Sunday, October 04, 2009

Copenhagen, Again.



"Progress toward high industrialized world emissions cuts remains disappointing during these talks. We're not seeing real advances there," Yvo de Boer, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, told reporters.
That just about sums up all the progress or disappointment at the on going pre Copenhagen discussions taking place at Bangkok, Thailand. The discussions are scheduled to end on October 9, 2009 and are being attended by delegates from 180 different countries who are attempting to nail down a global agreement to cut carbon emissions that will be finalized at Copenhagen. Unfortunately , the differences between the developed world and the developing world are just as wide as they have ever been. Even the targets for the developed world seem to be way out of reach.
Such an outcome should not be surprising to all of those who are familiar with the logic behind the “Tragedy of the Commons”. Each country wants to decrease the cost of its own targets hoping that somebody else will pick up the slack. When each country attempts to lower its own cost by shifting it to another country then the earth suffers because the global targets will be missed and only ruin will result.
The US position has posed the greatest challenge to the participants so far. "Not knowing what the United States is going to be able to bring to Copenhagen really makes it very difficult for other countries in that Kyoto discussion to increase the level of ambition of their numbers," said John Ashe, a senior diplomat who chairs a key U.N. group negotiating expanded Kyoto commitments. So far it does not look very promising for the developed world to agree on the up to 40% carbon emissions cut by 2020 from the 1990 levels that scientists deem to be essential.
To make things even more complicated the developing nations refuse to accept anything less than a 40% cut by the developed world in addition to financial transfers that do not appear to be forthcoming. As you can see both sides are playing a game of chicken when the health of the entire planet is at stake.

8 comments:

Caroline Craig said...

We've got a lot to think about here. Best case scenario, everyone has their poker face on until Copenhagen. Maybe, just maybe, when December rolls around, our leaders and representatives will make the right choices needed to bring us into the future. Senators Kerry and Boxer have finally introduced some climate change legislation, although that is not expected to be ready until next year (http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/09/28/28climatewire-boxer-kerry-set-to-introduce-climate-bill-in-43844.html).
Worst case scenario, the limits will be set so low that virtually nothing will be accomplished and all of the big players will not step up to the late. The United States will once again be blamed for the worst of what's happening, and rightly so. If it is true that the only thing that will save us is a complete paradigm shift, I don't know if I can say that I'm confident that we're heading in the right direction.
Frankly, this is all getting more and more ridiculous. People are frustrated. It is scary to have the planet's fate in the hands of these few. If this administration can't make things happen, I don't know who will. Nader for 2012?

Caroline Craig said...

I'd like to add that the US, although totally vital in negotiations, is not the only player in this game.
This is an article discussing some of the instances of corruption in developing countries that are also contributing to the lack of commitment to Copenhagen promises. Even if the US does step up, the problems faced in developing countries pose serious, serious hurdles in the years ahead.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/05/un-forest-protection/print

Jennifer Kozubek said...

very effective video...would be wise to forward it along...

as for Copenhagen...it is true that every nation in attendance is going to be looking at the United States to be bold and take the risks that come along with setting high standards...but honestly how does any developed nation expect the U.S. to manage at such a low point...with the nation's deficits how are we to invest in alternatives when we can't pay for it?? i guess we could always borrow more money from China... they must be doing well financially with their new record breaking investments in crude oil... :(

ghassan karam said...

Caroline,
Nader will be considered too old in 2012. I have supported his candidacy twice because he is the only one who was willing to tell it like it is/was , you get the picture lol.

ghassan karam said...

Caroline, I have just learned that Ralph Nader has a new book coming out, its a fiction, about how the super rich are our only hope. I am not sure what to make out of this. I think that I need to give it some more thought.

Jose Arredondo said...

Clearly, it is no longer about whether climate change is true or false. It is now whether or not we can take the initiative in mitigating the outcome. Maybe it is too late to completely prevent climate change but its not too late to reduce its damage. If we do nothing and it turns out to be true, the outcome will be catastrophic. No more proof is needed only convincing the leaders of the developed and developing nations. Unfortunately that is the hardest part. Hopefully Coppenhagan turns out to be much better than expected.

Anonymous said...

Wake up foolish people!

The very real item that is left out of this Row/Column graph is that No action taken by mankind can/will change the Climate of the Earth. To propose as much is arrogant beyond reproach. Try to block out the Sun on a cloudless day or put a cap on any Volcano anywhere. Better yet let's all stop global plate tectonics because together with volcanoes that generates some serious heat. Ridiculous Right? Solar activity is the key component in dictating the temperature of the Earth, not CO2 content. Methane, the gas produced by all our land fills that is freely escaping into the atmosphere, has ten times more warming effect than CO2 does.

A brief side note:
Between 1941 and 1976 the Earth went through a GLOBAL COOLING CYCLE. How did this happen you ask? Reduced Solar activity. That is a documented fact.

Now back to our previously scheduled educational program.

The only outcome of "Taking Action" is global financial enslavement for all EXCEPT the wealthiest "Citizens" of the NGO. You are proposing Global Enslavement for a fictional reason put forth by our supposed leaders that is further placated by ignorance and "Man Made Global Warming" propaganda. Do you think for 1 minute that those same leaders will be governed by this agreement.

This is just like the National Health Care debate. Our leaders who are voting to impose a "public option" are themselves excluded from participation. You however will not have such luxury of choice. Meanwhile as you are all bickering about liberal vs. conservative values/motives they together sign a document to abolish the "Constitution of the United States of America", the "Copenhagen Treaty". The "Kyoto Treaty" was a first blush at imposing global governance.

Read Ayn Rand "Atlas Shrugged" and you will begin to get the picture of what's going on here.

Nader for Prez in 2012?
You do not even realize that we lost our right to vote for a President a long, long time ago.

I do not expect this post to stick around long... (unpopular!)

Rebecca said...

Hi, I am new here, but, not to caring for and about the environment. At a national and global standpoint, I feel we need to consider our choices.
Do we believe in or support Global Warming as such? Well, I for one, think the evidence is overwhelmingly for such.
However, that said, I also support the opposition to believe and act as they choose. Just know what it is you are supporting, not supporting.
I have one question:
If someone walked up to you tomorrow and said: if we don't do something to stop the destruction of the Globe, we will anniliate ourselves in less than 10 years. What would you do?
A: Do own research but change lifestyle to support a better environment.
B: Do nothing, after all, we have lasted this many years already, haven't we?
C. Believe it, support it and do my utmost best to sustain it.
D. I may have some misgivings, but, I would do my part and do my research.
E. None of the above.
Think about it? Yes, global warming or better put, weather change is a natural process, but, mankind's adding to the mix pollutants such as O2's is not.
Would you want to take that chance? What would it hurt to change a little corner of the world? That corner, being yours.:)
Thanks,
Becky Montena