Just as four big oil and gas producers block the UN climate policymaking conference in Katowice, Poland from welcoming a report on the science of the 1.5 degree Celsius (°C) target which it had commissioned three years earlier in Paris, new evidence has emerged of the striking contradiction between word and deed at the 24th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP24).Well, what could anyone expect from the ruling capitalist classes of the world and their dependent allies? They simply must lie. The striking underlying problem is that their economics depend on fossil fuels like an addict needs to consume his/her drugs ... until they kill themselves. The only problem is that they will bring the world's population along with them to extinction.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5°C report states in plain language that averting a climate crisis will require a wholesale reinvention of the global economy. By 2040, the report predicts, there could be global food shortages, the inundation of coastal cities and a refugee crisis unlike the world has ever seen. A number of scientists contend that the report wasn't strong enough and that it downplayed the full extent of the real threat. They say it doesn't account for all of the warming that has already occurred and that it downplays the economic costs of severe storms and displacement of people through drought and deadly heat waves. [my emphasis]An article related to this entitled "The G20 and the Counter-Protests in Argentina" from LeftEast provides an excellent example of a nation going into deep debt in an effort to expand their GDP.
Economists have proven that GDP growth cannot be ‘decoupled’ from the energy sources that power economic growth. Put simply you need more energy to power more GDP and most of this energy still comes from fossil fuels. The planet needs a new energy source. We know now that we cannot burn all of the known reserves of fossil fuels (like Vaca Muerta) into our atmosphere. Explaining this to an oil or coal company is analogous to giving an alcoholic a bottle of whiskey and telling him not to drain the last sip. But as the oil companies point out they just extract the oil they don’t burn it. Industry will not change either because, for a while anyway, any transition from fossil fuel implies less energy consumption. Less energy means less profits and less GDP, which means less debt repayments and less economic growth!
Scientists tell us we need to get off fossil fuels fast.