It's going to be a colossal, ignominius cosmic FAIL (''Fucking Almighty Ignominius Letdown''). Come December 12, the day after the last session of COP21, there will be no lasting, binding agreements.
It's not that the COP21 people are evil or stupid for they are not: they are smart, dedicated climate diplomats from many countries.
But we as humans are hardwired to only care about the next 2 generatons after ours, in other words, our children and our grandchildren.
Beyond that, most of us don't care and won't care. Ever. So the upcoming COP21 meeting Paris will go nowhere.
''We are doomed, doomed'' as a species, and some 30 generations from now or so, it will be Game Over for humanity, humankind, the human species -- due to massive die-offs from a host of global warming impact events worldwide.
To prepare for what's coming down the road, there are three things you can do today: READ THE FOLLOWING THREE LINKS below, one about Roy Scranton's nonfiction book LEARNING TO DIE IN THE ANTHROPOCENE, Andy Revkin's very good and perceptive DOT EARTH blog post below (with musical notes) and a cli-fi short story set in the distant future of 2499 A.D.
And at the same time, start your own countdown to COP21. How many more days to go until the very last day on December 11? It begins on November 30 in Paris....
"In Learning to Die in the Anthropocene, Roy Scranton draws on his experiences in war-time to confront the grim realities of climate change. The result is a fierce and provocative book."—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Climate Talks Imperiled by Rich-Poor Fight Over Hard Targets for Aid
Just three years after the world’s nations established the Framework Convention on Climate Change at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, a push was initiated to move from that agreement’s aspirational goals for cutting emissions of greenhouse gases to hard targets and timetables for wealthier countries. That effort started in Berlin in 1995 at the first Conference of the Parties (the shorthand is COP 1) and fell apart in Copenhagen (COP 15) in 2009.
Now we’re in the final weeks ahead of COP 21, the Paris talks on a new climate accord. A softer path on emissions, dropping rigid targets to foster full participation, has raised the odds of producing something for all to sign.
But a much tougher battle for hard targets — over money — has moved into the foreground and could still do for Paris what the emissions fight did for Copenhagen. As the final preparatory weeklong round of talks in Bonn wound to a close tonight, developing countries stood firm on calls for cash, not another I.O.U.
To dig in, visit the conference website of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, which closely tracks these sessions. And of course Twitter, via the hashtag #ADP2, gives the timeliest blow by blow.
Wealthy countries, in theory, committed in Copenhagen to providing $100 billion a year in energy and climate-resilience funding by 2020. But little cash has flowed. (For the details, see the recent Eduardo Porter column asking, “Where’s the money?“)
Increasingly, in its stead, an accounting fight has broken out over what constitutes additional climate assistance on top of existing development assistance or investments. India’s Business Times summed up the source of the tensions a couple of days ago in a piece on a new analysis of climate finance by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D.), representing the world’s established economic powers:
A recent report from the O.E.C.D. claiming $62 billion has have been mobilized as climate finance in 2014-15 against the developed countries’ commitments of annual $100 billion by 2020 has caused a storm at the UN climate change negotiations in Bonn. Developing countries, including India, have collectively questioned the veracity of the contents, suggesting creative accounting and green-washing of existing global fund flows to paint a more rosy rather a real picture. They have also questioned the timing and purpose of the report weeks ahead of the Paris agreement.
Wealthy countries have been stressing that the simple division of the world between developed and developing countries enshrined in the original treaty in 1992 no longer holds, given how China, Brazil and others have seen transformative change.
It’s tough to see how that stalemate can break, but given the pressure for “success” in Paris (pick your definition), presumably something will be worked out some time on Dec. 12 (the day after the talks are scheduled to end).
Here are a couple of relevant Twitter comments, starting with a note about Mexico’s lead delegate growing emotional in describing the danger posed by Hurricane Patricia, the strongest hurricane ever measured, as it headed toward the Mexican coast:
Here’s the best possible interpretation of the outcome, from Christiana Figueres, who leads the U.N. office shepherding the talks:
If you missed it, I encourage you to read Elizabeth Kolbert’s New Yorker profile of Figueres.
Kolbert filed a nice New Yorker post earlier this week on the ever broadening suite of factions in the climate talks, which now include the “Vulnerable 20,” or V20. Here’s a snippet:
In the world of climate negotiations, there are many blocs—some of them overlapping—that jostle for influence. These include the Like Minded Developing Countries, or L.M.D.C.s; the Least Developed Countries, or L.D.C.s; the Alliance of Small Island States, or AOSIS; and the Group of 77, or G77, which, confoundingly, has a hundred and thirty-four member countries. The formation of yet another bloc, just a few weeks before world leaders are supposed to meet in Paris to hammer out a global climate accord, did not seem to bode well for an agreement.
All of which brings back to mind my quandary over whether the best soundtrack for the treaty process comes from the Talking Heads (“Same as it ever was….”) or T Bone Burnett (“They just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, but they don’t say nothing….”).
Actually, I vote for T Bone:
I am an optimist by DNA and genes and I wake up everyday hopeful and full of energy to help contribute to the AGW discussions. BUT at the same time, my inner radar tells me a different story, not to pour water on everyone's hopes and dreams BUT READ THIS: it's just fiction so don't worry. Fiction is never important.
''A Letter to 2499''
Edited by Dan Bloom; submitted by a cli-fi short story author in 2015
Note to readers: This text came in the mail the other day, and I am not sure whether to publish it here as fiction or nonfiction as the author of the piece did not tell me her wishes. It reads to me like fiction, like the beginning of a cli fi novel she has planned. She didn’t tell me much about the story or her plans for it, but here is the text as she sent it to me, with just some slight edits for clarity for those readers new to the cli-fi genre.
Dear Future World, Future Humanity, if you are even there then!
I’m writing these words to you from my home in Baffin Island in 2099, when climate change and man-made global warming (AGW) were already on our radar and causing deep concerns around the world. You are living 400 years later, if you are indeed there, and you are preparing to die, to lie down and die, knowing your time in the cosmos has come, humanity’s time, the end of the human species, as climate-related and AGW-related massive human die offs threaten the very extinction of our species.
I have no advice for you since I cannot see that far ahead into the future, but I do know this: you and your fellow Earthlings will die soon via unspeakable, indescribable, untimely deaths — billions of you in a series of massive human die offs! — die to AGW impact events beyond your control. They will not be easy deaths, they will not be comfortable deaths, they will not be acceptable deaths. God bless you, although I am not sure any of you believe in God anymore there.
Sadly, inexorably, we have left you and those survivors with you in 2499 with no future and no escape hatch, and you are all going to die, all of you, en masse, soon.
Blame us, not yourselves. And as you prepare to lay down and die, not just where you are but around the world as well, in Australia, Canada, Thailand, all of Africa, all of South and Central America, all of the Lower 48 states of the uninhabitable former United State of America, know that you die as all humans before you did, over the past 5000 years, over the past 100,000 years, over the past 3,000,000 years. Numbers. Years. Past generations of the once human species. All gone now or soon to be gone completely. You, too, dear readers of this letter from the past.
I have no more words to say to you, all ye who prepare now there in 2499 A.D. — year of what God? — all you who prepare now to lay down your lives and die with great sadness and regret, and may you find your ways to die with inner peace and grace, no matter which gods or goddesses you believe in then. I cry for thee, o future generations of 2499. There is no future after you. Time will stop.
Blame us, don’t blame yourselves. Blame those who came before you in the 1800s, in the 1900s, in the early centuries of the Third Millennium. We created AGW and once we became aware of the Climatestein monster we had created, we did little to stop it. Our leaders did nothing. Greed and convenience ruled our world and we left you with, with, with this.
There were voices of concern, but they fell on deaf ears. There were public mass demonstrations and marches, but they accomplished nothing. The United Nations said it wanted to act, but it did nothing.
I only hope that you find it in your hearts to die with inner peace and inner grace, and to die in quiet, soothing ways. It’s not going to be a pretty picture, but please be strong is my message from 2099. Be physically strong, be emotionally strong, be spiritually strong.
Go gently into this dark dark night that awaits you and the rest of humankind, the very remnants of humanity. Find your way. I pray for you