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Cancún climate summit « Previous | |Next »
December 3, 2010

There is not that much being said about the UN Cancún climate summit in the Australian mainstream media. So I have turned elsewhere to see what is going on.

Tim Yeo in Cancún climate summit: Let's look beyond carbon in The Guardian says that:

The perfect outcome would be a binding agreement to drastically reduce emissions – reflecting what the science tells us we need to do to avoid disaster – with all nations ending up with a fair share of rights to the atmosphere.The political reality post-Copenhagen, however, means this just isn't going to happen....It's unlikely that countries will sign up to binding limits on carbon dioxide unless growth can be decoupled from the use of fossil fuels.

The problem we face is simple. Once the planet warms to the point where environmental changes that further add to warming feed off each other, it becomes almost meaningless to specify just how much warmer the planet may get. You've toppled the first domino and it becomes virtually impossible to stop the following chain of events. So the idea is to stop the first domino falling---to avoid crossing the 2C threshold.

It ain't going to happen is it? Even though 2010 is on course to be the hottest year on record and the 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1996.

We are on the pathway to a 4C temperature rise by 2060. As John Vidal says:

UN research shows that the pledges and promises made last year by 80 countries to reduce climate change emissions fall well short of what is needed to hold the global temperature rise to 2C and avoid the worst consequences of global warming.

So why not stop the present subsidies of fossil fuels and use the money to reduce emissions? Well, we have the powerful counter-movement, led by corporate-funded thinktanks, that has waged war on green policies. This states that technology can solve all political and economic problems--eg., nuclear power, GM crops and geoengineering.

So the issue is about power--corporate power that has captured the governments of nation states, such as the US and Australia.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:04 PM |