As world warms, negotiators give talks another try

Nov 20, 2010 By CHARLES J. HANLEY , AP Special Correspondent
In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, a deforested area is seen near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Para. The last time the world warmed, 120,000 years ago, the Cancun coastline was swamped by a 7-foot rise in sea level in a few decades. Cancun will host the 2010 annual U.N. climate conference amidst doubts about whether the long-running, 194-nation talks can ever agree on a legally binding treaty for reining in global warming. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

(AP) -- The last time the world warmed, 120,000 years ago, the Cancun coastline was swamped by a 7-foot (2.1-meter) rise in sea level in a few decades. A week from now at that Mexican resort, frustrated negotiators will try again to head off a new global deluge.

The disappointment of Copenhagen - the failure of the annual U.N. conference to produce a climate agreement last year in the Danish capital - has raised doubts about whether the long-running, 194-nation talks can ever agree on a legally binding treaty for reining in global warming.

"It's clear after Copenhagen that the U.N. process is `on probation,'" acknowledged Alden Meyer of the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists, a veteran observer and supporter of the process.

Even the Mexican hosts of the Nov. 29-Dec. 10 U.N. conference question whether "it is the best way to work - with 194 countries," as Mexico's environment secretary, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, put it.

"We must be really open and sincere. Do we need to make an evolution to a new methodology?" Elvira asked in an Associated Press interview.

The core failure has been in finding a consensus formula for mandatory reductions in countries' emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases, byproducts of , other industries, agriculture and automobiles.

For 13 years, the United States has refused to join the rest of the industrialized world in the , a binding pact to curb by modest amounts. More recently, as China, India and other emerging economies exempted from the 1997 Kyoto pact have sharply increased emissions, they have rejected calls by the U.S. and others to commit by treaty to restraints.

No one expects Cancun to resolve that standoff. Instead, delegates will focus on climate financial aid, deforestation and other secondary "building blocks" to try to revive momentum toward an umbrella deal at next year's conference in South Africa or at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 2012.

"We expect a positive attitude and a restoration of confidence in the multilateral system at Cancun," said Grenada's U.N. ambassador, Dessima Williams, chair of an alliance of island nations already facing early impacts of climate change.

While the global talks plod along, those impacts seem to be accelerating.

The world's warming oceans, for example, are rising at twice the 20th century's average rate, expanding from the heat and the runoff of melting land ice, says the Geneva-based World Climate Research Program. More ice is melting in Greenland and Antarctica than earlier thought, worried scientists report. Authoritative projections of 2007 - that seas might rise by up to 0.59 meters (1.94 feet) by 2100 - now appear too conservative.

The Yucatan peninsula, where the upcoming talks will take place, once experienced how quickly warming can remake coastlines. Researchers studying fossilized reefs near Cancun report that waters rose at least two meters (6.6 feet) in as little as 50 years during the last "interglacial," or natural warming period between cold, or glacial, ages.

Temperatures then, 120 millennia ago, were only 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than today, some 12,000 years into the current interglacial. In their 2007 assessment, the U.N. network of climate scientists projected temperatures will rise this century by up to 6.4 degrees C (11.5 degrees F), depending on whether and how much emissions are rolled back.

The U.N. network - the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - recommended emissions be cut by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C (3.6 F) above preindustrial levels. They already rose 0.7 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) in the 20th century.

In a nonbinding "Copenhagen Accord" from the 2009 conference, industrialized nations pledged reductions of only 18 percent overall, analysts say. The U.S. pledged a 3 percent reduction. China and other developing nations said they would work to rein in emissions growth.

Only a binding treaty with deep reductions can ensure the world will avoid the worst environmental upheavals of climate change, scientists and conservationists say. But the takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives by Republicans, many of whom dismiss strong scientific evidence of human-caused warming, all but rules out U.S. action for at least two years.

Instead, the Cancun negotiators hope at least for agreement on a "green fund" to disburse aid that developed countries promised at Copenhagen - $100 billion a year by 2020 - for developing countries to adapt to a changing climate by building seawalls and shifting farming patterns, for example, and to install clean energy sources.

The developing world hopes, too, for better terms for transferring patented green technology from richer nations. In a third area, delegates aim to make progress on the complex issue of compensating poorer nations for protecting their forests, key to the planet's ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

Parallel to the U.N. talks, often with U.S. leadership, governments have been making limited, voluntary side deals to chip away at emissions. That's "laudable and helpful," Grenada's Williams said, but "we have to go beyond that, to take collective action."

Encroaching seas already are contaminating drinking water and damaging housing in low-lying islands, she said. "It is overwhelming our capacity to stay alive."

Explore further: Pharmaceuticals and the water-fish-osprey food web

More information: U.N. climate talks - http://unfccc.int/2860.php

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omatumr
3.5 / 5 (13) Nov 20, 2010
The Solution: Eliminate government funds for the scientific-technological elite that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower predicted on 17 Jan 1961 would one day seize public policy and threaten the very foundations of free society.

See: Real Science vs Federal Science Elitism
http://www.youtub...ld5PR4ts

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
geokstr
3.5 / 5 (13) Nov 20, 2010
Well, well, a high-up IPCC official finally admits it's all about the redistribution of wealth, not climate change:

IPCC Official: “Climate Policy Is Redistributing The World's Wealth”
Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated.

http://thegwpf.or...lth.html

No doubt the leftist media will ignore this, but there will be lots of red and green heads exploding trying to explain this away.

So much for the world is about to end unless we embrace the Collective, turn over our national sovereignty to the UN, and race headlong into 1984.
geokstr
3.3 / 5 (12) Nov 20, 2010
http://thegwpf.or...lth.html

Well, well, well, will you lookee here. A top IPCC official admits it's not about climate change in Cancun, it's about redistributing the world's wealth, something that rational people suspected all along.

I can't wait to see the reds' and the greens' heads exploding as they try to explain this all away as more lies from the trogs. Please tell us again how we have to join the Collective, give up our national sovereignty to our intellectual and moral betters at the UN, and race headlong into 1984 to keep the world from ending.

geokstr
3 / 5 (10) Nov 20, 2010
http://thegwpf.or...s-wealth

Well, well, well, will you lookee here. A top IPCC official admits it's not about climate change in Cancun, it's about redistributing the world's wealth, something that rational people suspected all along.

I can't wait to see the reds' and the greens' heads exploding as they try to explain this all away as more lies from the trogs. Please tell us again how we have to join the Collective, give up our national sovereignty to our intellectual and moral betters at the UN, and race headlong into 1984 to keep the world from ending.

omatumr
3 / 5 (10) Nov 20, 2010
http://thegwpf.org/ipcc-news/1877-ipcc-official-climate-policy-is-redistributing-the-worlds-wealth.html . . .

A top IPCC official admits it's not about climate change in Cancun, it's about redistributing the world's wealth, . . .

. . . we have to join the Collective, give up our national sovereignty to our intellectual and moral betters at the UN, and race headlong into 1984 . . .


You are right.

In 1961 Eisenhower saw the danger of government science taking control of public policy: http://www.youtub...ld5PR4ts

He failed to see that an international alliance of world leaders, politicians, publishers, national academies, and leading research journals would use "consensus" science to redistribute the world's wealth.

Fortunately, "consensus" science yielded misinformation about the Sun's
a.) Origin; b.) Composition; c.) Source of Energy; d.) Influence on Our Climate [E&E 20 (2009) 131 arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704] http://www.youtub...QSSHIe6k

Bernie_Shadek
Nov 21, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
deatopmg
3.2 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2010
"...The last time the world warmed, 120,000 years ago, the Cancun coastline was swamped by a 7-foot rise in sea level in a few decades..."

Purposely left out to try to frighten us; as the climate shifted from ice-age to inter-ice-age. (imagine how much CO2 had to be released to get the climate to shift in 10's of years!! - sarc.)

This piece is just one of a rash of propaganda releases in preparation for the upcoming meeting in Cancun of charlatans, watermelons, hangers-on, and plain old plonkers.

In spite of their dire wishes, the world is not coming to an end, so repenting is not required.
deatopmg
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 21, 2010
"...The last time the world warmed, 120,000 years ago, the Cancun coastline was swamped by a 7-foot rise in sea level in a few decades..."

Purposely left out to try to frighten us; as the climate shifted from ice-age to inter-ice-age. (imagine how much CO2 had to be released to get the climate to shift in 10's of years!! - sarc.)

This piece is just one of a rash of propaganda releases in preparation for the upcoming meeting in Cancun of charlatans, watermelons, hangers-on, and plain old plonkers.

In spite of their dire wishes and biased science (as clearly revealed in the CRU whistle blower FOIA releases a yr ago), the world is not coming to an end, so repenting is not required.
Loodt
2.8 / 5 (9) Nov 21, 2010
Last time Cancun was swamped because the IPCC and the noble scientists weren't around, watch this time how the rise is stopped!
fireofenergy1
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 21, 2010
This also proves that excess CO2 is something to be alarmed about yesonsolar.com
Scroll down near bottom.

Commenters... Pleased be advised that backlashing proven science, in the name of conspiracy theory fears, is NOT the solution to oil depletion (and GW). We all need to stand united for seeking out a solution, a clean unlimited energy solution like...

Competing robotic solar PV factories!
fireofenergy1
2.1 / 5 (7) Nov 21, 2010
Building sea walls ain't gonna stop the problem. Building CHEAP AFFORDABLE CO2 free energy IS
geokstr
3 / 5 (6) Nov 21, 2010
Building sea walls ain't gonna stop the problem. Building CHEAP AFFORDABLE CO2 free energy IS

And please let us know when you invent it. You can be the world's first multi-trillionaire overnight when you do.

Or maybe you could convince the greens to get behind nuclear energy, like the rest of the entire freakin' planet.

No? Why not - because it might work?
Arkaleus
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 22, 2010
Greens and eco-socialists are just another faction vying for control of the declining Western world. They view populations of the West as captive resources to be counted, managed, and exploited like cattle or crops - whose sole benefit is for the masters who own them.

These factions have perverted the purpose of law and government into slavery and self-mutilation for human life, and their roots are in the darkest anti-human philosophies that smuggled themselves out of the smoldering ruins of the 20th century.

These insane ideologies are incompatible with liberty, free thought, or life and are only capable of casting ruin and chaos upon the world. Their chief minds are corrupt and could never exist as independent entities as the natural reaction to their venomous creed is revulsion and expulsion.

The saddest curiosity is the masses of westerners whose hatred of liberty and other human beings have driven them to support these saboteurs like cultists.
fireofenergy1
4 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2010
Yep, nuclear would provide all the energy we need, and closed cycle nuclear can do it like 1,000 times more efficiently because it can burn "spent fuel". Thus much less wastes.

About the robotic PV production, that would create more jobs (installs) because of the diffuse nature of sunlight.

I knew something was wrong when Obama massively funded some obscure and really expensive company called Solyndra (which still appears to be losing)!
GSwift7
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2010
The US isn't part of Kyoto mainly because the US can't be part of Kyoto. It's in our Constitution that Americans can't be bound to an international treaty. Even if we sign one of these treaties it will still require a bill to create actual laws here. The President and Secretary of State are limited in what they can do without Congressional support. Then, even if Congress gives it a green light, people and States can challenge it Constitutionally in the Courts. Agressive cap and trade agreements are never going to be accepted here. Whether it's the right thing to do or not, and how it makes you feel aren't part of the equation. The beliefs and wishes of scientist are also not part of the equation. At the end of the day, we still have to feed our children and assure the prosperity of our Nation. That comes first. If there's a green way to do that, then people will accept it. If the green way is going to hurt us, people will reject it. That's just common sense.
GSwift7
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2010
Even the most ardent supporters of carbon cap and trade have publicly admitted that the impact of even a fairly agressive cap and trade system in the US would be minimal in terms of global CO2 levels. The cost would not be justified by the results right now, and too many of the wrong people are salivating over the potential for piles of money falling into their laps for doing nothing but being in the right position when it happens. The corruption is too evident and people are not going to fall for it.

In fact, the backlash of public opinion over the soon to come EPA GHG permit system may be stronger than Obama is prepared for. When utility bills start to rise and areas like California and New York start to have more trouble getting the electricity they neeed, there's going to be some very angry people. Even more angry people than the health care bill has created, but that's just a guess on my part. We will see in the next six to twelve months.
Arkaleus
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 24, 2010
Regulating climate is impossible today, but regulating people is certainly possible. Justifying the regulations with terrifying claims of danger is very similar to the methods of old world priest-kings and their associated hierarchies.

No doubt the scarcity and competition of modern life has motivated the intelligent and evil to attempt a resurgence of this old form of tyranny. It promises to provide an easy living where otherwise they would have to complete with the rest of us in the very difficult market conditions of today.

I can understand the motives; they're very human. What I don't understand is how people fail to see the consequences of allowing this sort of primitive tyranny back into power. Liberty is always more peaceful than domination, and tyrants cause more destruction than any other kind of madmen.

The rise of these false powers will damage the world and ourselves - that's the nature of tyrannical power. Please recognize things for what they are.