Daily Archives: December 16, 2018

Before All the World the Youth Challenge the Fatal Myopia, Greed & Childishness of the Trump Generation | EV & N 296 | CCTV

http://ecoethics.net/2014-ENVRE120/20181216-EV&N-296-Link.html

https://www.cctvcambridge.org/node/609878

YouTube Version

In December 2018 at the Conference of Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland a 15-year-old school girl from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, exposed the myopia, greed and childishness of world leaders, highlighting their inability and unwillingness to adopt effective measures to avert the imminent climate catastrophe that scientists have warned the global community about for the past thirty years.

It is important to understand the historical background leading up to Greta Thunberg’s dramatic declaration and the global tragedy it reflects.  During the life-time of adults in their seventies today, the world’s population has tripled.  This has only been possible because of the unprecedented release of energy from the combustion of fossilized carbon in the earth system — coal, petroleum and natural gas.  The result of burning these resources and releasing this massive amount of energy has seen the amassing of moneyed-wealth on an unprecedented scale in human history.  Recently, just one fossil fuel company — Exxon Mobile — made more “money” in one fiscal year than any other company in the history of money.

Moreover, as a consequence of decades of growth of this moneyed “wealth” the world is now experiencing the largest inter-generational transfer of instruments of “wealth” in human history.  “Baby-boomers” from the immediate post-World War II era are working feverishly to pass on their “assets” to designated heirs.

But here’s the rub.  The heirs will not be able to enjoy their inherited “wealth” because — as we now realize — that “wealth” has been bought at the price of the civilizational collapse that is now imminent because of the ecological devastation and global climate disruption caused — in the final analysis — by fossil fuel combustion itself.

Moneyed classes across the world have seen to it that the political systems work to protect and promote their interests.  But the iron-clad alliance between moneyed-wealth and political power has now been exposed for its moral bankruptcy.  The virtual total capture of nation-state leadership by the fossil fuel interests that profit from the extraction and continued consumption of coal, petroleum and natural gas has meant that the world’s children are now witnessing the greatest inter-generational moral betrayal in human history.

The children themselves know this, and they are now denouncing this moral bankruptcy on the global stage.  As Greta Thunberg put it starkly and directly in her speech to world leaders:

“You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”

You Are Stealing Our Future: Greta Thunberg, 15, Condemns the World’s
Inaction on Climate Change

Democracy Now!

Published on Dec 13, 2018

https://democracynow.org – Fifteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the U.N. plenary last night in Katowice, Poland, condemning global inaction in the face of catastrophic climate change.

In January 2019, Greta Thurnberg issued a challenge to all the business and governmental delegates attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

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‘Continuation of civilisation is in your hands,’ Attenborough tells world leaders


Guardian News
Published on Dec 3, 2018

The broadcaster David Attenborough told delegates at a UN climate summit: ‘If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.’ The naturalist was chosen to represent the world’s people at the summit in Poland

Trump Rejects Administration’s Dire Warning About Economic Impact Of Climate Change | TIME

Published on Nov 26, 2018
TIME

President Donald Trump is rejecting a central conclusion of a dire report on the economic costs of climate change released Friday by his own administration.

Trump rejects on his own administration’s climate change report

htt://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szHhWhZZzTs
Guardian News
Published on Nov 27, 2018

Donald Trump rejected the central conclusion of a government climate report finding by his own administration

Trump: ‘I don’t believe’ gov’t climate report

Published on Dec 1, 2018
AP Archiv

(26 Nov 2018) President Donald Trump is rejecting a central conclusion of a dire report on the economic costs of climate change released Friday by his own administration. The National Climate Assessment, quietly unveiled Friday, warns that natural disasters are worsening in the United States because of global warming. It says warming-charged extremes “have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration.” The report notes the last few years have smashed U.S. records for damaging weather, costing nearly $400 billion since 2015. Trump says, “I don’t believe it.” Trump, administration officials and elected Republicans frequently say they can’t tell how much of climate change is caused by humans and how much is natural.

Trump Admin Tries to Bury 1,656-Page Climate Report Warning of Devastating Health Impacts of Warming


Published on Nov 26, 2018
Democracy Now

https://democracynow.org – The White House released an alarming climate change report on Black Friday, attempting to bury a 1,656-page government assessment that directly contradicts President Trump’s history of climate change denial. The damning report, known as the National Climate Assessment, says that the consequences of climate change will leave no part of the U.S. untouched and that the warming climate will increase wildfires, crumble infrastructure, worsen air quality, destroy crops and lead to more frequent disease outbreaks. It also finds that global warming could shrink the U.S. economy by as much as 10 percent by the end of the century. The findings are a sharp rebuke to the Trump administration’s insistence that environmental regulations hurt jobs and hinder economic growth. We speak with Kristie Ebi, a professor of global health at the University of Washington in Seattle and the lead author of the report’s chapter on the human health impacts of climate change.

Climate change: Five things we’ve learnt from COP24 – BBC News

Delegates to the UN climate conference in Poland have reached agreement on how to implement the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, which comes into force in 2020. What are the key points to come out of the meeting?

1. The rules are key to the game

However dull it may be, the operational rules for the 2015 Paris climate agreement will govern the way the world tackles climate change for decades to come.

The key thing was not to unravel the carefully negotiated Paris agreement by having one set of rules for the rich countries and another one for the poor.

By that measure the conference was a success with China showing leadership by not pushing for a return to the old ways of countries who did, and countries who didn’t.

Also helping that effort was the US. Ensuring that the China and the US face similar regulations has long been a key of American policy.

Keeping everyone on the same page also delighted the EU. Climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete explained how the new rules would work.

“We have a system of transparency, we have a system of reporting, we have rules to measure our emissions, we have a system to measure the impacts of our policies compared to what science recommends.”

To keep everyone in check, the rules will also contain a compliance mechanism, which means that countries that don’t submit their reports on time will face an inquiry.

The new regulations are “flexible” for developing countries, meaning they can sign up to the rules at a later date.

2. Science is worth fighting for

One of the biggest rows at this meeting was over a key scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

A group of countries including Saudi Arabia, US, Kuwait and Russia refused to “welcome” the IPCC study.

They merely wanted to “note” the contents.

Image copyright Kiara Worth/IISD/ENB

Efforts to find a compromise ended in failure.

However that was not the end of the matter.

The vast majority of countries felt that acknowledging the science was critical at this conference.

Their efforts did finally ensure that the IPCC was recognised – but many felt it was a token effort.

“That science is unsettling and it doesn’t connect it to the need to do more,” said Camilla Born from the environmental think tank E3G.

“The deal looks at it in isolation, it’s an elegant compromise but it’s not really enough.”

3. International spirit is still alive

Many countries had worried that with the rise of nationalism in many countries and the recent election of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s president, the international co-operation needed to tackle climate change might be in danger.

For many getting agreement here in Katowice was less about technical rules and more about showing that the international spirit is still alive and has teeth.

“I think the beauty of multilateralism is that it is the effort of everybody,” said Spanish Ecology Minister Teresa Ribera.

“And what we have seen is that everybody has supported the package, no single country has decided to step down.

“It is very difficult. It is like organising a party for 200 friends, and there’s a single menu that everybody has to eat. It is not so easy but we have got it. That’s fantastic!”

4. A win for the process but not for the planet?

While negotiators have been congratulating themselves on a job well done in landing the rulebook, there are many voices here who feel that the agreement does not go far enough.

They point to the strength of the science, and the public recognition of the impacts of climate change seen this year in heatwaves and wildfires.

Many environmental campaigners believe that Katowice was a missed opportunity for radical action.

“We have ended up here with more of a coal trade fair than a climate convention,” said Mohamed Adow from Christian Aid, referring to the efforts to promote coal by Poland and the US at this conference.

“We haven’t acted in good faith, particularly for the young, that we takes seriously what science is telling us and we are responding to it. That message didn’t come through.

“If people think the rulebook is the way to get the world on that path, it is not robust or ambitious enough.”

5. New voices are emerging

One of the most striking things about this conference of the parties was the presence of energised young people in far greater numbers than I have ever seen them at a COP before.

Image copyright Kiara Worth/IISD/ENB

Climate change chimes with young people in a way that is sometimes missing with older people, who make up the bulk of negotiators here.

The sense that perhaps this UN process doesn’t quite connect with the modern world was summed up best by Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives and now their lead climate negotiator.

“Almost 10 years since I was last at these climate negotiations, I must say, nothing much seems to have changed.

“We are still using the same old, dinosaur language. Still saying the same old words.

“Still making the same tedious points.”

It would be hard to argue with this view given the shenanigans that played out at the end, when one country, Brazil, held up progress at the talks on one issue for a couple of days.

Perhaps the most memorable image of this meeting was that of 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg.

Reuters

This teenager who has organised school strikes in Sweden held daily press conferences here to drive home her message that platitudes and warm words just aren’t enough anymore.

Her message was sharp and succinct.

“We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis.”