophe in their wealth bubbles. It won't work, however. The Sixth Extinction is already bearing down on us.


#3

Meanwhile Obama (the USA) approves drilling for oil in the Arctic. As this comes right before the Paris negotiations, what message did that send to the rest of the world? To be sure false face Obama will spout platitudes and ooze words of caring and support until people get sick of the sight of such a forked tongue endlessly wagging deceitful and oily (pun intended or not!) false sincerity.

We often wonder how people don't see the writing on the wall that with history's hindsight is made so plain to us. Do you see what is written on the wall for us in the future? Ms. Figures states a goal of keeping 80% of the oil in the ground and hardly before the ink dried as she was writing, Obama shows his intent to discover even more oil reserves in addition to what we have now in reserve.

Sadly we need to reset the clock thanks to Obama's callous dog and pony show because we have already shot past Paris with Shell (soon to be followed by others) in the arctic. Probably Obama expects geoengineering to keep the oil spigot open but one wonders if in truth he even cares?

We aren't 'Five Minutes to Midnight'... we are a few seconds past midnight.

We ended up being late... much earlier than what had been expected.


#5

It is good to see the endless Wars being mentioned as a major source of greenhouse emissions and Climate Change. Now Auto Addiction which is the root of Oil Addiction also needs to be named and tamed. Auto Addiction accounts for 70% of US oil usage and directly accounts for 38% of US greenhouse emissions. In New Jersey under our Teabag Gov Christie Auto Addiction now accounts for 47% of greenhouse emissions!
This in a state more densely populated than China with 12 major existing Rail lines, 3 LightRail systems, and 1000 miles of existing Rail banked for use just sitting unused.
Yet Gov Christie cut even more NJ Transit service and increased our fares 34% while the gas tax has not been changed in decades and is the 2nd lowest in the US.
We need to up the Federal gas tax and use part of it to restore the Green Transit operating subsidies used to help run Green public transit all over the US until Reagan.
We need to increase anemic existing Amtrak service, build High Speed Rail and bring back the 233,000 miles of existing US rail into passenger service.


#6

When governments are organized so as to serve the short-term interests of the privileged few, it's a safe bet that they will not produce policies that serve the long-term interests of the general public, much less the abstract interests of future generations.

Until and unless the hands of the parasite class can be pried away from the levers of power, expecting anything other than more arm waving, empty rhetoric and token gestures on the issue of climate change is an exercise in wishful thinking in the extreme. You may as well expect the fox to suddenly turn vegan, and become the chickens' most faithful friend and protector.


#8

Has anyone seen the climate change experiment that explains what the melting of all ice on the planet would do? It is an easy experiment you can do at home.

Simply take a pan of water and ice cubes and put it on medium heat on the stove with a thermometer in it. As the ice melts, the temperature in the water does not change much, but when all of the ice melts, the temperature rises very fast until boiling. That is what some scientists think will happen to the earth when all the ice melts on it.


#11

Ever the optimist eh Red? The worst that we envision may turn out to be better than we had any right to expect. Looking back in human history, our species doesn't respond well to prolonged stress. We can get damn nasty as the Nazis and Pol Pot have showed. All that you say may turn out to be the case someday - a day too soon at that... but then what?

It is quite possible that a century from now that we would not be able to recognize our world what with the changes we have wrought...

but will we be able to recognize ourselves as still being human is another question!

Our species does not do well living in the midst of hell. We tend to make even hell worse than it needed to have been simply out of force of habit.

Show the children what is being lost and teach them to appreciate it while they can. They may remember you well for your having done so.


#12

The problem is that anything we could/should do requires impoverishing the vast majority of the population. TPTB know this which is why the number 1 reason stated for not complying with reduced emissions by all entities from individuals, to corporations, to Countries is that it would create unreasonable economic hardship.

Unless and until we address the fact that everyone needs money or they must die we will never be able to address AGW.


#14

"Contact" (for Carl Sagan) is one of my all-time favorite movies. The gist of it is that the aliens know what a phuckup the Naked Ape is, and want no more contact (until we grow up!)

The "little scientist" asks: "How may we Contact you again?

And the answer is essentially: "Don't call us, we'll call you". I laughed my arse off at that. So with absolutely no proof of meeting ET, the government roasts her royally. I also like the theme where the corporate and government morons demanded a modification to the plans. They force her to sit in a restraint chair, and it damn near kills her and she unbuckles out of it just in time. Just like the hare-brained scale-ups from a sub reactor on the GE Mark I reactor that engineers warned was never going to work!

GE built it wrong anyway, knowing full-well the torus back up system was unreliable in it's scaled-up size with a tiny light-bulb shaped containment structure sitting on land instead of in a sub with cooling water everywhere. (You already know all that of course; but other readers may not.) The design engineers quit in protest ("The GE Three") but the CEO demanded it be built anyway. The hell with everybody's health!

About 23 of those deathtraps are still running in the USA. The NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczcko quit since the industry was smearing him after he demanded critical safety modifications to them.


#15

Imagine was about what isn't but might be someday. Imagine was about what had never been but should have been. Imagine was a song about what could be. I always think... I imagine what things would be like if John were around today. Imagine!

Is it a coincidence or just typical for doom and gloomers but I also love to laugh but mostly I love to make others laugh. The Inuit tell of a man who had used his last bullet and had failed to kill the bear which was charging down at him in pain and fury. The man knew that his life was over and the wounded bear would now kill him. As the bear bore down on him, the man who was facing certain death began to laugh. He laughed harder than he had ever laughed before in his whole life though he was sure to die. The Inuit believe that only a human being can laugh in the face of death. This was something no animal could ever do.

So my friend ...laugh until the very end and amid the very worst of things to come.

LAUGH!

It is the human thing to do.


#16

It should appear obvious that humanity is at a critical point in its evolution. The planetary climate feedbacks that will bring violent climate instability are also prevalent in human society. Humanities plunge into a technological hell, where technology drives social and political change, reinforces environmental collapse and make the specter of extinction real and probable.

What is needed above all is an understanding that the many social, economic, political and environmental ills are not a multiplicity- but a singularity. A failure, foretold centuries past. A failure, in sum, to not merely embrace human creativity, but use it to define and defend what it truly means to be human.

There are likely "intelligent" civilizations throughout the universe. Over millennium some have thrived, others have become extinct. While the human lineage extends to the living, as well as ancestral lines that stretch far back in time- it is one that can end.

Developed nations, and only a portion of their citizens at that, are living in a prosperity bubble unique in human history. But this prosperity is ravenous, and threatens the very existence of life.

People living in a bubble presume their reality will continue forever. It is difficult to accept that the bubble is ephemeral and will inevitability pop.

This age is not an age of innocence. Humanity will either come to terms with itself or become extinct. Each person will need to realize that the fundamental question she must ask is, "What does it mean to be human?"- and then collectively and consciously strive to build a world no longer predicated on violence.

Humanity must grow up. While technology moves to nano invasion and thought control, endless destruction and more, human beings must fully control, restrict, harness technology in a way consistent within a fair, moral, caring society.

The key first step is the recognition of our profound interdependence and the collective need to democratically define ourselves- what it means to be human. Thus far we have failed.


#17

Neanderthals couldn't handle their quickly changing environment,

either.



#18

Some believe that time has already run out.


#19

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#23

According to the newest research, Neanderthals actually preferred the more temperate climes and Cro Magnon were the ones who could and did go everywhere (ala Dorset and Inuit for example).

The question is becoming did Cro Magnons and their dogs (or semi-domesticated wolves that were becoming dogs) do in the Neanderthals?

AND

... were Neanderthals just too darn tasty for their own good?

Neanderthals were cannibals and Cro Magnon were too but Cro Magnons were more inventive. Spear throwers (atalatyls) and then bows and arrows etc. and were great runners in a symbiotic hunting relationship with their wolf/dog assistants. Neanderthals stayed with muscle power and stabbing spears and took large prey animals at close range.

P.S. Ever see that famous National Geographic Magazine photo piece about a New Guinea headhunter/cannibal (he still kept two human skulls in his house that had been taken by him in tribal warfare) who was now driving a cab for a living? True story.

Yep kiddies human beings are a helluva species going way back!


#24

There are things that should be sung about and laughed about though others may only see something to cry about. There is much to cry about of that there is little doubt but that is not all there is... there is more than only sorrow.

For myself I feel pride that I have walked the walk according to my beliefs and talked the talk too - warning of doom and gloom as always (ever the optimist as it turned out.)

Had I looked back and saw nothing there to have fought against destruction of the environment (that's what we called it then) - against injustice and for human rights as opposed to corporate rights, then I'd regret having been made a fool of for so very long.

Having too little of that which you are most proud of only leaves you with a lot to be ashamed of later.

I wish I had done more and isn't that the human condition for most people. But I never went over to the dark side...lol. No Nixon or Reagan ever got my vote! And Even back then i was accused of saying 'them' too often before our overt oligarchy made the definition of who were the 'them' clear to everyone!

I have always liked to make people laugh. Humans need to laugh just as much as they need to rest. Laughter is like a moment of emotional rest during prolonged stress or suffering. They say laughter heals and I hope they are right about that but all I know is that when people laugh - they feel better! Maybe for only a moment but no matter what they are going through, except perhaps for grief, humans feel a little bit better about everything right after they laugh. Children love to laugh. If you turn to a child and even just say the word 'Laugh!' - they will start to giggle and laugh. Would that we could still be that way as adults. So laugh when you can because it helps you keep strong in the fight ahead to save a planet

... and saving that which we love is always something to be proud of. Fight the good fight and stand proud that you were not a destroyer or a exploiter or a waster of endless beauty for merely a temporary quick buck!

But to sing a song whether silly or otherwise... is a 'gifting' to the hearer. Ever wonder why birds sing? Why what is really only a territorial competition just happens to sound so beautiful that we have come to call some species songbirds?

Maybe God (yes i believe in God indie heretic that I am...lol) thought that since the work needs to be done and the birds must vie for territories... why not make the work be beautiful as it is done? The result was the beautiful songs of birds who are basically yelling to each other that this branch or this tree is mine and stay off! To us it is beautiful nonetheless.

We may never know btw but it may even be beautiful to the birds themselves like two tenors on stage vying to see who can sing most beautifully. They each recognize that their opponent sings beautifully nevertheless.

So laugh and sing those songs you write because there is work to be done and laughter and song feeds the soul and strengthens the mind.

Then go for a quick dip and play pinniped! Lol.

Just watch out for the jellyfish.


#25

Wow,

That BSEE was no small feat. I had an amazing BSEE room mate who also had a Double Major in Nuclear Physics and was a top Edwards AFB test pilot. He could do anything except tie his shoes and relate to people. He was just like talking to Spock. His wife threw him out and he couldn't believe my nice house and hangar on the airpark and joked "Wow, too bad you don't need a room mate."

I was way over my head in a killer mortgage and needed several room mates! He moved in and was soon building his own airplane in my garage. What a facinating guy. There was no computer, no engine, no electronic component or manufacturing process that he didn't thoroughly understand and could fix in a matter of minutes.

But he was a Spock Computer! He'd say things like "the Lucite has a thermal failure on my bathroom fixture." And I'd say; "The Lucite?" Upon discovering that it was the sink handle we'd say to him: "Christ Eric, why didn't you just say plastic?"

He replied, "I know, I know, my wife hated it when I did that....". But he was a fascinating guy. One day as he left for work in the early morning, he said "be outside the house at 11:53." Suddenly at exactly 11;53am, a huge black flying wing with an icecream cone over the cockpit (condensation) buzzed my house at close to the speed of sound. He was a test pilot on the B-2 and so many other exotic machines his resume was like six pages long.

He couldn't understand why my crumby airline wouldn't give him an interview. We looked at his resume and told him: "That's because no chief pilot would ever hire a guy this qualified; you'd take over his job and be the chief pilot in a month! The guy worked at Boeing and trained all the evaluation pilots at USair and even had astronaut wings but couldn't tell us about the secret program it entailed. He later flew the U-2.

He was from Ohio and even looked and talked just like Neil Armstrong. Those were amazing years to be around him, and I've admired EE's ever since. The truth was: He could do anything. His programing friends all became millionaires listening to him when the world-wide-web first came out and if I wasn't flying my arse off, I might have been a partner with them.

Oh well, now I'm just about destitute... If I'd had it to do over again, I'd have got my EE like you did Cindy. Usually, the people who endanger us with Mark I designs are not engineers but greedy CEO's.

Sorry about the war-story.

Cheers!

TJ