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Archive for November, 2009

Someday Soon

The good intentions of participants of 350 aside, requesting world leaders to reduce carbon emissions is unfortunately not going to work. Bill McKibben asserts that world leaders will listen “if we’re loud enough,” but that’s simply untrue. If we stick with symbolic action, the destruction will become progressively worse, and we will continuously lose ground and be reduced to begging for mercy that will never be granted.

Those in power (and their political representatives) will only stop destroying the planet if they are forced to do so. The immediate threat of social disorder and economic disruption will make them listen. An immediate and serious threat to their wealth and well-being will make them listen.

The Hotter It Gets

Many people I’ve talked to have noticed unusually and increasingly warm weather, weird rain patterns and higher sea levels. Who should we believe, Fox news or our own lying eyes?

Excerpt from IPS News:

U.S.: Public More Complacent About Climate Change
By Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (IPS) – Less than two months before a key international conference on curbing climate change, a major U.S. poll has found a sharp drop in public concern about global warming.

According to the survey by the Pew Research Centre for the People & the Press, 65 percent of the public believes that warming constitutes either a “very serious” (35 percent) or “somewhat serious” (30 percent) problem, down from 79 percent in July 2006 and from 73 percent just 18 months ago.

The survey also recorded a sharp drop in the percentage of the public that believes that “there is solid evidence the Earth is warming” – down from 71 percent in April, 2008, to 57 percent – and in the percentage that believes global warming is caused primarily by human activity – from 47 percent to 36 percent over the same period.


Terrible mess

In a global industrial capitalist economy, the world’s political leaders’ first duty is to protect the interests of the capitalists, especially their system of profit accumulation, which requires constant expansion. If they didn’t perform this duty, they wouldn’t be permitted to lead. They are not going to make the changes necessary to save the planet from global industrial capitalism. It’s not possible. They can’t and they won’t.

Excerpt from an article issued by Reuters:

World Leaders Back Delay to Final Climate Deal

by Caren Bohan

“There was an assessment by the leaders that it was unrealistic to expect a full, internationally legally binding agreement to be negotiated between now and when Copenhagen starts in 22 days,” senior U.S. negotiator Michael Froman told reporters after the meeting, which was attended by leaders of the United States, China, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Australia and Indonesia.

“We believe it is better to have something good than to have nothing at all,” Chilean Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez said.

Copenhagen was seen as the last chance for countries to agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol and put in place painful measures needed to fight a rise in temperatures that would bring more rising sea levels, floods and droughts.

The aim of the summit is to set ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gases, but also to raise funds to help poor countries tackle global warming.

However, negotiations have been bogged down, with developing nations accusing the rich world of failing to set themselves deep enough 2020 goals for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course negotiations have bogged down. Of course. No meaningful change will come from these people. The only way to save the planet is to overthrow and dismantle industrial capitalism.

The whole article is here: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/11/15-0

Missing an angel

Schemes to make businesses “green” are a sick mockery of any real attempt to save the planet.

Excerpt from an article in the New York Times:

Paying More for Flights Eases Guilt, Not Emissions

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

Offsets have played a growing role in the greening of travel because carbon dioxide emissions from airplanes are growing so quickly and there is currently no technological fix that would drastically lower them.

In the United States, dozens of hotels and airlines have embraced such programs in the last year or two. United Airlines became the latest American airline to offer one this summer. Globally, offset programs have grown into a multimillion-dollar industry.

But it has proved difficult to monitor or quantify the emissions-reducing potential of the thousands of green projects financed by customers’ payments, and there are no industrywide standards.

Responsible Travel is not the only organization that has changed its mind about the usefulness of offsets: Yahoo and the United States House of Representatives both ended trial offset-purchase programs this year, concluding that the money was better spent on improving their buildings’ energy efficiency.

Some of the world’s leading experts on the emissions issue have reviewed and rejected purchasing offsets for air travel.

The whole article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/science/earth/18offset.html?scp=1&sq=guilt%20carbon&st=cse

Big Hoax