Monday, November 30, 2015

The Futility of the Paris Climate Talks

Starting on November 30th, world leaders convened in Paris at the behest of the United Nations to come to some agreements on countering Climate Change.  The semi-stated goals of those talks are as follows:
  • Reduce green houses gases by 20 to 45% by 2030.
  • Agree to limit global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2030.
  • Wealthy countries should agree to redistribute $100 billion of their own wealth a year to poorer countries so they can contribute to the fight in global warming.
So, that's all that's needed to save the world!

The problem with the above is that it contradicts past statements made by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which is made up of 2000 scientists.  As reported by the -- one of the San Francisco Chronicle's online news sites -- the IPCC believed the following 11 years ago:
  • It's already too late to stop extreme global warming because it would take 50 to 100 years to reverse the amount of CO2 already in our atmosphere.
  • To avoid extreme global warming, the world must act now by reducing CO2 levels by 50% to 70%.
  • A 2 degree Celsius rise would cause extreme and catastrophic weather events throughout the world.
  • A new focus should be on preparing the world on the inevitability of our global warming fate.
Obviously, there is an extreme disconnect between what was said 11 years ago and the stated goals of this year's Paris talks.  In the Paris talks the earth's temperatures would be allowed to rise to the catastrophic levels of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  Instead of a recommended 50% to 70% reduction in CO2, the Paris' goal is between 20% to 45%. Also, it should be pointed out that, as of 2015, the world is supposedly already at 1 degree Celsius+ above pre-industrial temperature levels.

In my opinion, getting the world to abide by whatever the Paris attendees try and agree on, will be a lot like herding cats.

Some might achieve or even exceed the targets while many others won't.  There's a long time between now and 2030.  Recessions, war, changes in political leadership and governments can easily alter a county's priorities away from focusing on global warming.  And, there will always be corruption.  Poorer countries, run by despots and receiving climate change funding, will never see those monies applied to the cause.  Instead the funds will be diverted to corrupt leadership.  Already, Latin America is asking for reparations from rich countries for any damage done to their countries.  Even if its unable to prove it was caused by global warming.

I think Paris will, in retrospect, turn out to be an exercise in futility.  Just as the original global warming initiative in Kyoto, was a farce.


Paris climate summit: world leaders told to iron out differences before talks end:

Warming set to breach 1C threshold:

SFGate: It's much too late to sweat global warming / Time to prepare for inevitable effects of our ill-fated future:

LatAm hands climate bill to rich world at summit:

The global warming dividend: Canada abandons Kyoto Protocol to protect its lucrative oil reserves:

Bush Taunts EU Over Missed Kyoto Targets:

Kyoto Protocol, 10 years later: Did deal to combat greenhouse gases:

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