Search Results for Tag: debate
It’s getting pretty lonely here. Once a fertile soil this place was home to a colorful lot of different walks of life: neighbors – cooperating, sometimes bickering but never questioning the other’s right to exist. But this place has become increasingly barren, lifeless in an age of global warming: This desert, of course, is the political middle ground in the US climate debate.
Ok, we are not quite there yet. But the signs are alarming. The climate debate, especially in the US, is becoming an increasingly shrill shouting match between extremes so far apart that a normal conversation between neighbors is impossible, with some media outlets taking the lead. The fact that more than 90 percent of Fox coverage on climate change is factually wrong or at least misleading, for instance, does not come as a surprise. Over the last year the situation has gotten worse, even personal. And the launching of attacks is by no means confined to the camp of climate change deniers.
“Exxon hates your children” is the title of a TV ad that bluntly takes aim at the fossil fuel industry.
And while climate scientists warning about global warming have been known for a while to receive hate mail and death threats, the other side responds in kind. The latest example is an Australian professor calling for the death penalty for climate change deniers.
The harassment of climate scientists by deniers appears to be of a more organized nature, but who knows when the warriors against climate change will catch up.
Maybe, it’s just the heat – the worsening extremes in the climate debate are in fact accompanied by unprecedented extreme weather. Eventually, nothing is impossible. Pigs can’t fly, they said, and rivers do not run upstream. But even that may be in doubt: Climate Change is set to reverse the Chicago river in the North-East of the US.
DateJanuary 11, 2013
At mid-point in Durban
The COP17 climate conference in Durban is at mid-point and the prospects for success are not looking very bright. Since this weekend the political leaders have started to arrive to confront some of the problematic issues. There will probably be some compromises being worked out but fears remain that this won’t be enough to tackle the worsening climate situation.
The hottest topic of course is the future of the Kyoto Protocol. Though the developing countries have been fighting for the protocol’s survival it seems that some of the rich nations want, to say the least, some adjustments. Critics say, that they want to get rid of it. In last week’s talks, the European Union came up with some ideas to keep Kyoto alive, through a decision or a declaration. But for this, the EU wants to extract a huge concession, that all “major economies” agree to start negotiating for a new legally binding treaty that will take in effect in 2020. Problem is, that there is no definition of what a “major economy” is. Among developing countries one might think of those with a large population. But on a per-capita basis, they a still developing countries. And that’s the way the developing countries are looking at it. So it is not surprising that developing countries like China, Brazil or India are not interested in taking up talks about this issue. How this story of the Kyoto Protocol is going to end is hard to say. A quick death is unlikely. Especially given the protest this might arouse and the bad name this will give to those who bury it.
The Durban conference is also debating on how to put a new Green Climate Fund into operations. Disputes remain on the fund’s governance. If the is an agreement, it may be Durban biggest but also only visible success. But the are still a couple of more days to go.
DateDecember 5, 2011