They Saved the World?

 

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TDS-Logo-BThe 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (aka “COP21,” aka “CMP 11,” aka “Martha Stewart’s Cookware Extravaganza!”) has concluded and produced a 31-page plan to save the world. (That’s what they tell us anyway.)

The 195 nations involved have committed to limit global warming to “well below” 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (or two degrees Celsius … if you hate America). COP21 produced a “bottom-up system” (you’re going to hear that phrase a lot). Rather than try to impose one limit on everyone, each country will set its own goal (called a “nationally determined contribution”) and then submit a plan about how they’re going to do that. (The US has already pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels.) Then, starting in 2018, everybody will have to submit a new plan, raising their “nationally determined contribution,” every five years.

Why are they doing it this way? Well, developing countries have complained that rich nations are stifling their development by insisting on controlling carbon emissions. So with this “bottom-up system,” everybody gets to decide on their own “contribution” based on local needs and conditions. This can either be a good thing (it lets richer countries set higher goals for themselves without crushing developing countries) or a bad thing (countries set unrealistically low goals for themselves).

At this point the agreement will be “deposited” at United Nations headquarters where ambassadors will sign it in April. (Probably to much fanfare and many, many photo ops.) After that, once 55 countries sign on, it goes into effect on New Year’s Day 2020.

The “good” news is that this agreement was designed not to be a treaty, meaning that it doesn’t need Senate approval here in the US. So Congress (you know, the people’s elected representatives) doesn’t get to weigh in at all.

President Obama was upbeat about the agreement in his understated way. “I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world.” He thinks that it was “the best chance we have to save the one planet that we’ve got.” (So, you know, when people point to this … mess of a presidency, he can at least point to the part where he saved the world.) The reality is that, between the bloviation, sweeping rhetoric, self-congratulation, and … everything else, it will be hard to know what the real value of this agreement will be for some time.

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There are 9 comments.

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  1. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    For the first time in history, less than 10% of the global population lives in extreme poverty.

    The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was organized to reverse this disastrous trend.

    • #1
  2. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    I think this is a win-win.  The Western elites got a shared moment of self-regard, selfies & champagne all ’round, lads!  And the agreement is largely empty and unenforceable which means real people living in the real world won’t be harmed by it.

    In another ten years when it becomes impossible to argue with a straight face that climate sensitivity is anywhere never 2 deg C/CO2 doubling, the left will have found a new toy and deny they were ever into the The Great Climate Scare of the late 20th and early 21st century.

    • #2
  3. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    These do-it-yourself rules sound remarkably like No Child Left Behind.

    • #3
  4. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    My go-to guy on climate change is Bjorn Lomborg. And he is not impressed. See here.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/bjornlomborg/2015/12/13/we-have-a-treaty-but-at-what-cost/

    • #4
  5. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Well that made me vomit.  Metaphorically, of course. ;)

    • #5
  6. Inwar Resolution Inactive
    Inwar Resolution
    @InwarResolution

    Old Bathos:In another ten years when it becomes impossible to argue with a straight face that climate sensitivity is anywhere never 2 deg C/CO2 doubling, the left will have found a new toy and deny they were ever into the The Great Climate Scare of the late 20th and early 21st century.

    I hope you are right, but Climate Change is just about the perfect excuse for the left to increase government power.  Every weather event is evidence of it, and new excuses, like “the oceans stole my warming” will abound.  I expect them to ride this horse for a long time, and if it’s not still going in 10 years, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • #6
  7. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    He thinks that it was “the best chance we have to save the one planet that we’ve got.”

    Of all the sanctimonious phrases favored by the left, “save the planet” is the one that irks me the most.  The planet cannot be destroyed by temperatures’ rising a few tenths of a degree nor by oceans’ rising a few inches, nor would mankind’s existence be threatened by such things.

    • #7
  8. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Johnny Dubya:

    He thinks that it was “the best chance we have to save the one planet that we’ve got.”

    Of all the sanctimonious phrases favored by the left, “save the planet” is the one that irks me the most. The planet cannot be destroyed by temperatures’ rising a few tenths of a degree nor by oceans’ rising a few inches, nor would mankind’s existence be threatened by such things.

    I have a feeling we won’t be able to save it, long term.

    • #8
  9. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Marion Evans: I have a feeling we won’t be able to save it, long term.

    On a long enough timescale, the odds of extinction pretty quickly become 100%:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_far_future

    • #9

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