Wednesday, December 16, 2009

COP15 Copenhagen — What the...

Poorer nations walk out yesterday because they are afraid that Kyoto will be abandoned, India tell Kevin Rudd he is the ayatollah for his drive to abandon Kyoto in favour of a new deal; an African representative says his actions are those of a climate change sceptic. The US is balking at prematurely cutting emissions. Protesters clash outside. Two separate deals are now mooted. No takers. Chairperson of the conference, Connie Hedegaard of Denmark, resigns. Many complained there was no progress. She is also fighting with her prime minster. With time running out and little progress, the best headline the official website can come up with is "COP15 among the largest summits in the world ever" — Great, imagine the carbon footprint being the only outcome. Confusion reigns. There are no agreements on size of emissions cuts; and their is no real money on the table to help smaller nations mitigate this. Nor is there a plan. The money that is on the table has not moved the Nigerian representative. The Tuvalu representative, Stephen Fry, publicly cried for his beloved sinking country yesterday. Today he stood up and said that the Titanic is sinking, and it's time to deploy the lifeboats, not reconvene more meetings. China has said they won't take any money for mitigation from the developed world - it should go to poorer nations. Good on them. Danish PM has taken over the Chair to try and get things on track, but maybe that was the plan from the start as the heads of states start arriving. No journalist seems to know. Compromise deal keeping elements of Kyoto is now said to be waiting in the wings.

That's after nine days.

And there are only three days to go...


windcatcher said...

Global Warming-IS- Human / Industrial Pollution
As you know, scientist and science itself has been slandered with misinformation and ridiculed in advance of the talks. (A favored, repeated, and effective, right wing tactic).
Is Global Warming related to human/ industrial pollution? The atmosphere seems to be an arbitrary subject right now because of the propaganda effort to confuse the linkage between burning of fossil fuels and its effect on the atmosphere.
The real question is- are we going to put pandering ahead of science in addressing and acting upon human/industrial pollution now and in the future?
The best indisputable SCIENCE example that should be a test model and the #1 item on the Copenhagen Agenda would be the toxic plastic waste dump, the size of Texas, 900 miles off of the United States and Canadian West Coast.
That is a Big SCIENCE problem with no dedicated U.S SCIENCE and INNOVATION DEPARTMENT to address the issue. The U.S (or Canada) has not even sent out a SCIENCE research vessel to evaluate this ecological disaster; neither country wants to take the responsibility for the industrial/human pollution or even acknowledge its existence.
No Profit-No Action!-No SCIENCE! Will the World Trade Organization and the New Industrial World Order address the issue? Where is their World SCIENCE Department? Advancement in SCIENCE would outmode the use of fossil fuels but the U.S has not funded innovative SCIENCE since 2001.
Can the problem be solved with SCIENCE? Probably so, Americans are very ingenious primarily because we were raised with the compliments of Freedom and Democracy and are free thinking individuals. We could probably figure a way to clean up the mess and possibly make a profit doing so.
We can do nothing until we have a funded DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE that is free to address SCIENCE and to develop the advancement of SCIENCE. (Yes, for the sake of humanity; SCIENCE FIRST-PANDERING SECOND.)

Anonymous said...

The unofficial COP15 souvenir T-shirt says it all:

Clean Up Australia said...

Arguably one of the most important meetings of nations about the health of the planet that we’ll witness in our lifetime is now taking place in Copenhagen. Leaders from the developing and developed world, including Australia, have descended on the Danish capital to thrash out a global strategy to deal with climate change.

It is already clear that a binding global agreement with firm targets for action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will not be reached at this meeting. The obvious disappointment about this must now be turned to a renewed resolve to forge an agreement in 2010 that achieves the ultimate goal – to reduce and stabilise greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Let’s be clear about the need for action. The experts on climate change are the scientists who study it. And the consensus of qualified climate change scientists around the world is that the debate about it being real or not ended years ago.

The challenge now for the global community is how to cut 14 billion tonnes of greenhouse emissions by 2020. We have agreement on how to cut the first 8 billion tonnes, now the question is how to cut the remaining 6 billion.

The highly politicised climate change dispute in Australia is just a distraction to this global reality. We’ve heard much discussion about what role, if any, Australia should play in tackling climate change. Kevin Rudd planned to go to Copenhagen armed with Australia’s economic-based plan to tackle the problem – the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) – but political jockeying oiled by the well funded and orchestrated sceptics camp, in bed with industry determined to avoid responsibility, turned the debate into something akin to a comic tragedy.

As a result, we stalled on setting a market price for carbon.

We stalled the economic viability and vast commercial opportunities in the renewable energy market in Australia.

We stalled the potential for local innovation and green jobs.

And while the opening day of the Copenhagen meeting saw the Danish Prime Minister describe the event as “an opportunity the world cannot afford to miss”, back in Australia we saw more evidence of the intention to continue the stalling tactics from the new Opposition leader, embellishing claims that somehow climate change is not real.

This despite well recorded global temperature rises for the last three decades.

Try telling the people of the Torres Strait islands who are experiencing more frequent king tide inundation that their world is not changing, or explain to the Australians who have suffered through natural disasters of unprecedented intensity that the predictions that these sort of events will become more frequent is something we can ignore.

Try telling the people of the Maldives or Tuvalu they are just seeing things when they raise further alarm that their ancestral lands are disappearing from beneath them as sea levels continue to rise.

The bottom line is that climate change is real – we’re already seeing the warning signs of what is certain to become our reality.

To prevent warming of more than 2°C – the threshold many scientists see as dangerous – atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases cannot exceed 450 parts per million (ppm). This will require cutting annual emissions by at least 30 billion tons (30 gigatons) by 2030, or roughly what the world emits today.

The task is as ambitious as it is essential; continuing with “business as usual” is likely to lead to catastrophic and irreversible consequences.

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