SocraticGadfly: Glasgow: Sound and fury on climate change, signifying nothing

November 15, 2021

Glasgow: Sound and fury on climate change, signifying nothing

First, here is the actual agreement, all 10 pages.  You'll see lots of "urges." No "agree that they will" or anything like that, of course. So, with that, let's dig in.

1. John Kerry is turd-polishing the Glasgow climate deal. Tells us non #BlueAnon folks all we need to know. A deal with no enforcement got even worse to kowtow to India on coal.

2. Tree planting climate offsets were already full of both loopholes and bullshit. Pledges at Glasgow only doubled that. So does the larger idea of getting to "net zero" with an offsets-first approach. Indigenous people are right that this is a new form of colonialism. Greta Thunberg is right that this is greenwashing. (In turn, that undermines Wrong Type of Green if it still claims she's under the thumb of corporate neoliberal minders.)

3. If carbon markets are like carbon cap-and-trade was in the EU, they're bullshit, too.

4. Gizmodo nails it; the US has been a bit of a bully in the past (but China has hid behind our skirts).

Bottom line? This will be Jell-O, just like Paris.

5. Therefore, it's no surprise that a mainstream climate science neoliberal like Michael Mann is scribbling for the LA Times, avidly stanning for the "deal" at Glasgow. In fact, this shite is exactly why I've called the likes of him and Texas' #BlueAnon national climate change treasure Katharine Hayhoe climate change neoliberals, or actually, from the blog, not from memory, "climate change Obamiacs," for years. Focusing on Hayhoe and fellow travelers of hers, I talked about this four years ago. I most recently tackled her in a piece late this summer, kind of a warning shot about Glasgow, and another one about the mainstream media on climate issues.

Let's break out how much BS he has, starting here:

COVID-related restrictions made it difficult for climate activists to participate in the proceedings.

Uhh, wrong! The rich nation-states organizing Glasgow had more to do with this than COVID. DeSmog Blog and other sites have written about this. Even you admit the overwhelming presence of fossil fuel execs, but can't, or won't, tie this to activist exclusion.

Then, this:

Meanwhile, the leaders of the world’s largest carbon emitter, China, and petrostates Saudi Arabia and Russia were AWOL. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia was shunned for his woefully inadequate climate commitments. Yes, there were pledges aplenty, but the “implementation gap” seemed ever more yawning. A leaked draft of the COP26 decision text lacked any mention of a fossil fuel phaseout.

Uhh, China sent officials. Just not Xi Jinping, who hasn't left China since the start of COVID and, if recent internal indications are any worry, is concerned about a new round of COVID. (He probably didn't want to face even a suggestion of hostile questioning from either world leaders or world press.) Shameful? Per the Paris Jell-O link above? The US has also been shameful. As for attendance? Biden did go, didn't stay that long, and barked up the wrong tree. Nor did many other world leaders. Mann having a "we" in a following paragraph comes off as American tribalism, even if not meant that way.

And, the capper on the bullshit? This:

But the biggest breakthrough was unexpected. On Wednesday, China and the U.S. — the world’s two largest climate polluters — said they would commit to “enhanced climate actions” to keep global warming to the limits set in the Paris agreement. Most critically, the statement included a commitment to phase down coal. And while we can’t yet quantify the impacts of this development, it presumably moves us closer to the 1.5 Celsius goal. This level of U.S.-China cooperation quickly shifted the entire COP26 narrative and outlook. 
It is noteworthy that a similar bilateral agreement in 2014 brokered by the same two lead negotiators — China’s top climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and then-Secretary of State John F. Kerry — laid the groundwork for the Paris agreement a year later. This week’s agreement might prove even more important. Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Biden will meet virtually on Monday to discuss further actions.

EXACTLY like how Paris ended. A joint communique full of purely voluntary items. (Mann either knows this about Paris and is being mendacious, and does not, and is an idiot. I'm taking 5-1 odds, minimum, on the former.)

Until either the US or China passes a carbon tax PLUS carbon tariff, the likes of Michael Mann should STFU. Right now, per Greta Thunberg, he's full of "blah, blah, blah."

Except more of that in days and weeks ahead from Hayhoe herself and the fellow travelers like Bob Kopp, as well as the climate change Obamiac mainstream environmentalists like Audubon and even the AOC-touted (and AOC-queenmaking) Sunrise Movement. They've done it before, too, in the case of Audubon; see the "late this summer" for Sunrise.

6. So, in summary, I agree with Vox that it was a "tiny step." I agree that Dear Leader Obama is a hypocrite. (Right, climate change Obamiacs?) I disagree that this provides any sort of international political lever.

7. Finally, where am I at on the realities on the ground, using the measuring stick of global warming? As for my degree of alarmism? I'm not quite James Kunstler, but I'm far more than Mann or Hayhoe.

I think if we do EVERYTHING we can right now, reasonably, with mandates, not voluntary unenforceable agreements, 2C is still cooked in the books and hits by 2100.

I think if the current actual reality continues? About a 50 percent chance of 2C by 2050. I think a 10 percent chance of 3C by 2050, 30 percent by 2075 and more than 50 percent by 2100. I think a 10 percent chance of **4C** by 2100, and if that happens, there’s the possibility of “runaway Earth” tipping points. Mother Jones thinks the world will hit 2.4C, and apparently that's it. THAT is too low.

Update 1 and confirming that? The Independent Media Institute, Richard Wolff-affiliated org, in discussing the "climate chinwag," says that even if all pledges at Glasgow were met, it still wouldn't get us to Paris targets. It also notes that most consumers in advanced nations, above all but not limited to the US, aren't really ready to change their lifestyles much. It adds that many don't know what the best things are to do, anyway. 

Update 2? It was noted at Glasgow that rich countries have missed the targets for money for a climate mobilization fund to assist poor countries. Per Quartz, there's an even bigger problem. Nobody knows what's been done with the. money that HAS been raised.

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