CLIMATE CHANGE: LET’S DO NOTHING? November 25, 2010Posted by wmmbb in Environment.
As they say suck and see. Is that a moral or even responsible course of action?
We have a political system on the planet that makes it impossible to avert disaster. The climate crisis is evidence of political paralysis and the dysfunctional nature of the planetary political system based on violent nation states. Iraq, Israel and Afghanistan are very much evident of this system. How do we develop a more effective international society? How do we develop teamwork on an global basis?
There is no evidence that global warming is going away, or that it is becoming less urgent. At the same time, I suspect there is no evidence that planet wide solutions are being promoted and implemented. Michael McCarthy reports in The Independent:
The world is now firmly on the path for dangerous climate change in the coming century, a major new assessment reveals today on the eve of the forthcoming UN climate conference which opens next week in Mexico.
All the pledges of the nations which have agreed to cut or limit their emissions of greenhouse gases, when added together, still leave the world far short of what is needed to halt the coming rise in global average temperatures to 2C, generally regarded as the danger threshold, according to the study from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Next Monday another attempt will be made at Cancun in Mexico, and another failure as occurred in Copenhagen can be predicted. The nations of the world, led by the principle players, are unlikely to agree to legally binding cuts on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. As the article by Michael McCarthy notes 80 nations did agree to voluntary, variable targets. And that was an achievement, but
. . . the UNEP study calculates that even if these promises are carried out in full – which itself is a big if – they will still leave a massive “gigatonne gap”.
Climate scientists consider that to be on a path to 2C and no higher, total world emissions of CO2 and other gases need to peak within the next 10 years and be brought down to about 44 gigatonnes (44 billion tonnes) by 2020. Currently, the world as a whole is emitting about 48 gigatonnes of CO2, and if economies take no action this figure is expected to rise to 56 gigatonnes in 10 years’ time.
But even with full and strict implementation of the Copenhagen Accord pledges, this will only bring emissions in 2020 down to 49 gigatonnes – leaving a gap of five billion tonnes. And if the pledges are only loosely implemented the gap could be even greater, with global emissions rising to 53 gigatonnes in 10 years’ time.
The task is to formalise and if possible increase the Copenhagen Accord pledges, but it is by no means clear that this is possible at Cancun – it may have to wait until the next climate conference in 2011.
Achim Steiner, the UNEP executive director, reflected this concern: “The challenge is to take the intent reflected in the Copenhagen Accord and bring it into a mutually reassuring framework, and you can go all the way to a legally binding agreement, or some other form.”
Do we do nothing and just wait for the planet to crash and burn, because as human beings we cannot use our collective cerebral capacities, which we as a species proudly claim make us to superior to other beings on this Earth? Such a claim sees us outside the natural system on which we like them are dependent and interdependent. Why is it that the leaders of nation states are so pathetic?
There are those who deny climate change, but their challenge is provide evidence both that it is not occurring and not catastrophic. They would have produce evidence, not opinion embellished by the paid PR industry. And yet, the anti-science, anti-truth lobbyists are winning because the “let’s do nothing” agenda is so congruent with a dysfunctional polity. There are situations where the problem is not so much government, and those that assume the role of governments, such as corporations, as its absence. Any governmental system should be democratic in nature, which in itself would be an innovation for global society.