Tuesday, December 01, 2009

copenhagen countdown

Six days to go until the big COP15 meeting at Copenhagen. Quite curious what will come of it, after so much debate beforehand.

In my view, the big problem is that people still don't understand that unlimited economic growth is not compatible with a planet of limited resources. So as long as governments give the environment with one hand and take away with the other in the name of stimulating the economy (UK government approved new runway for LHR airport while pretending care about CO2 emissions!), we're not going to be able to fix things. An economy that only works when it grows like a tumour isn't working at all.

Also, as Naomi Klein pointed out in Rolling Stone Magazine recently, there is much too little appreciation of the fact which she calls the "climate debt", i.e. that the rich countries caused most of the excess CO2 we have, while the poor countries will suffer most from its effects (on both sides of the equation, "most" means over 90%). So the billions due to be paid for climate mitigation aren't aid or charity, they are just fair compensation.

Anyhow. Time to stop ranting and sit back for the final show. In my last pre-Copenhagen piece on climate, out in today's issue of Current Biology, I've tried to make sense of the various political wrestlings surrounding the Barcelona negotiations in November:

Climate jostlings intensify
Current Biology, Volume 19, Issue 22, R1009-R1010, 1 December 2009
doi:10.1016/j.cub.2009.11.004
abstract and restricted access to PDF file

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