Copenhagen

I guess we had to mention it at some point!

Tim Groser made an interesting comment on Morning Report – he’s a slippery fish. He tried to align the ‘Greenies’ with supporting the Third World, or at least, the impoverished. That sounds, on the face of it, fair, but in reality, it is only to a very qualified point.

The fact is that there are too many people on the planet, and we are indeed in ‘overshoot’. It stands to reason that the more resourced will out-survive the less-so, which means that we will continue doing what we are currently doing to those on the African continent, and elsewhere.

They are but pawns in the game, at this point. The developed countries – and New Zealand is still in that camp- want to carry on business-as-usual (which is actually growth in business as usual) while paying as token a tithe as they can get away with. They also worry about the relative advantage they may or may not get over other advantaged countries.

All of which is so in denial of the other major issues, it makes you weep.

Fact:  we cannot afford to run this experiment on a global scale, with no Plan B, and no physical chance of enacting one.

Fact: If we address it, standards of life (if measured in consumption rates) will reduce substantially.

Fact: There is not the physical ‘Sink’ on the planet, to absorb what we emit, and peak oil will just be displaced by coal, if the Brownlee types keep attempting ‘business as usual’.

Fact: the Third World will be forced to be a carbon sink (we’ll give them money to plant trees, somebody other than the indigenous folk will pocket the money and ‘manage’ the forest, while the displaced folk will have nowhere to grow food…

Yes it will be ugly, but it was always going to be ugly, regardless of climate change. Overshoot makes it ugly.

Is climate change one way for politicians and financiers to obfuscate the end of growth?  I doubt it – they need to believe in growth themselves. That would just be a lucky spin-off.

Copenhagen is starting to show the inevitable standoff between USA and China – one I’ve long predicted. USA has the problem that they did the emitting so-far, and that even with that boost, are irretrievably broke. China, if it follows projections (it can’t) would have emitted by 2050, more C02 than has been emitted since the Industrial Revolution.

Clever argument from Uncle Sam, but the irony of counting a yet-to-be-emitted liability against an already-emitted one is worth thinking upon.

I still think we will go into a permanent fiscal tail-spin, before the effects of chemical change become behaviour-altering. The peak of readily available oil, the depletion of arable land, and other depletion factors, suggest there will be a scrap – a physical scrap – over the remainder.

NZ is a little unprepared for that. Rudd sees it coming. Hope he brown-tongues Uncle Sam enough to be looked after, and that we ride shotgun on that. He could, on the other hand, end up like Poland….

Will a deal come from Copenhagen?  Of course not. Nor will anyone abide by any real limits. They (and our lot certainly think like this) think they can just pay someone else to offset their emissions, and can grow on regardless.

Which won’t happen. Lack of land and presence of corruption, will see to that.

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