Posted on December 7th, 2010 3 comments
We are at the very cusp of the edge of the verge of a swirling vortex of Climate Chaos, and all the United States of America can think about is protecting their business interests at the Cancun United Nations talks.
Yes, there can be “technology transfer” from the US to “emerging economies” (read : China), but “intellectual property rights”, as owned by private companies, must be protected.
Yes, there can be “Climate finance” from the USA to the Least Developed Countries (read : Long Dirt-poor Colonies), but the banks need to get their pound of flesh profit, so the money will be in the form of loans.
Yes, there can be “Reduced Deforestation” (what ? Not “totally reduced deforestation” ?), as long as American firms can still import a certain amount of tropical and sub-tropical wood for making toilet paper and construction beams.
Yes, there can be commitments to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, but the paranoid Americanos want to enforce satellite verification and inspection teams for monitoring – yet more business opportunities.
China (and Russian and India and Brazil) are never going to agree all this. This is V. O. C. territory – on the Verge of Chaos.
From an exchange on the MediaLens Message Board :-
“Cancun Climate Talks : Get a grip or we are all V. O. C. K. D…You know – as in D. I. S. C. O.”
“Really, we are all seriously V. O. C. K. D. unless somehow the world’s energy companies are convinced to stop mining”
“Climate Change Igniting Deep Peatland Fires, Study Says…Climate change is causing Alaskan wildfires to burn more fiercely, liberating vast stores of soil-based carbon dioxide that will further accelerate warming, a new study has found…“There is no way these systems are serving as a net carbon sink anymore”…”
“Personally, I blame the Americans. Well, there’s got to be *someone* to blame, hasn’t there ?”
To which there was this telling reply :-
“Why do people continue to believe international talks intended to develop meaningful treaties are the appropriate response to climate change?”
And so we tip into the grip of Vortex of Utter Chaos…
Posted on December 6th, 2010 No comments
Of all the macroeconomic proposals put forward over the last two decades for consideration by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the most ridiculous has to be Carbon Trading.
To imagine that a market can be created for something that the industrialised country economies are highly dependent on is an hallucination.
Carbon Dioxide emissions are in lock-step with economic growth, the creation of liquidity, if not wealth. To try to price Carbon Dioxide emissions would be to attempt to give a negative value to a positive commodity. It just won’t work. Nobody will want to buy it. And if they’re forced to buy it, they won’t want to pay much for it. And nobody can think of a way to force the developed countries to pay for their Carbon Dioxide emissions.
Even before the “serious” negotiating week of Cancun begins, the Kyoto Protocol has been pronounced dead on arrival :-
Nobody ever said the “KP” was perfect – it only committed countries to a very small level of emissions cuts. Some commitment ! Few of the countries in the KP have taken their responsibilities to cut emissions seriously. And if they have, they’ve just outsourced them to China.
But the Son-of-Kyoto Post-Kyoto Protocol Protocol could have been something, you know, if the industrialised countries admitted they needed to back down significantly from rising and large emissions profiles – if developed nations had not tried to lean on the “flexible mechanisms” that effectively legalised offsetting their emissions with emissions reductions in other peoples’ countries.
It appears from Wikileaks that the United States of America have been scuppering the United Nations’s best efforts :-
“Secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed new details about how the United States manipulated last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen. The cables show how the United States sought dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming, how financial and other aid was used by countries to gain political backing, and how the United States mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the “Copenhagen Accord.”"
It wasn’t China’s fault, (or only China’s fault) as Mark Lynas and many other commentators have asserted :-
If, as reports state, the United States are continuing to use any leverage they can to push countries to accept the doomed Copenhagen Accord, there can be no progress on Climate Change.
We may have just found the real Climategate.
You cannot buy or sell the atmosphere.
There is only one solution – that is to displace High Carbon Energy with Low Carbon Energy and that means goodbye to Tar Sands, Shale Oil, Tight Gas, deepwater Petroleum, dirty Petroleum, Coal, Coal-to-Liquids, anything that you can dig out of the ground and burn.
We have to stop mining for energy.
And that has serious implications for a number of international energy corporations and state energy enterprises.
Unless this basic issue is addressed, we are all heading for hell and high water.
The Climate Change talks have been window dressing for unworkable hypothetical macroeconomic policies, and continue to reduce chair people to tears :-Be Prepared, Big Picture, Climate Change, Coal Hell, Emissions Impossible, Energy Change, Fossilised Fuels, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Major Shift, Media, No Pressure, Oil Change, Peak Emissions, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Social Change, Tarred Sands Bali, Beyond Petroleum, Canada, Cancun, Christiana Figueres, Climategate, coal, Coal-to-Liquids, Copenhagen, Deepwater, Julian Assange, Petroleum, shale gas, shale oil, Tar Sands, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United States, United States of America, Wikileaks, Yvo de Boer
Posted on December 2nd, 2010 No comments
Posted on November 30th, 2010 No comments
It’s not that developing countries and emerging economies are being picky. The problem lies with the United States of America, desperate to cling on to its geopolitical leverage :-
“U.S. Call to Preserve Copenhagen Accord Puts Climate Conference on Edge : By Stacy Feldman at SolveClimate : Mon Nov 29, 2010 : Many poor countries want to scrap the three-page Copenhagen agreement that the U.S. wants to preserve : CANCUN, MEXICO — The United States said Monday it would not back down on its plan to turn the unpopular Copenhagen Accord into a final global warming deal, setting the first day of already fragile UN climate talks in Cancun on edge. “What we’re seeking here in Cancun is a balanced package of decisions that would build on this agreement … [and] preserve the balance of the accord,” Jonathan Pershing, lead U.S. climate negotiator in Cancun, told reporters at the talks…”
“Cancún climate change summit: America plays tough : US adopts all-or-nothing position in Cancún, fuelling speculation of a walk-out if developing countries do not meet its demands : Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 November 2010 : America has adopted a tough all-or-nothing position at the Cancún climate change summit, fuelling speculation of a walk-out if developing countries do not meet its demands. At the opening of the talks at Cancún, the US climate negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, made clear America wanted a “balanced package” from the summit. That’s diplomatic speak for a deal that would couple the core issues for the developing world – agreement on climate finance, technology, deforestation – with US demands for emissions actions from emerging economies and a verifiable system of accounting for those cuts. In a briefing with foreign journalists in Washington, the chief climate envoy, Todd Stern, was blunt. “We’re either going to see progress across the range of issues or we’re not going to see much progress,” said Stern. “We’re not going to race forward on three issues and take a first step on other important ones. We’re going to have to get them all moving at a similar pace.” In the run-up to the Cancún talks, Stern has said repeatedly that America will not budge from its insistence that fast-emerging economies such as India and China commit to reducing emissions and to an inspection process that will verify those actions. The hard line – which some in Washington have seen as ritual diplomatic posturing – has fuelled speculation that the Obama administration could be prepared to walk out of the Cancún talks…”
An “inspection process” ? Agreeing to the same use of satellite snooping and the threat of the penalties of economic sanctions as applied to the fabled Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and the current pincer on Iran ?
I can’t quite see China agreeing to that.
If we’re thinking about paranoia, who should be monitoring whom ?
The Clean Development Mechanism should have been more closely monitored, but it wasn’t, and it’s collapsed in a big pile – fake credits, false accreditation, poor success rate. Where has the verification process been, there ?
New schemes for “climate finance” will essentially involve creating debt for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation projects in developing and emerging economies. Why more debt ? To prop up the ailing industrialised economies. And allow the Bank sharks to feed.
And “technology transfer” ? That’s all about intellectual property rights – America owning all the rights, and China and India and so on owning nothing, of course. What great technologies have parasitical American companies been keeping hidden away up their sleeves to sell to the Chinese under a Climate deal ? Or are they just rubbish deals, like expensive and untested Carbon Capture and Storage ?
“Deforestation” ? Virtually all proposed schemes under the REDD banner (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) include an element of emissions trading – just the kind of offsetting that large, dirty American companies want to buy to justify carrying on with Business As Usual. Protecting the rainforests ? Nah – just finding another way to make money for the Carbon Traders, and protect the Oil, Gas and Coal industries of the industrialised regions.
What is needed is for the industrialised nations to commit to domestic emissions reductions, not continued attempts to coerce other countries to make cuts that can be traded.
Nobody has learned anything in the last year. The same ridiculous non-options are on the table, and nobody’s biting.Advancing Africa, Bait & Switch, Big Picture, Carbon Commodities, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Corporate Pressure, Emissions Impossible, Energy Change, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Global Warming, Green Investment, Money Sings, No Pressure, Peace not War, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Sustainable Deferment, Technological Sideshow, Tree Family, Unutterably Useless, Utter Futility, Vain Hope Cancun, Clean Development Mechanism, Climate Finance, Climate Negotiations, Climate Talks, Mexico, REDD, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United States of America, US, USA
Posted on November 29th, 2010 No comments
The United Nations have gathered in Cancun, Mexico, for the annual Climate Change negotiations. It’s only the first day, but already the talk is of compromise :-
“Cancún hears call for ‘tapestry of compromise’ : By Fiona Harvey in London : November 29 2010 : Governments meeting to negotiate an agreement on global warming this week must learn to compromise, the UN’s top official on climate change said. Christiana Figueres told the opening meeting of the talks, being held in Cancún, Mexico, that only through giving up entrenched positions could countries at the talks hope to find common ground. “A tapestry with holes will not work,” she told officials from more than 180 countries. “The holes can only be filled with compromise.” … For the UN, therefore, Cancún is a test of its ability to carry forward the negotiations, which have been taking place for two decades. Officials are also hoping to make progress on vital issues – such as financial assistance for poor countries to cut their emissions and adapt to the effects of global warming – and a possible deal on preserving the world’s forests…”
Hmm. Let’s take a quick look at what these two highlighted proposals are :-
1. “…financial assistance for poor countries to cut their emissions…”
This is being worked up in a bunch of vehicles, including the initiative that David Cameron writes so emotionally about, the Capital Markets Climate Initiative :-
“Use the profit motive to fight climate change : The prime minister argues that there are huge gains to be made from a green economy : David Cameron, The Observer, Sunday 28 November 2010 : …I passionately believe that by recasting the argument for action on climate change away from the language of threats and punishments and into positive, profit-making terms, we can have a much wider impact. That’s why this government has set up the Capital Markets Climate Initiative – to help trigger a new wave of green investment in emerging economies and make the City of London the global capital of the fast-growing green investment sector…”
So, it’s not donations, or even grants or other forms of aid – it’s debt – debt that’s no longer possible to create in the Credit Crunched developed nations.
It’s probably not quite what Nicholas Stern was thinking of when he said that $100 billion needs to be made available to the Global South in the next decade for Adaptation to Climate Change.
It’s certainly not the redistribution of global wealth that the rightwingers fear from the great “eco-socialist conspiracy”.
It’s an attempt to shore up the corroding economies of the Global North by putting the Global South into further debt.
Score : 0 out of 20.
2. “…a possible deal on preserving the world’s forests…”
This is the policy proposal known as REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, which most people translate as meaning (a) cut down some of the forest for economic purposes in order to (b) protect the rest.
I mean, how likely is that to work ?
Plus, it could become a vehicle to justify the continued existence of the oil and gas industry :-
“Oil companies and banks will profit from UN forest protection scheme : Redd scheme designed to prevent deforestation but critics call it ‘privatisation’ of natural resources : John Vidal, environment editor, in Cancun, guardian.co.uk, Sunday 28 November 2010 : Some of the world’s largest oil, mining, car and gas corporations will make hundreds of millions of dollars from a UN-backed forest protection scheme, according to a new report from the Friends of the Earth International…”
Score : -40 out of a possible 20
With these kind of compromises on the table, do you think the Global South will be any more willing to sign onto any “Accord” any more than they were at Copenhagen ?
Unless and until corporate interests are removed from the United Nations Climate Change treaty, the world’s poorest, their habitats are our futures are being betrayed.Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Burning Money, Carbon Commodities, Climate Change, Corporate Pressure, Divide & Rule, Emissions Impossible, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Global Warming, Money Sings, Political Nightmare, Social Chaos, Tree Family, Unutterably Useless, Utter Futility, Vain Hope Cancun, Capital Markets, Capital Markets Climate Initiative, Carbon Capitalism, Casino Capitalism, Climate Change, Climate Negotiations, Crisis Capitalism, David Cameron, drop the debt, Global Debt, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Mexico, Nicholas Stern, REDD, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Turbo Capitalism, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Chamge
Posted on October 7th, 2010 No comments
Where’s Climate Change at ?
Behind closed doors. Swept under the mat.
I think a number of people are coming to terms with the fact that carbon pricing cannot possibly sort the problem of emissions. The only way forward is regulation, legislation, rules, laws.
So, where are the policymakers ? And what are they saying ?Carbon Commodities, Climate Change, Global Warming, Obamawatch, Political Nightmare Cameron, Carbon Pricing, Carbon Taxation, China, Climate Change, Environmental Policy, Environmental taxation, Figueres, gas tax, gas taxes, Gillard, Global Warming, green policy, Green taxes, laws, legislation, Obama, oil tax, oil taxes, petroleum tax, petroleum taxes, policy, regulations, rules, UNFCCC
Posted on September 23rd, 2010 No comments
George Monbiot looks back in regret at Copenhagen :-
“…The closer it comes, the worse it looks. The best outcome anyone now expects from December’s climate summit in Mexico is that some delegates might stay awake during the meetings. When talks fail once, as they did in Copenhagen, governments lose interest. They don’t want to be associated with failure, they don’t want to pour time and energy into a broken process. Nine years after the world trade negotiations moved to Mexico after failing in Qatar, they remain in diplomatic limbo. Nothing in the preparations for the climate talks suggests any other outcome…”
Copenhagen was never seriously going to deliver, and I don’t think most of the protesters on the streets in Copenhagen thought so. Activist demands, including from activist nations, were always going to be ignored, The solutions really didn’t come to the conference, and the problems really lay elsewhere.
But there’s no need to utterly despair, George !Bait & Switch, Be Prepared, Climate Change, Corporate Pressure, Cost Effective, Delay and Deny, Divide & Rule, Global Singeing, Global Warming, Media, Peace not War, Political Nightmare, Protest & Survive, Public Relations, Regulatory Ultimatum, Science Rules, Screaming Panic, Social Change, The Data, Uncategorized, Unsolicited Advice & Guidance, Unutterably Useless, Utter Futility, Vain Hope, Vote Loser Cancun, Climate Change, Climate Change Journalism, Climate Change reporting, Climate Change Science, come out of her my people, Copenhagen, David Cromwell, David Edwards, deflated, Denmark, depression, depressive, despair, failure, feelings of failure, Fred Pearce, George Monbiot, Media, MediaLens, Mexico, new media, old media, political backburner, political stalemate, Richard Black, Roger Harrabin, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on September 2nd, 2010 No comments
[ UPDATE FROM JOABBESS.COM : GOOD LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION : http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/08/ipcc-report-card/ AND http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100831/full/467014a.html AND http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/ipcc-review-by-interacademy-council-iac/ AND http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2010/100830_IPCC.doc.htm AND THE SLIGHTLY NEGATIVE http://www.economist.com/node/16941153?story_id=16941153 ]
Entropy versus Order – the central battle of the Universe.
Also the struggle within the realm of Science, trying to make global sense out of a very disparate, creative spectrum of study on Climate Change.
Here, at the very hub, we find the bubble of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC – a wide variety of people with a wide variety of knowledge and viewpoints all trying to establish a common perspective.
The management of this enterprise has been under review, and thought to be found partially wanting :-
“InterAcademy Council Report Recommends Fundamental Reform of IPCC Management Structure : UNITED NATIONS — The process used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to produce its periodic assessment reports has been successful overall, but IPCC needs to fundamentally reform its management structure and strengthen its procedures to handle ever larger and increasingly complex climate assessments as well as the more intense public scrutiny coming from a world grappling with how best to respond to climate change, says a new report from the InterAcademy Council (IAC), an Amsterdam-based organization of the world’s science academies. “Operating under the public microscope the way IPCC does requires strong leadership, the continued and enthusiastic participation of distinguished scientists, an ability to adapt, and a commitment to openness if the value of these assessments to society is to be maintained,” said Harold T. Shapiro, president emeritus and professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University in the United States and chair of the committee that wrote the report. Roseanne Diab, executive officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa and professor emeritus of environmental sciences and honorary senior research associate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, served as vice chair of the committee, which included experts from several countries and a variety of disciplines…These assessment reports have gained IPCC much respect including a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. However, amid an increasingly intense public debate about the science of climate change and costs of curbing it, IPCC has come under closer scrutiny, and controversies have erupted over its perceived impartiality toward climate policy and the accuracy of its reports. This prompted U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC chair Rajendra K. Pachauri to issue a letter on March 10 this year requesting that the IAC review IPCC and recommend ways to strengthen the processes and procedures by which future assessments are prepared…”Climate Change, Global Warming, Media, Science Rules Climate Change Science, Climate Science, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, George Monbiot, IAC, Inter-Academy Council, InterAcademy Council, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, Myles Allen, Rajendra Pachauri, Science, The Guardian, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on August 18th, 2010 1 comment
Dr Judith Curry insists, quite correctly, that we should take uncertainties into account when deciding Climate Change policy.
Yet I think our respective positions probably strongly differ on which way we weight the uncertainties.
I strongly favour the Precautionary Principle, implemented Early, making it the “Early Precautionary Principle”.
One of the reasons I come down on this end of the spectrum of possible responses to uncertainties is that there are quite a spectrum of unknowns that form the pillars of those uncertainties.
After all, if we don’t know a term in an equation, how can we possibly calculate anything meaningful with any kind of confidence ?
How can anybody feel safe and secure not knowing for certain what the actual equilibrium Climate Sensitivity amounts to ? The response of the Earth’s Climate system to extra airborne Carbon Dioxide-forced temperature rise is a number that is becoming firmer, but there are error bars. Surely this points to conservatism in emissions ?
Moreover, we could be well advised to cut back on Fossil Fuel burning not just to protect the Climate, but to save the Economy. How can we pursue our normal everyday Carbon-emitting lives not knowing how much Fossil Fuel there is left in the ground that can be inexpensively mined ?
How can we know the order of magnitude of Fossil Fuels left to extract ? And how can we know what kind of impact this will have on the Climate ?Big Picture, Climate Change, Emissions Impossible, Fossilised Fuels, Global Warming, Peak Oil, Realistic Models, Regulatory Ultimatum, Resource Curse, Science Rules, The Data, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas Climate Change, David Rutledge, Dr Judith Curry, Fossil Fuels, Global Warming, IPCC, Judith Curry, Malte Meinshausen, Professor David Rutledge, UNFCCC
Posted on August 7th, 2010 No comments
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has just held its regular half yearly conference to further the working parties of the Kyoto Protocol :-
A number of Press commentators have been critical of proceedings, indicating that there has not been much progress at Bonn, and in fact the conference could show some ground having been lost :-Advancing Africa, Big Picture, British Sea Power, Burning Money, Carbon Commodities, Carbon Rationing, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Cost Effective, Delay and Deny, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Extreme Weather, Global Warming, Low Carbon Life, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Social Change, Solar Sunrise, Utter Futility, Vain Hope, Wind of Fortune Aubrey Meyer, C & C, C&C, Christian Figueres, Contraction & Convergence, Contraction and Convergence, Economy, Energy, GCI, Global Commons Institute, Green Energy, Kyoto Protocol, M & A, M&A, Mitigation & Adaptation, Mitigation and Adaptation, Renewable Energy, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on August 3rd, 2010 1 comment
20 June 2010
Linking Climate Change to Health
During the first few years of my childhood education, I used to walk to and from the school alongside the road that was originally the main highway between London and Cambridge, England.
At that time, the density of cars in that part of town rose dramatically, as did the number of vehicles idling in long traffic jams, and I remember just how much of an impact it had on the air quality, particularly in summer.
This was despite the fact that the road was flanked by a large number of trees, areas of grass and bushes, and even ponds.
My recollection is that what had originally been a pleasant walking route became unbearable and toxic.
One day, I hope that the internal combustion engine is virtually outlawed, so that urban people can start to get some clean air.
At a recent UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) conference, the Claverton Energy Research Group invited Dr Mark A. Delucchi of the University of California at Davis to speak on the “Transportation in a World Based 100% on Wind, Water and Solar Power”, a piece of work that he did in collaboration with Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at Stanford University :-
This chart from the presentation gives a comparison between BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) with the electricity coming from a variety of sources; against internal combustion engine vehicles, either running on two kinds of BioEthanol (E85) or standard Gasoline.Advancing Africa, Climate Change, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Global Warming, Health Impacts, Low Carbon Life, Regulatory Ultimatum, Science Rules, Social Change, The Data, Toxic Hazard baby steps, Black Carbon, Christiana Figueres, Mark Delucchi, Mark Jacobson, Stacy Jackson, Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis, UNFCCC
Posted on July 31st, 2010 No comments
20 June 2010
Linking Climate Change to other Environmental Problems
The Greenhouse Gas Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from humankind’s activities is accumulating very rapidly in the Atmosphere, and this is why the international Climate Change negotiations and Climate Change Science focus on it so heavily.
The warming response of the Earth’s surface correlates strongly with the rise in Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere, so Global Warming can be treated almost entirely as the Earth system’s reaction to rising levels of this one gas.
Other Greenhouse Gases, such as Methane (CH4) and high level water vapour (H2O), are increasing in line with the rise in Carbon Dioxide.
Logic and experiment dictates that they are doing this in response to the rise in Carbon Dioxide, so their rise is a feedback effect in the Earth system – a reaction to rising temperatures – caused by the warming due to increasing airborne Carbon Dioxide.
However, Carbon Dioxide is not the only Greenhouse Gas that humankind is pumping into the Atmosphere in excess of natural levels – a rather famous example being that growing numbers of livestock are belching Methane that is adding to the up-tick on concentrations of Methane in the Atmosphere.
There are still high levels of various gaseous industrial pollution, some of which is in the form of Greenhouse Gases.
In addition, Global Warming is not the only environmental problem, although it is exacerbating other environmental problems.
Climate Change is an added stressor on natural habitats that are being degraded by pollution, bad land management and deforestation.
It seems obvious to take a step back to the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 and mesh together once more the environmental threads of the United Nations conventions : on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Desertification.Acid Ocean, Big Picture, Climate Change, Disturbing Trends, Emissions Impossible, Environmental Howzat, Global Warming, Regulatory Ultimatum, Science Rules, The Data, Toxic Hazard Acid Ocean, acid rain, agricultural, agriculture, agrochemicals, Amazon, Biodiesel, BioEnergy, Biomass, Brazil, Carbon Sinks, Carbon Stores, chemical, chemical industry, Climate Change, combination problem, complexity, crosslinking, dead zones, environment, environmental, Environmental Policy, Erik M. Conway, factors, farming, fertilisers, Global Warming, Indonesia, industrial, interactions, interrelationships, Kyoto, Kyoto Procotol, linking, Malaysia, Merchants of Doubt, Montreal, Montreal Protocol, Naomi Oreskes, oxygen, ozone depletion, palm oil, pesticides, petrochemicals, phytoplankton, rainforest, run-off, stressor, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, vectors
Posted on July 24th, 2010 No comments
File under : “That’s never going to ever happen if the United States of America have anything at all to do with it”.
The illustrious German Advisory Council on Global Change, the WBGU, or “Wissenschaftliche Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveraenderungen” in longhand, have done some excellent work on proposals for a global Carbon framework.
As part of their 2009 paper entitled in English “Solving the climate dilemma: The budget approach” they came to some useful conclusions, but also some startlingly unworkable recommendations :-Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Burning Money, Carbon Commodities, Carbon Rationing, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Emissions Impossible, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Political Nightmare, Realistic Models, Regulatory Ultimatum, Vain Hope America, Aubrey Meyer, C & C, C&C, Carbon Markets, Carbon Trading, CERs, Certified Emissions Reductions, Clean Development Mechanism, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Contraction and Convergence, Copenhagen Accord, emissions rights, equity, ethical, ethical argument, ethics, GCI, GDRs, Global Commons Institute, Global Warming, grandfathering, Greenhouse Development Rights, immoral, Kyoto Protocol, moral, moral argument, morality, morals, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United States of America, USA, WBGU
Posted on July 22nd, 2010 No comments
Really groovy global policy on Climate Change would be more clever and more accurate than assumptions on averages that were foundational to the hep cats who wrote the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Kyoto Protocol.
Why keep up the narrative that there are “developing” nations and “developed” nations ? Some formerly “developing” nations have emissions profiles quite like some “developed” nations today.
Also, why are we taking national averages ? There is stratification of society : the urban and merchant classes in many countries have a much higher Carbon Dioxide emissions count than the poorest in society, even if the countries are wealthy on average.
The wealthy are high emitters, no matter what region of the world they come from. Read the rest of this entry »Advancing Africa, Big Picture, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Emissions Impossible, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Political Nightmare, Realistic Models, Regulatory Ultimatum, Social Change, The Data Kyoto, Kyoto Protocol, Pacala, Professor Robert Socolow, Professor Stephen Pacala, Robert Socolow, Socolow, Stephen Pacala, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on July 22nd, 2010 No comments
Much as, in principle, progress could be made in having an 80% majority push through commitments on Global Warming, as part of the United Nations Climate Change negotiations process, some commentators feel highly uneasy that important voices from the international community, based around the emerging Science, could be drowned out by these “big hitters” :-
“July 19-20 2010 : The first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial will bring together ministers and stakeholders from more than 20 countries to collaborate on policies and programs that accelerate the world’s transition to clean energy technologies.”
“UN in fresh bid to salvage international deal on climate change : Campaigners welcome plans to amend the way Kyoto protocol resolutions are passed : The Guardian, Thursday 22 July 2010…If the UN’s [United Nations] suggestions are adopted, decisions will be forced through if four-fifths of the protocol vote in favour, after all efforts to reach agreement by consensus have been exhausted. The amendments would come into force after six months…”It is surprising and a big, big deal that the UN is suggesting such considerable reforms as a change in the consensus rules,” said [Mark] Lynas…In a further attempt to galvanise the climate change body into motion, the UN also suggested that countries could be forced to opt out of any amendments, as opposed to the current arrangement whereby they must explicitly agree to any decisions tabled…The amendment, which will be presented in Bonn in August, reads: “An amendment would enter into force after a certain period has elapsed following its adoption, except for those parties that have notified the depositary that they cannot accept the amendment.”…But Lynas warned that any changes to the current consensus situation would cause “fury, angst and consternation”. It could, he said, exacerbate the deep mistrust between rich and poor countries that has already bedevilled the global climate talks.”… Read the rest of this entry »Acid Ocean, Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Carbon Commodities, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Corporate Pressure, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Science Rules, Solar Sunrise, The Data, Zero Net Bolivia, C & C, C&C, Cancun, Climate Change, Climate Change Science, Climate Science, Contract and Converge, Contraction and Convergence, COP, COP/MOP, Copenhagen, Framework, Global Warming, Kyoto, Kyoto Protocol, Major Economic Forum, Major Economies Forum, Major Emitters Forum, MOP, Mother Earth, Pachamama, People Movement, Peoples Movement, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on June 27th, 2010 1 comment
20 June 2010
Linking Climate Change to Trade
America and China are both “Carbon Intensity” first-movers – competing to make commitments that their economic production has falling associated Carbon Dioxide Emissions. The United States, China and Canada all continue to claim that their commitments on Climate Change amount to reductions in “carbon intensity”, rather than actual reductions in levels of emissions. This is a piece of policy propaganda, as proposed by linguistic strategists. A reduced carbon intensity of production would still allow countries to follow a path of economic growth, and increase carbon emissions overall. What is clear is that lower carbon intensities is not enough.
Behavioural economists, who look at both individual behaviour and collective social responses, have concluded a number of useful facts about humankind and its uses of resources. A good summary of what we know is provided by John Gowdy, writing in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 68 in 2008, “Behavioral economics and climate change policy” :-
Some of his policy “clues” point the way.Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Carbon Rationing, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Energy Revival, Growth Paradigm, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Resource Curse Climate Change, Climate Negotiations, development rights, economics, Economy, fossil fuel subsidies, G20, Kyoto Protocol, nuclear subsidies, Trade, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, World Trade Organisation, WTO
Posted on June 22nd, 2010 1 comment
20 June 2010
CONTINUED FROM PART 1
Why Was Copenhagen Such A Washout ?
The international community, in the form of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the Kyoto Protocol back in 1997, a treaty that was ratified only as late as 2005 after compromises from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for Russia. Global Climate Change negotiations, even before the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 have been beset by recurring problems. Read the rest of this entry »Advancing Africa, Bait & Switch, Big Picture, Carbon Capture, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Divide & Rule, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Growth Paradigm, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Social Change, Unutterably Useless, Utter Futility, Vain Hope Climate Change, Global Warming, Kyoto Protocol, UNFCCC
Posted on June 21st, 2010 1 comment
20 June 2010
The governments of the world are, by and large, well-informed about Climate Change by their trusted scientific advisers and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). However, there is a disconnect between this knowledge and concrete policy action. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has not been successful in achieving control of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. Plus, annual negotiations have not reached a form of an agreement to succeed Kyoto, as evidenced by the inconclusive round of talks in December 2009 in Copenhagen. Suggestions of a way forward include a radical re-think about the formulation of the Kyoto Protocol, and the connection of Climate Change to other global concerns.
Kyoto Isn’t Working
For a period during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the world economy appeared to reach a stable point, whereby Carbon Dioxide emissions per person (per capita) levelled off. Many of the world’s major economies were switching fuels – from coal to Natural Gas. And some heavily industrialised countries were going through revolutionary change, and reducing their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions as a result of the ensuing loss of industrial output.Big Picture, Carbon Commodities, Carbon Rationing, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Divide & Rule, Emissions Impossible, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Social Change, The Data, Unutterably Useless, Utter Futility, Vain Hope Climate Negotiations, Copenhagen, Intergovernmental Panel on C, International Negotiations, IPCC, Kyoto, Kyoto Protocol, post-Kyoto, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on May 30th, 2010 No comments
Ex-Members of Parliament and ex-Ministers of Government usually have a lot to say about Climate Change and Energy. Colin Challen, formerly MP for Morley and Rotherwell, is a prime case in point.
What the world needs now is a new world order – a global framework for carbon emissions control – and that framework is Contraction and Convergence. Colin Challen has written a powerful statement to Chris Huhne MP, the new Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and would like us all to co-sign it :-
Naturally, I have already signed this letter, because I know that Contraction and Convergence has to be at the heart of future international negotiations on Climate Change :-
I hope you can all co-sign the letter with me.Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Emissions Impossible, Global Singeing Aubrey Meyer, C&C, Climate Change, Contraction, Contraction and Convergence, Convergence, economics, Equality and Survival, Equity and Survival, Fair Shares, GCI, Global Commons Institute, Global Warming, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on May 30th, 2010 8 comments
It should come as no surprise that the United Nations (under UNFCCC) commissioned a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), way back in 2007.
The revelation is that very few people appear to have read any of it.
So I thought I would present just a little about the “robust findings” of Working Group 1 (WG1 or WGI) of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). I think the IPCC’s science needs a wider public readership, and so I hope that this post in some way enables that.
The unpacking of the Working Group 1 report “Climate Change 2007 : The Physical Science Basis” could begin by looking at the Technical Summary, or the overall AR4 Technical Summary, or the Synthesis Report, or their respective Summaries for Policymakers.Big Picture, Climate Change, Emissions Impossible, Methane Madness, Methane Management, Science Rules, The Data Climate Change, Climate Change Science, Climate Science, Global Warming, Global Warming Science, Global Warning, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, Robust Findings, Robust Science, Science, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on February 10th, 2010 No comments
[qt:http://www.tangentfilms.com/SternPoznan.mp4 http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Graphics/ContractionAndConvergence.jpg 480 240]
After the accusations and counter-accusations of the attribution of blame, can we at least start moving on from who was responsible for the failure to obtain a global treaty at the United Nations Climate Change UNFCCC conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 ?
None of us have a complete awareness of the ideas and thoughts of others. International negotiations are bound to be limited by lack of knowledge and understanding, clashes of personality and conflicts of national, social and corporate interests.
It is important, however, to try to comprehend the starting points, the foundational ideology, of those we are attempting to negotiate with.
Here it is very important to keep our feet on the floor and our ears to the walls. Why exactly, did the AOSIS, the Small Island States bloc reject the Copenhagen Accord ? Why did the elite group of nations that signed the Copenhagen Accord dismiss the AOSIS and their demands for 350 ppm atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Why was China so resistant to the Copenhagen Accord ? Could it have anything do to with their fears of economic loss ?
Posted on January 17th, 2010 3 comments
The satellites and cameras do not lie : glaciers in the Himalayas are melting, and the loss of any part of this “third pole” ice cover threatens the freshwater supply for billions.
This weekend’s Media clamour on the subject focuses on the trail of a mis-attribution of a claim regarding the complete meltdown of the mountain glaciers.
Just because somebody’s got their references wrong, doesn’t mean that the glaciers have magically not been melting after all.
Yes, the IPCC process has failed to pick up this prediction error. No, it doesn’t throw the whole of the IPCC reports into the trash can.Bad Science, Bait & Switch, Big Picture, Climate Change, Media, Meltdown, Non-Science, Public Relations Anthropogenic Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Change Science, Climate Science, Glaciers, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Global Warming Science, Himalayas, ice, India, IPCC, Mountain, Permanent Ice Cover, UNFCCC
Posted on January 14th, 2010 No comments
Copenhagen was a complete and utter shambles. No doubt about it. Various commentators and participants have been fishing around since it dribbled away to its weak conclusion, looking for someone or some organisation to blame.
The British blamed the Chinese, the Africans blamed the North Americans, the socialists blamed the elitist imperialists, and the NGOs blamed the international companies who had a corporate interest in swaying the whole deal their way, protecting business interests.
One story, much repeated by Climate Change Denier sources, blames the United Nations in effect, or at least the whole of Denmark, for allowing 30,000 Non-Governmental-Organisation (NGO) people to be registered, when the Copenhagen Bella Conference Center could only accommodate 15,000 people.
Posted on December 19th, 2009 No comments
George Monbiot starts to bid a fond, outraged farewell to various parts of the Biosphere and Humanity in his despairing and critical review of the Copenhagen Climate Change conference :-
“Copenhagen negotiators bicker and filibuster while the biosphere burns : George Monbiot despairs at the chaotic, disastrous denouement of a chaotic and disastrous climate summit : Friday 18 December 2009 : …We have now lost 17 precious years, possibly the only years in which climate breakdown could have been prevented. This has not happened by accident: it is the result of a systematic campaign of sabotage by certain states, driven and promoted by the energy industries. This idiocy has been aided and abetted by the nations characterised, until now, as the good guys: those that have made firm commitments, only to invalidate them with loopholes, false accounting and outsourcing. In all cases immediate self-interest has trumped the long-term welfare of humankind. Corporate profits and political expediency have proved more urgent considerations than either the natural world or human civilisation. Our political systems are incapable of discharging the main function of government: to protect us from each other. Goodbye Africa, goodbye south Asia; goodbye glaciers and sea ice, coral reefs and rainforest. It was nice knowing you. Not that we really cared. The governments which moved so swiftly to save the banks have bickered and filibustered while the biosphere burns.”
Posted on December 19th, 2009 No comments
As the world leaders start to slip away back to the airport, some commentators are hailing a “meaningful agreement” has been reached at the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change talks. Others say that no deal of any significant kind has been struck.
Reaction from the Developing countries is general dismay. The Non-Governmental Organisations, “civil society”, feel they have been blocked from taking part. It’s been a complete shambles.
The time has come to start spelling out the future in graphic, technical detail – not just about the damages that Climate Change will bring – but about the only real solutions.
Real solutions do not include Carbon Trading, nor Carbon Taxation. They don’t include technofixes and technofudges like Carbon Capture and Storage and New Nuclear Power. They certainly don’t include partial commitment on Avoided Deforestation.
We have to say it and say it again : whether the leaders and corporations agree or not, the future is Carbon Emissions Reductions. The Consumer Economy is being eroded by the minute. Peak Oil, Coal, Natural Gas and Uranium are just around the corner.