We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, December 10, 2018

Big oil and gas nations sideline the science at Katowice, even as emissions rise and warming accelerates

Click here to access article by David Spratt from Climate Code Red (Australia). (I added an extra post to this article at 7:57 AM CT.)
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.