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For Some Real Statistical Measurements of Climate Change Mitigation

There’s some definite hype out there on the climate change mitigation front. From Truthdig:

WARSAW—For the first time, all countries of the world have agreed to make contributions in cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the planet’s temperature rising above the 2°C danger limit previously agreed by politicians.

Look! It’s a promise! Made by politicians! It is with deepest apologies to the optimists that I find myself in agreement with the Church Lady upon reading this news:

So at any rate, you get my point. Let’s take a look at yesterday’s Green Diary list over at DailyKos.com, shall we? There, too, we shall see the atmosphere of hype which pervades the whole discourse of climate change.

Ikea produces enough clean energy to match a third of its global energy use

Much as I appreciate VL Baker’s reportage, I appreciate her skepticism more. How carefully do you think they’re reporting Ikea’s actual energy usage? Capitalism is incredibly wasteful, and world society uses more than 89 million barrels of oil every day. I’m sure Ikea has invented a method of energy accounting that gives the corporate execs great PR.

And then we have Wisper’s news: lots of coal mine and coal plant closings. Maybe this is because other fossil fuel sources are being placed online? And what guarantees do we have that those coal mines will stay closed?

A couple of days ago, boatsie told us that the NGOs walked out of the conference at Warsaw because the polluters have undue influence upon the proceedings. Should this be a surprise?

Meanwhile, the coal companies are hoping to stay in business via the newest techno-dream: carbon capture and storage. As Kevin Grandia points out, carbon capture and storage is risky as hell. [cont’d.]

CommunityMy FDL

For some real statistical measurements of climate change mitigation

(crossposted at DailyKos.com)

There’s some definite hype out there on the climate change mitigation front. From Truthdig:

WARSAW—For the first time, all countries of the world have agreed to make contributions in cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the planet’s temperature rising above the 2°C danger limit previously agreed by politicians.

Look! It’s a promise! Made by politicians! It is with deepest apologies to the optimists that I find myself in agreement with the Church Lady upon reading this news:

So at any rate, you get my point. Let’s take a look at yesterday’s Green Diary list over at DailyKos.com, shall we? There, too, we shall see the atmosphere of hype which pervades the whole discourse of climate change.

Ikea produces enough clean energy to match a third of its global energy use

Much as I appreciate VL Baker’s reportage, I appreciate her skepticism more. How carefully do you think they’re reporting Ikea’s actual energy usage? Capitalism is incredibly wasteful, and world society uses more than 89 million barrels of oil every day. I’m sure Ikea has invented a method of energy accounting that gives the corporate execs great PR.

And then we have Wisper’s news: lots of coal mine and coal plant closings. Maybe this is because other fossil fuel sources are being placed online? And what guarantees do we have that those coal mines will stay closed?

A couple of days ago, boatsie told us that the NGOs walked out of the conference at Warsaw because the polluters have undue influence upon the proceedings. Should this be a surprise?

Meanwhile, the coal companies are hoping to stay in business via the newest techno-dream: carbon capture and storage. As KGrandia points out, carbon capture and storage is risky as hell.

So Todd Gitlin, for his part, tells us we ought to divest from fossil fuels, and Michael Brune tells us they’re developing “clean energy targets.” But the impression I get from all of this comes in the form of a question: why are all of these rich and powerful people trying to impress us so hard with the illusion that they care? I’m not even convinced they understand. I’m seeing a lot of eagerness to present “solutions” without sufficient apprehension of the real-life scale of the problem, and it looks clumsy as hell. World society doesn’t seem to have a clear picture of where it’s going or what it’s doing. Public relations anyone?

Three facts dominate our climate change reality.

a) Capitalism is incredibly wasteful. There is just simply no way that the world needs 89.3624 MILLION barrels/ day of crude oil, yet that’s what the oil producers produced last year, and we can assume that nearly all of that was burned. This excess is what we get with a system that favors the megalomania of property and profit, rather than the imperatives of global human and non-human survival as determined by the science of ecology. Individual efforts at conservation, in a capitalist system, just mean that the fossil fuel producers get to sell more of their stuff to some other customer. I’m sure there’s a ton of room for real conservation, however — just engineer the society so the fossil-fuel based global “markets” (aka transportation networks) disappear, and (as I’ve suggested in other diaries) change the society so that the fossil-fuel based unnecessary careers go away. Or pass a law saying that the producers can’t produce. Oh, right. Capitalism.

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