Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Global Agreement To "Halt Climate Change!"

                The Obama administration reached an accord with China a few weeks ago, committing the two countries with the largest economies in the world to cuts in their carbon emissions.
                See if you can detect a slight difference in the wording the two countries used to describe their commitments. The U.S. “will cut emissions up to 28 percent by 2025. China, for their part, “will ‘decrease’ emissions by or before 2030.” ‘Decrease’ them by how much and from what? Will they lower emissions by a percent or two from 2028 to 2029 and/or from 2029 to 2030? And how come they get an extra five years to achieve this un-quantified and likely unverifiable goal?
                Perhaps their commitment isn’t as great?
                Shortly after the U.S. and China announced their agreement, U.N. negotiators and diplomats from across the globe met in Lima, Peru and eventually reached a general agreement on a plan to ‘halt climate change’ as some have termed it. (That would be an amazing success story if it came to fruition, as we’ve never been able to tell the planet what to do before and have it follow our instructions).
                How was this fantastic news greeted by ‘experts’? Most stated opinions along the lines of, “no matter the outcome of the meeting, it probably won’t be enough to stave off the significant effects of near-term global warming. It now may be impossible to prevent the temperature of the planet’s atmosphere from rising by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.” According to a body of research, that is the tipping point at which the planet will experience such global warming- induced disruption that the world’s population and economy  would face significant threats.
                Talk about a buzz-kill.
                Michael Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University and a member of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also expressed doubts. He said, “What’s already baked in are substantial changes to ecosystems, large-scale transformations.” Baked in? That doesn’t seem like  proper, disinterested, scientific terminology to me. I know no one around these parts felt ‘baked in’ last winter when it was routinely 20 degrees below zero or colder.
                 Isn’t it conservatives who are supposed to hate change? We are inclined to “stand athwart the world and yell stop!” according to many, including some of our own. And, I wonder, was the Earth any different in biblical times? How long have things been changing…or transforming?
                We can differ and bicker about what affect we have on the planet, but the Earth will do what the Earth has always done.

                And the sun also rises.

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