U.S. 2020 climate treaty proposal isn’t a delay—it’s a death sentence

Wed, 2011-12-07 16:27Guest
Guest's picture

U.S. 2020 climate treaty proposal isn’t a delay—it’s a death sentence

Ed note: Originally published by our friends at Grist.org.

by Jamie Henn of 350.org
 
The U.N. climate talks desperately need a crisis. For the last 10 days, negotiations here in Durban, South Africa, have made little progress on the fundamental challenge these talks were set up to confront: how the world can come together to avoid catastrophic climate change.
 
Instead, the pace of negotiations has been set by the one country the rest of the world should be turning their back on: the United States.
 
The U.S. never signed the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding international agreement designed to reduce emissions, but it is allowed to take part in the negotiations in a separate track dedicated to securing a long-term climate agreement. After President Obama's election, the international community had high hopes the new administration would bring a new sense of ambition and commitment to talks.
 
Instead, the only thing the U.S. brought to the table was a wrecking ball. Rather than standing out of the way and letting the rest of the world get on with setting up an international architecture to facilitate cutting emissions, stopping deforestation, and investing in renewable energy, the U.S. has spent the years since Copenhagen attempting to systemically dismantle the U.N. process.
 
Highest on the U.S. hit list is the Kyoto Protocol, an imperfect treaty (thanks in large part to U.S. recalcitrance), but currently the best instrument in the global climate toolbox. Next on the list is the very idea of legally binding commitments – the U.S. would prefer a “pledge and review” world where countries make their own voluntary commitments and then report out on what they've decided.
 
Here in Durban, however, the U.S. has taken on an even more insidious role by pushing a proposal that the international community adopt a “mandate” to negotiate a new climate treaty that will take effect in – wait for it – 2020.
This isn’t just a delay, it’s a death sentence. Scientists have stated over and over that in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, emissions must peak by 2015 or 2020 at the absolute latest. (For a closer look at the scientific reasoning, read David Roberts.)
 
It is especially callous and cold-hearted for the U.S. to be pushing the 2020 timeline here in Durban. Africa is already seeing the devastating impacts of the climate crisis, from the deadly drought still ravaging the Horn of Africa to terrible flooding, including here in Durban where heavy rains killed at least eight people just last week.
 
But instead of being recognized as yet another delay tactic from the world’s biggest historical emitter, the 2020 timeline seems to be gaining traction here at the talks. Brazil and India have vaguely expressed support, China has made cryptic comments about the proposal, and the European Union has yet to stand up clearly and strongly against the delay. If the talks here in Durban are allowed to simply stumble to the closing gavel, there's a chance that the U.S. proposal could become the new mandate for the U.N. climate talks.
 
It’s time for a crisis moment. The world has successfully stood up to the United States at the U.N. climate talks before. On the final day of the talks in Bali in 2007, delegates actively booed Bush administration negotiators over their repeated attempts to hold up progress. Finally, the delegate from Papua New Guinea challenged the U.S.: “If you're not willing to lead, get out of the way.” Minutes later, the U.S. negotiators relented and allowed a deal to move forward.
 
Civil society needs to do everything we can to create a similar crisis moment here in Durban. If African nations stand up to the U.S. and are backed up by Brazil, India, and the E.U., there’s a chance that the world can save Kyoto, beat back the 2020 delay, and set a mandate for new agreements within the next year or by 2015 at the latest.
 
The world stood up to the U.S. in Bali, it can do it again in Durban. In the words of a South African freedom-fighter-turned-president, “It's always impossible until it’s done.”
 
Jamie Henn co-founded 350.org, where he serves as Communications Director and East Asia Coordinator.
 
Originally published by our friends at Grist.org.

Previous Comments

This proposal by the US represents a political consensus and allows the process to go forward. Thats how politics works, rarely do you simply shun a large part of the electorate and steamroll forward. There exists much doubt regarding the veracity of the the AGW theory and now there is another decade for some warming to show itself and provide the smallest confirmatory evidence which today is sorely lacking. The science will have time to evolve and figure out many unknowns, IE what is the climate sensitivity to C02? Is there a link to extreme weather events? Is AGW even a problem worth tackling?

Nations can monitor this file and move on to more pressing matters for the moment and allow the political climate to evolve. This will probide time for each nation to address this issue on there own accord.

The cliamte summits are dead for at least that long anyway. The poorer nations are not interested in any reductions of there own and are simply there for a handout as you can see by there reaction to any proposed limits on there emissions. The developing world feels the same way and except for europe (excluding britain) no major developed country wishes to sacrifice there role in the competitive world economy to China and India through draconian c02 cuts that will mostly just cut the legs from there own economies and standard of living.

This is the first time since Carbon fever took hold, that I have seen a REALISTIC proposal come forward from these goofy talks. Thankyou to Canada, Russia, Japan and the USA for leadership on this bizare cultish file.

A real reality check.

Physics doesn’t give a ‘diving Monckton’ about what is politically expedient.

The known physics tells us that politics alone is too sclerotic to ameliorate the climate changes that are already in the works because of past and current elevated levels of GHGs.

In a recent reply to another of your inane offerings I asked you to provide proof as to why anthropogenic climate change is not happening and why our understanding of the cause is wrong.

As you neglected to offer any reply, let alone an adequate response why are you still here spouting the usual tripe.

Here is a demonstration of one myth that plays to stupidity or ignorance, pay attention in the back there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uHhLcoPT9KM

Why is politics so unsuited to dealing with this problem?

It is because of such as that which criminal against humanity AfP’s Tim Phillips is so proud of to brag about - bullying GOP candidates to flip-flop on climate action. Phillips is of course a mouthpiece of and puppet of the Kochs:

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/12/08/383676/koch-americans-for-prosperity-bullying-gop-climate-denial/

Of course if you wish to be remembered as a criminal then keep up with the aiding and abetting of these sociopathic nasties by ignoring the science and repeating falsehoods.

 

yes I’m sure that in the future anonomous blog commenters will be rounded up and locked away for their thought crimes, whearas history will remember and hold high other blog commenters for their herculean efforts to save! the! world!…or maybe not.

Specifically, we’ve seen one failing of ‘unfettered’ capitalism in recent history.

We’re witnessing the second right now.

To understand our society you simply have to evaluate a simple question. What decision will result in the quickest near term profits.  That will define how our society evaluates the decision.

Now… This doesn’t mean capitalism is wrong.  Efficiency is a good thing.

… but somewhere in the equation the environment is getting left out.

  1. Corporate shareholders are not rewarded for being good to the environment.
  2. There is no price for damaging the environment.
  3. There is no cost to ignoring long term impacts.

On the other side of the token, oil companies are pretty much required by law maximize their profits.  Think about how much they make by throwing a little money into the blogosphere to counter real scientific work.  To not do this would be inappropriate.

It makes one wonder what kind idiot follows this line of reasoning.

Take or resident climate denier Ralph for instance.  He reads the second to last sentence on the following link;

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction-intermediate.htm

and concludes that Hansen is debunked. 

So, is he paid to be here, or is he really that stupid.

As you would appreciate if you did not wear ideological blinkers, too narrow in focus (or just plain too stupid) to see the bigger picture of which this is just a part:

http://www.grist.org/list/2011-12-07-study-the-climate-is-changing-100-times-faster-than-species-can-

 

How can we even think of an emission peak at 2015? India and China are just getting started. 2015 is a 1000 days away. Emission peak at 2050 might be a possibility, but only if there is some energy miracle around the corner.

And about 2020 - when governments say they want to do something in 8 years it generally means never.

is never do it.

To hell with the grandchildren…

I wouldn’t be too worried about “The Grandchildren“(tm). 

They’ve survived repeated earlier attempts by enviro-panic-mongers to wipe out grandchildren – like the overpopulation and mass-starvation predicted in the 1960s; the Ice Age that was predicted in the 1970s; the eagerly-anticipated Africanized Killer Bee invasion; and Y2K.

I’m sure by the time 2020 rolls around, environmentalists will have cooked up some brand new panic to annihilate grandchildren.  They’ll have to, since the wheels have pretty much come off the whole Global Warming scam some time ago.

Although, lately, being frustrated at their repeated failures at killing significant numbers of grandchildren, environmentalist charities have shifted their focus to killing grandchildren’s number one hero, instead:

http://www.wherewillsantalive.ca/

On the other hand, according to the Mayan calendar, we’re all goners in 2012 anyway.

 

Thats a good recap but you have missed a few, I remember that acid rain was supposed to kill us all. One of the key points was that 96% of Canada’s maple trees would be done for, today we have record productions of maple syrop from quebec. (Yes that was a suzukiism) One of his other predictions was that the 1990’s was going to be the decade where we really had to change our ways or the biosphere was done for. Whoops another failed prediction by radical environmentalism.

Another good one was the ozone hole, oddly enough you hear very little about these issues these days, yet massive emissions of cfc’s and sulphur dioxide still occur. I guess we moved onto a new panic without adequate scientific evaluation of many of the radical claims made.

I’ve never trusted Suzuki at all on the environment. In some ways he’s much worse and more dangerous than some of the newer crackpots out there (Hansen, et al).

But I’m curious as to what new tack the warmists will try to exploit now that the current one, “More severe weather events” doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction. People, by nature, just won’t buy in to the long term predictions of dire consequences so they need that “It’s already happening now” thing to keep the public’s interest.

The climateers seem to get there playbook at just the same time. About 6 months ago even the hard core members of the team would have told you that it was very tenuous to link weather to climate change. Ubber Climateer George Monbiot wrote

“There’s a sound rule for reporting weather events that may be related to climate change. You can’t say that a particular heatwave or a particular downpour – or even a particular freeze – was definitely caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.”

Now however that the warming predictions are all coming in way under, they need a new scare tactic so now they must really stretch the speculative science even further to allege weather events are caused by c02 emissions.

In comes Al Gore who made this point repeatedly with his 24hour goreathon. A couple of flimsy papers emerge a month later and next The IPCC throws out a tenuous report linking weather to c02 (without any firm evidence of course) and now the warmist media has changed there tune. Weather is now linked to c02 whereas 6 months ago that was not the case.

They need a new crisis and since the warming isn’t happening it’s on to weather. When the weather link gets debunked look for them to move onto ocean acidification.

They are hoping the public is not paying attention as they spiral downward and grasping at more and more tenuous claims with less and less science. 500 years ago witches we’re blamed for weather events and unfortuantely it looks like history does repeat itself.

 

‘About 6 months ago even the hard core members of the team would have told you that it was very tenuous to link weather to climate change.’

And here you are with yet another false inanity.

Deke Ardnt once remarked ‘Climate trains the boxer but weather throws the punches’ and that statement predates this post:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=290

see also here:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100728_stateoftheclimate.html

note the Deke Ardnt reference at the foot of that article

and surprisingly here:

http://pressrepublican.com/0205_columns/x1838601599/Climate-change-extreme-weather-create-perfect-storms

The link between climate and weather has long been known by those involved in meteorology.

Another strawman blazes.

‘They need a new crisis and since the warming isn’t happening it’s on to weather.’

Warming isn’t happening, where is your evidence for that?

I have already supplied above a link to evidence that the world is warming, where is yours that says otherwise?

Come on. If you cannot back up your statements then they should not stand.

The link between weather and cliamte change has always been tenuous and smart alarmists always stayed away from this to avoid being completely without basis. Below is a good article by Miles Allen of the guardian titled “Al Gore is doing a disservice to science by overplaying the link between climate change and weather.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/07/al-gore-science-climate-weather?INTCMP=SRCH

The warming just has not been happening. Even warmist blogs like sceptical science admit that Hansen is simply wrong. Warming was predicted to be x based on Y emmisions of C02. We have seen record emissions and the warming just has not kept pace. You can find this many, many pleaces on the net or simply review his submissions yourself to debunk them.

http://sppiblog.org/news/the-hansen-model-another-very-simple-disproof-of-anthropogenic-global-warming

As a result, the Team is moving away from warming and onto weather, fortunately faith is not moved by facts.


 

‘The warming just has not been happening. Even warmist blogs like sceptical science admit that Hansen is simply wrong.’

More lies (dark brown smelly stuff) from you Nader unless of course you can prove otherwise with full and complete context.

You are just taunting us now with vapid comments bereft of any truth.

Unless you can actually start demonstrating any fact behind your statements I will no longer engage with a time wasting troll.

Enough!

A 2 year diploma (if that), and you suck it all down like koolaid.

“I’ve never trusted Suzuki at all on the environment.”

Because he doesn’t operate within your perceived political sphere.

“In some ways he’s much worse and more dangerous than some of the newer crackpots out there (Hansen, et al).”

Hansen was going to congress about the need for action in the 70-80’s. That’s new?

 

“like the overpopulation”

It’s still happening & is still an issue.

“and mass-starvation predicted in the 1960s”

That was a regional issue, not a global issue.

“the Ice Age that was predicted in the 1970s”

A handful out papers said this at the time, whereas dozens said there would be global warming. Time magazine chose the handful. The gullible believed.

“the eagerly-anticipated Africanized Killer Bee invasion”

Another regional issue.

“and Y2K

Which was dealt with by thousands of programmers. There were still issues come 2K, just not as many. Maybe they should have waited until after shit hit the fan to say to naysayers. “Would you like us to do something now?”

“environmentalists will have cooked up some brand new panic to annihilate grandchildren.”

So why is there conservative governments around the world that believe in it & have implimented successful climate change policies and/or carbon taxes/ETS? You are desperate to associate blame with your political paranoia.



 

“In other words, the reason Hansen’s global temperature projections were too high was primarily because his climate model had a climate sensitivity that was too high.” Sceptical science warmist blog.

Sure Sceptical science tries to ham it up with a bunch of caveats but even they at the end of the day admit that the warming predicted was overstated. If you read through the entire document you find many caveats but in the end they admit that the global warming predicted just has not happened.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction-advanced.htm

Be specific.  Quote it.  Really, I’m tired of hunting for your ‘facts’.

Here, let me help your lazy brain and tired fingers;

“The argument “Hansen’s projections were too high” is thus not an argument against anthropogenic global warming or the accuracy of climate models, but rather an argument against climate sensitivity being as high as 4.2°C for 2xCO2, but it’s also an argument for climate sensitivity being around 3.4°C for 2xCO2.  This is within the range of climate sensitivity values in the IPCC report, and is even a bit above the widely accepted value of 3°C for 2xCO2.”

“Had Hansen used a climate model with a climate sensitivity of approximate 3.4°C for 2xCO2 (at least in the short-term, it’s likely larger in the long-term due to slow-acting feedbacks),  he would have projected the ensuing rate of global surface temperature change accurately.  Not only that, but he projected the spatial distribution of the warming with a high level of accuracy.  The take-home message should not be “Hansen was wrong therefore climate models and the anthropogenic global warming theory are wrong;” the correct conclusion is that Hansen’s study is another piece of evidence that climate sensitivity is in the  IPCC stated range of 2-4.5°C for 2xCO2.”

It terms someone as simple as yourself can understand, Hansen’s model was too sensitive, but definitely in IPCC ranges.  This supports global warming, and shows you to be intellectually stunted or at best illiterate.

Mr. Oilman,

I think the overall point here is that Hansen and others have been way over the top  in estimationg the effects of climate for a long time. And everytime someone mentions this fact,  even that fact is challenged with more links and spin moves than an ice dancing show.

Even this article blatantly tries the climate/weather trick;

“…the devastating impacts of the climate crisis [……] including here in Durban where heavy rains killed at least eight people just last week”

That was clearly a weather event and it get the shameless ‘Climate’ spin.

all unusual weather events prove climate change and if unusual weather events stopped happening, it would be so strange that it would be proof positive of climate change

I was talking to Ralph and what he’s been saying.  This in no way or substance has anything to do with what you are misdirecting the conversation to.  You might try reading what Ralph said first.

To clear the air waves… I have no idea who Jamie Henn or 350.org is.  I have no idea what the current “devastating impacts of the climate crisis” refers.   Its not something I am directly following.  (This is probably why I am not talking about it.)

If you read what Ralph said;

“Sure Sceptical science tries to ham it up with a bunch of caveats but even they at the end of the day admit that the warming predicted was overstated. If you read through the entire document you find many caveats but in the end they admit that the global warming predicted just has not happened.”

Umm… Where have they said this?  You tell me.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction-advanced.htm

Maybe you can explain what I am not seeing in Ralph’s link?

You’re a sharp person.  Clear this up.

 I gave you a direct quote from the article that states that. There are also many more.

“As you can see, Hansen’s projections showed slightly more warming than reality, but clearly they were neither off by a factor of 4….”

“…and it’s important to examine why Hansen’s projections didn’t match up with the actual surface temperature change…”

“Thus the greenhouse gas radiative forcing in Scenario B was too high by about 5%”

“In other words, the reason Hansen’s global temperature projections were too high was primarily because his climate model had a climate sensitivity that was too high.”

“Although the actual amount of warming (Figure 5) has been less than projected in Scenario B…”

Like I said even the warmist blog sceptical science has to admit that Hansens predictions are wrong. Sure they trow up a bunch of caveats but at the end of the day warming was predicted and the warming did not occur so its on to dangerous weather. More objective analysis has been done by many other people who point this salient fact out.

 

So… Ralph let me put more of those sentences in context.

“As you can see, Hansen’s projections showed slightly more warming than reality, but clearly they were neither off by a factor of 4, nor were they “an astounding failure” by any reasonably honest assessment.”

So they were a success then Ralph.  Thanks for pointing that fact out.

“This is obviously an oversimplified conclusion, and it’s important to examine why Hansen’s projections didn’t match up with the actual surface temperature change.  That’s what we’ll do here.”

I suppose you didn’t want to include the discussion or the results?  Too inconvenient Ralph?

“Total Scenario B greenhouse gas radiative forcing from 1984 to 2010 = 1.1 W/m2

The actual greenhouse gas forcing from 1984 to 2010 was approximately 1.06 W/m2 (NASA GISS).  Thus the greenhouse gas radiative forcing in Scenario B was too high by about 5%.”

OK… So Hansen was off by 5% on a 16 year prediction of the future?  Thanks for pointing out that its accurate Ralph.

“In other words, the reason Hansen’s global temperature projections were too high was primarily because his climate model had a climate sensitivity that was too high.  Had the sensitivity been 3.4°C for a 2xCO2, and had Hansen decreased the radiative forcing in Scenario B slightly, he would have correctly projected the ensuing global surface air temperature increase.

The argument “Hansen’s projections were too high” is thus not an argument against anthropogenic global warming or the accuracy of climate models, but rather an argument against climate sensitivity being as high as 4.2°C for 2xCO2, but it’s also an argument for climate sensitivity being around 3.4°C for 2xCO2.  This is within the range of climate sensitivity values in the IPCC report, and is even a bit above the widely accepted value of 3°C for 2xCO2.”

So… its in the ranges of error currently understood by the scientific community. Thanks for pointing that out Ralph.

“Although the actual amount of warming (Figure 5) has been less than projected in Scenario B (Figure 4), this is due to the fact that as discussed above, we’re not yet in the decade of the 2010s (which will almost certainly be warmer than the 2000s), and Hansen’s climate model projected a higher rate of warming due to a high climate sensitivity.  However, as you can see, Hansen’s model correctly projected amplified warming in the Arctic, as well as hot spots in northern and southern Africa, west Antarctica, more pronounced warming over the land masses of the northern hemisphere, etc.  The spatial distribution of the warming is very close to his projections.”

OK… so apart from being slightly off all the projections are very close.  Thanks for pointing that out Ralph.

“Like I said even the warmist blog sceptical science has to admit that Hansens predictions are wrong. Sure they trow up a bunch of caveats but at the end of the day warming was predicted and the warming did not occur so its on to dangerous weather. More objective analysis has been done by many other people who point this salient fact out.”

SO.. I can conclude he’s out by 5% on a 16 year prediction of the future?  If only economists were that accurate. Millions of Americans could have been saved the hardships they are suffering right now.

Now what you actually said was;

“If you read through the entire document you find many caveats but in the end they admit that the global warming predicted just has not happened.”

Which is absolute hogwash.  You’ve changed the subject with a bag of half assed lies.  Please resubmit an actual answer.

Perhaps you should examine the issue further.

Hansen stated three scenarios

a - the temperature increase if co2 emissions rose fast than presently

b the temperature increase if C02 emissions did not change (Business as usual)

c the temperature increase if c02 emissions peaked and started to drop.

When you look at the temperature today it is below scenario C yet emissions are between a and b being closer to a.

Saying you are only 5% off when you give a wide range of temperatures is the same as being 100% wrong. Our temperature is below scenario c are you going to argue that c02 emissions have plateaued? C02 emissions are obviously not a big driver of climate. Even your warmist buddies admit that hansen’s has been debunked (of course with spin) why can’t you examine the issue rationally. Is it so hard to admit that the climateers we’re/are wrong?

more work for gravediggers.

Employment matters!