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Limping to Paris
Kiss This Important Climate Goal Goodbye

The green movement’s coveted 2C goal may be dead: UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has now said that global climate commitments aren’t enough to keep earth’s warming below two degrees Celsius. In preparation for this December’s big climate summit in Paris, countries are submitting pledges to curb emissions at the national level. So far only 62 member states have turned in their UN homework, but that number accounts for some 70 percent of global emissions. And from the looks of things so far, Figueres thinks that those pledges “do not add up to 2 degrees”, and she “guesstimates” that we’re much more likely to end up somewhere around three degrees Celsius of warming, as compared to pre-industrial levels. Reuters reports:

Aware of the shadow cast by the 2009 Copenhagen summit, the last attempt to reach a global climate deal that ended in failure, EU officials and the U.N. stress Paris is a step, not the end result.

Figueres told reporters in Brussels she wanted it to be “pellucidly clear” that the INDCs were not the magic route to 2 degrees, set as a target by the Copenhagen Accord, from the current trajectory of 4-5 degrees.

So what would missing that target by a full degree mean for the planet? Nothing good, according to researchers. “Beyond two degrees of warming we are leaving the world as we know it”, said the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research’s Anders Levermann. Even Figueres, who has taken on the role of chief hedging officer in the run-up to this year’s climate summit, couldn’t put a good face on this news as she broke it. “Three degrees is much better than 4 to 5 degrees, but it is still unacceptable”, she cautioned. We should take the most apocalyptic predictions with a grain of salt, but nevertheless, if Figueres is right, greens have just been handed a huge defeat on their own terms.

Greens have heaped the expectations high on the Paris summit, but in the months leading up to these supposedly historic talks all we’ve seen has been backtracking and expectation management. Perhaps, just perhaps, this has something to do with the entire approach Paris represents? A Global Climate Treaty can only be effective if it’s both binding and enforceable, and it’s practically impossible to see how delegates from around the world will unanimously sign off on such a document. The U.S. Senate, for one, would never ratify such a treaty, but we’re not the only obstacle—Poland promises to throw a wrench in the works, too. Then also there’s the fact that the gap between the developed and developing worlds looks as wide as ever on the issue.

It hardly seems like we’re heading into a successful chapter in our approach to climate change.

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  • Fat_Man

    Nonsense on stilts. This is more garbage from their computer models, the same ones that did not predict, and still cannot predict, that there has been no increase in global temperature for the last 18 2/3rds years.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Since the Globe hasn’t Warmed in the last 18 years, predicting a 3°C Warming seems pretty stupid and lacking in Scientific Rigor. It would be wisest to wait and see if ANY “Global Warming” will occur. And if it does, what are the real effects on the Globe? Does increased temperatures cause greater evaporation in the 71% of the Globe that is covered with water, and therefore increased rainfall? Do longer growing seasons and more rainfall increase farm production? Do farming regions move north and south into previously unfarmable lands? Does the increase in CO² which has plants both growing much faster (15%) and being more water tolerant, cause deserts to shrink? Will grapes and wine get grown and made in Moscow as they were during the Medieval Warm Period?

  • FriendlyGoat

    The foxes are running the hen house. The nations rich enough to produce fossil fuels and use fossil fuels are the only ones which can throttle the burning of fossil fuels—–and they don’t want to. Who knew?

    • Andrew Allison

      Actually, US emissions are currently at 1970s levels. It’s China and India, neither of which are rich, that are the big emitters.

      • FriendlyGoat

        They are rich enough to be huge players—-AND—-they are following the western lead.

        • f1b0nacc1

          So they have no agency of their own? Just blindly following our lead?
          I believe your sort typically uses the word ‘racist’ to describe that attitude….

          • FriendlyGoat

            I believe “your sort” is usually abominable and insulting. Once upon a time you wanted to leave me alone. Why don’t you? I’m sick of your crap.

          • f1b0nacc1

            So let me make sure that I have this right, the Chinese and the Indians (along with much of the rest of Asia) with combined populations of about 2.5 billion or so (actually a bit more, but what are a few hundred million between friends) have absolutely NO responsibility for their choices? They are burning fossil fuels because that is what we did, and they are unable to do anything else? Sounds a whole lot like you are arguing that they have no agency of their own….
            Or, PERHAPS, they are unwilling to sacrifice their prosperity on the altar of the West’s Green Goddess? Making a conscious choice? Wow…but if that is true then they must either be dismissed as ‘deniers’ or you would have to (horrors!) engage their arguments….
            As for your dislike of my comments….sucks to be you I suppose. I have tried to engage your arguments in the past, but you inevitably degenerate into assuming the worst possible motives for those that disagree with you. Perhaps you might want to try a different tack?

          • FriendlyGoat

            No, I don’t need a different tack. Being called a racist on the subject of climate change and fossil fuels is enough for me. Too mean. Too stupid. Bye, F1b. Maybe someone else will entertain you. I’m done.

  • Andrew Allison

    Yawn.

  • Proud Skeptic

    I wonder, with these climatologists being SO wrong about SO many things, what the chances are that two, three, or even four degrees rise would end up being no big deal. I mean, it is all unproven theory and conjecture. What have they ever done to establish credibility?

    • f1b0nacc1

      While there has got to be SOME upper limit for temperature rises, I wonder what it is?
      More interesting though is how this might potentially affect the long term planning of these benighted Greenies. After all, they have been warning us for years now that anything more than 2 degrees increase means apocalyptic disaster, the end of civilization, dogs and cats living together, etc. If they REALLY believe this, then they must believe that it is all over. I wonder if they stop having children, consider suicide, etc.? You know, this could solve a lot of problems…

      • Proud Skeptic

        The thing that most people probably don’t understand is that each degree or so of predicted temperature rise required a DOUBLING of CO2. If you start with a zillion tons it takes another one zillion to get the first degree. To get the next degree, it takes another two zillion. The third degree takes an additional four zillion…and so on. Each additional degree takes a doubling so each additional degree is harder to cause.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Absolutely correct. The warm-mongers like to suggest that there is (at some as yet to be unproven point) a positive feedback loop, but the models that demonstrate this have never been validated in the real world….

          • Proud Skeptic

            BTW – I have seen your screen name several times…Fibonacci…very funny.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Thank you….I am a numbers guy, so I thought it was appropriate

  • Pete

    And the sad part is that this dingbat Christiana Figueres probably believe the nonsense she’s saying.

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