‘The Last Hours of Humanity’ and Amy Goodman at the Climate Change Summit in Warsaw
Or: ‘Do you want the Good News first, or the Bad News first?’ Okay, sorry; it was a trick question.
Please understand that climate change isn’t really in my wheelhouse, so I’ll leave it readers to offer counterarguments, or suggestions as to ‘what we do next’.
Thom Hartman and comrades created ‘The Last Hours of Humanity: Warming the World to Extinction’. The ‘about’ narrative below the video reads in part:
“Last Hours” is the first in a series of short films that explore the perils of climate change and the solutions to avert climate disaster. Each subsequent film will highlight fact-based challenges facing the human race, and offer solutions to ameliorate these crises. The initial short film series will culminate in a feature film to be presented prior to COP21, the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris.
This first video is designed to awaken people to the fact that the earth has experienced five major extinctions in the deep geologic past — times when more than half of all life on earth vanished — and that we are now entering a sixth extinction. Industrial civilization with its production of greenhouse gases has the ability to trigger a mass extinction; in the extreme, it could threaten not just human civilization, but the very existence of human life on this planet.
FDL’s Cassiodorus recently wrote ‘Why a “green dictatorship” will not solve the global warming problem’, and included more information on the methane factors mentioned above, and has a number of other informative links.
‘Discussion about global warming has centered on the climate-forcing abilities of carbon dioxide — but there is also the story of methane. First there is the methane produced by aboveground sources, which accounts for 10% of climate forcing (even though the amounts of methane emitted into the atmosphere are much smaller than carbon dioxide emissions — methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas). And then there are underground and underwater methane hydrates, which will be released if the Earth gets too much hotter.
From the Guardian on the eve of the opening talks: ‘Climate change pledges: rich nations face fury over moves to renege: Typhoon Haiyan raises fear over global warming threat as Philippines leads attack on eve of key talks’, some seriously discouraging, if unsurprising words:
“Yeb Saño, the Philippines’ lead negotiator at the UN climate change summit being held this weekend in Warsaw, spoke of a major breakdown in relations overshadowing the crucial talks, which are due to pave the way for a 2015 deal to bring down global emissions.
The diplomat, on the sixth day of a hunger strike in solidarity for those affected by Haiyan, including his own family, told the Observer: “We are very concerned. Public announcements from some countries about lowering targets are not conducive to building trust. We must acknowledge the new climate reality and put forward a new system to help us manage the risks and deal with the losses to which we cannot adjust.”
Munjurul Hannan Khan, representing the world’s 47 least affluent countries, said: “They are behaving irrationally and unacceptably. The way they are talking to the most vulnerable countries is not acceptable. Today the poor are suffering from climate change. But tomorrow the rich countries will be. It starts with us but it goes to them.”
Recent decisions by the governments of Australia, Japan and Canada to downgrade their efforts over climate change have caused panic among those states most affected by global warming, who fear others will follow as they rearrange their priorities during the downturn.
In the last few days, Japan has announced it will backtrack on its pledge to reduce its emission cuts from 25% to 3.8% by 2020 on the basis that it had to close its nuclear reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Australia, which is not sending a minister to this weekend’s talks, signalled it may weaken its targets and is repealing domestic carbon laws following the election of a conservative government.
Canada has pulled out of the Kyoto accord, which committed major industrial economies to reducing their annual CO2 emissions to below 1990 levels.”
Amy Goodman will be in Warsaw all week; here she is with Filipino climate negotiator Yeb Saño; she says that ‘At the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw, Poland, the lead negotiator for the Philippines, Naderev “Yeb” Saño, joins us minutes after he and climate activists delivered a petition signed by some 590,000 people from around the world demanding urgent and bolder action to tackle climate change.
From Scientific American, the timeline:
“At a major United Nations climate summit in Warsaw this week, a plan is being hammered out for negotiations on a new climate treaty to be finalized in Paris in two years’ time. Delegates from 195 nations are also seeking to obtain commitments from countries to limit their greenhouse-gas emissions between now and 2020. But the path forward is rife with disputes between rich and poor countries over funding, and how to allocate and enforce emissions reductions.”
The conference aims to outline the schedule and to set parameters for negotiations ahead of the next major climate summit in Paris in 2015, when countries hope to forge a treaty to follow the 2009 agreement settled on in Copenhagen.”
A staggering revelation to me, in terms of the time horizon; holy hell.
From the Guardian this morning, Nov. 20, ‘Poor countries walk out of UN climate talks as compensation row rumbles on: Bloc of 132 countries exit Warsaw conference after rich nations refuse to discuss climate change recompense until after 2015’.
As well as: ‘Cost of climate change adaptation could destabilise African countries, UN warns: One billion Africans may be in harm’s way if countries fail to prepare for projected temperature rises, says report’.
Who will help them fund their preparations, as in adaptations and relocations’? Destabilization? Chaos? Possibly ‘Failed States’? Yes, that would be a job for AFRICOM and its stated mission, wouldn’t it?
This is a link to a video at the Guardian about the people they say will be the first USian climate change refugees. “Newtok, Alaska is losing ground to the sea at a dangerous rate and for its residents, exile is inevitable.” Can’t say that it’s accurate, given the de facto diaspora after Hurricane Katrina, dunno about Sandy. Add others at will, please.
From realclimate.org (h/t mafr), ‘Global Warming Since 1997 Underestimated by Half’, a new report from researchers in the UK and Canada which explain their contention that there actually hasn’t been any ‘pause’ in global temperature rise.
Michael Klare wonders if there will be a climate change fueled revolution. Sorry; no. Mainstream media have guaranteed mass ignorance, at least in the US.
Ian Welsh has been wondering about ‘The Role of Violence and Coercion in Saving the World’. A very interesting thread, and I’d like to highlight part of a comment by Formerly T-Bear (the most recent one at the end), who may have soothed the roiled waters a bit. It mirrors my own thoughts when people argue that ‘making people do anything is impossible!’. I consider when critical meltdown points in different sectors have been reached, or are about to be reached, that it’s the time for statesmanship and persuasion. So often we collectively fail to consider what the best, most moral, and practical persuasions can be in ‘the marketplace of ideas’, don’t we? It may be that far too many of us like Team Sport finger-pointing, not to mention, among the ‘Educated Left’ cynical one-upsmanship over how fucked up humans are inherently *and* will be in perpetuity. Are we not what we eat, but ‘what we believe’?
Shock Doctrine calumny, ignorance and apathy may have frozen us, and ruled the day too much in the past, but need not forever!
‘Just saw your reply. The human species is a large and strong animal, and can use its strength to further its ends. It is also sometimes an intelligent species that on occasion can use that intelligence to further its ends. It is probably wise to teach both, the use of and limits to violence as well as maintaining and using intelligence, its strengths, weaknesses and its powers over violence to achieve desired goals not achievable by violence. One of the best definitions of politics I’ve learned is politics is the art and skill to persuade, convince or exercise power over another to achieve one’s ends. It always helps having a good stout stick in one’s hands as well, one never knows when …
May the Great Awakening of the burgeoning revolution of higher consciousness spread to the hearts, spirits, and minds of everyone involved who can make a positive difference, including ourselves. The dark side of my heart would paraphrase Dylan:
Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain
That could hold you dear folks from going insane
That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain
Of your useless and pointless knowledge
(cross-posted at Cafe-Babylon.net)