“The Paris Agreement will see the planet burn”

Amy Goodman of Democracy NOW!, the only news outlet giving extended coverage at Paris COP21.

Amy Goodman of Democracy NOW!, the only news outlet giving extended coverage at Paris COP21.

This is mostly a regurgitation of a bunch of other people’s work (specifically, props to the folks at Democracy NOW, who haven’t been distracted by other news during the COP21 meeting). I don’t know whether to be relieved or saddened that many of the information dumps coming out of the COP21 Paris meeting are confirming the fact that nothing being approved will save us from human extinction in the near term (good news: we won’t be going alone. We’ll take most of the planet’s multi-celled species with us). 

The quote that matters– “The Paris Agreement will see the planet burn”–came from from an interview by Democracy NOW!: Pablo Solón, former chief negotiator on climate change for Bolivia, spoke to Democracy NOW. He has seen the final document for COP21 in Paris and the quote is his. According to Solón, The UNCCC has tabulated the promises of the participants in terms of commitments to reduce c02 and other warming gases. The world will continue burning a growing volume of fossil fuel, increasing average temperature between 2.7 and 3.9c.

We’ve already heated the world by an average of 0.9c 1.5 C beyond what the temperatures were before the industrial era. And if I read the transcript correctly, that 3.9c is on top of the 1.1c of heating we already have, and well beyond the 2c the world is ostensibly trying to avoid going beyond, extinction-level temperatures. Per Kevin Hester (who I’ve quoted here before), a 4c increase would cause the death of the arboreal forests and the acidification of the world’s oceans to the point where the phytoplankton would no longer produce oxygen. The interview with Pablo Solon starts here.

The other bit of intellectual reflux here involves Dr. Kevin AndersonKevin Anderson is deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester in Britain. He is not a household name. But he is a new member of the club currently populated by Guy McPherson–the group of credentialed scientists who publicly say that the earth is cooked and we’re not being told what’s really happening with global warming. From Democracy NOW! (which interviewed Dr. Anderson in light of the COP Paris climate summit), Kevin Anderson said many scientists are self-censoring their own work to downplay the severity of the climate crisis. Dr. Anderson recently wrote, “Yet so far we simply have not been prepared to accept the revolutionary implications of our own findings, and even when we do we are reluctant to voice such thoughts openly, many are ultimately choosing to censor their own research.” His statements on temperature increases buttress Mr. Solon’s own statements. 

Anderson also goes into some detail about funding and science research reluctance to discuss the severity of the climate crisis on this September video presentationI have posted an earlier video where Dr. Anderson is one of several Royal Society scientists who excoriated the IPCC for its Fifth Assessment (released in late 2014). Anderson stated that the biggest defect of the predictions in the IPCC report was that all scenarios that show any hope of human survival rely on some means of carbon sequestration–that we can suck enough c02 out of the atmosphere to stop runaway greenhouse heating.

As I’ve repeatedly posted here, I wish Kevin Anderson and Guy McPherson were wrong. But if wishes were horses, etc…

BTW, if you want to follow videos from climate experts not heard in the US, you could do worse than look up Nick Breeze’s work on Youtube.



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