Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Darkness Descends


 The Christian season of Advent countenances expectation, hope, joy and purity in the lighting of candles, culminating in a moment of reverence on Christmas Day. The hopes and expectations of the future during this century are continuing to be focused on the climate crisis of our time. It becomes more and more fraught as the COP climate summits pass without concrete actions and benchmarks.

The Wilson Center is a think tank that provides input and public education on policy positions. In its Environmental Change and Security Program, it lays out some high-level issues and possible engagement strategies on climate change as it is dealt with at the global level. The video interview with Ruth Greenspan Bell makes a very clear position that the US has damaged its influence and negotiating strategies with the four year intransigence of the Trump administration. Not only that, but as a result we have now lost the Arctic. As in "finis".

Her article in The Daily Climate makes the argument that the COP process via the UN hasn't produced any substantive agreements or strategies for reducing the carbon emissions that are destroying planetary systems.

"Carbon emissions might have been worse without this annual attention [COP meetings], but it’s hard to escape that the current pathway is essentially business as usual.

What is the return on value of almost 30 years of meetings? We’ve seen record-breaking increases in global average atmospheric carbon dioxide and little progress toward concrete support for poor countries that suffer the most from the climate’s radical changes, though they contributed the least to the destruction.

It might be time to strip away the parts of this annual ritual that have value and jettison the rest."

Emily Atkin is a blogger on Substack who is an environmental reporter and writer, best known for founding the weekly climate newsletter HEATED. It is dedicated to original accountability reporting and analysis on the climate crisis. Her article, "How fossil fuel influence choked climate talks" is very clear about how the climate talks have broken down because of interference by the fossil fuel companies. She has provided further background in the links below her article, it's very dismal. Her summation of COP27 is:

"We are fast-approaching the deadline for limiting warming to safe levels. Yet we are still living in a political and media environment where the vast majority of people don’t mention fossil fuels when they talk about climate change.

That’s not a coincidence; it’s by design. The fossil fuel industry is fighting tooth and nail to deny the truth of their responsibility. As long as they’re allowed at global climate talks, that’s what they’ll continue to do."

The biggest fear is that the fossil fuel corporations will completely derail any global consensus about how to stop the carbon emissions that are so destructive to our ecosystem. This isn't some kind of normal negotiation which allows for "compromise". It is complete and utter destruction of the biosphere; there can be no compromise on the goals and methods.