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Paris Climate Change Talks Yield First Draft (theguardian.com) 138

An anonymous reader writes: Negotiators at the UN climate talks in Paris released a draft of an agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. No part of the draft has been finalized as many points remain in contention, particularly between developing countries and more wealthy nations. Laurence Tubiana, the French envoy for the talks, said: "We could have been better, we could have been worse. The job is not done, we need to apply all intelligence, energy, willingness to compromise and all efforts to come to agreement. Nothing is decided until everything is decided."
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Paris Climate Change Talks Yield First Draft

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    > Negotiators at the UN climate talks in Paris released a draft of an agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions

    emitted by pontificating politicians.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What wealthy nations? All western governments are deep in debt..

    • They aren't *in* debt, they *have* debt. There's quite a difference.

      • Which you failed to even try to explain.

    • What wealthy nations?

      There are no 'nations'. Maybe they mean the banks and financial markets. That's where all our money is sequestered.

    • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Monday December 07, 2015 @12:13PM (#51073179) Homepage Journal

      What wealthy nations? All western governments are deep in debt..

      One man is on the street and has nothing.
      Another man lives in a house with a mortgage with negative equity and drives a car in which he is upside down on the loan.
      Which one is poorer?
      I'm not making a point, I think it is a legitimate question and the answer is not an easy one. But it certainly is relatable to nations and debt.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    China is the major polluter today. Let's see them give an inch. Basically, we shut down ours so that they can increase production.

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Monday December 07, 2015 @09:50AM (#51072339)

    The environmentalists are going to complain it doesn't go far enough and the politicians in all of the countries that matter are just going to ignore it or cheat it.

    • More importantly the cost now, and possible costs in the future necessitate unbiased and well funded research niether of which is happening to the extent it probably should.

      We could really use more capable satalletes, better land and sea based data acquisition, and other hardware. Similarily we could use more research as the problem is quite difficult and the cutting edge today is determining what will happen regionally; this is something we need if we are to prevent resource wars likely to happen no ma
    • But they had a nice vacation in Paris, traveling by private jet, not the least bit ironic

    • The environmentalists are going to complain it doesn't go far enough and the politicians in all of the countries that matter are just going to ignore it or cheat it.

      You're mistaken. The main goal of this treaty is to stop TERRORISM [aljazeera.com], because you know, global warming caused the Paris attack [thehill.com]. Feel the Burn!

      • Did you ever stop to think that maybe he's right? That the regional disruptions caused by a rapidly changing environment combined with unsuccessful integration of migrants into their adoptive societies might actual fuel the despair and hatred that allows some people to turn on their neighbours and murder them for stupid ideological reasons?

        Have you ever thought that it could be more complicated than "evil people do evil things, and if we just kill all the evil people, then we win"?

        • Did you ever stop to think that maybe he's right? That the regional disruptions caused by a rapidly changing environment combined with unsuccessful integration of migrants into their adoptive societies might actual fuel the despair and hatred that allows some people to turn on their neighbours and murder them for stupid ideological reasons?

          Have you ever thought that it could be more complicated than "evil people do evil things, and if we just kill all the evil people, then we win"?

          This explanation conveniently ignores all of the U.S.'s repeated interference in the area. But that doesn't fit the left's narrative *now*, since their guy is the one dropping the bombs, so move on to the next big issue on the agenda. Terrorist attacks on US soil are labeled gun violence because of work disputes, just like they did with the Ft. Hood shooter. Don't address the problem, redefine it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can argue that the western Industrial Revolution kicked off the CO2 rise, but these days with static or negative population growth the 'wealthy' or 'developed' nations aren't the problem; it's the 3rd world shitholes like India, China, and places in Africa where they have zero environmental regulations and/or burn firewood that are messing things up now.

    Aren't we done with White Man's Burden?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The West in 1800 was also a shithole without environmental regulations. It managed to get wealthy and reach static population growth by burning coal and oil. India, China and Africa on on track to follow the same path. The problem is that we *don't* want them to follow the same path. That's why they need help.

    • We don't have to, but we probably should to some degree. No matter how much any one country cleans up its own act, it still faces the consequences from the decisions of the rest of the world.

      Of course helping doesn't have to mean throwing money at the problem that's likely to disappear into the pockets of corrupt leadership. It could be as simple as shouldering the R&D burden for find solutions that reduce pollution and then giving those away to the developing nations so that they minimize their envi
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      You can argue that the western Industrial Revolution kicked off the CO2 rise, but these days with static or negative population growth the 'wealthy' or 'developed' nations aren't the problem; it's the 3rd world shitholes like India, China, and places in Africa where they have zero environmental regulations and/or burn firewood that are messing things up now.

      Aren't we done with White Man's Burden?

      I think the issue is more that the West was able to grow and advance its economy because of industries that are highly polluting, and to prevent developing countries from utilizing these same industries will hamper their own growth and further resigning them to the fate of a 3rd World/developing country. Honestly, it's probably better/cheaper in the long run to have Western states pay to help clean up/negate the CO2 production of the developing states than to continue to give aid that is usually pretty ine

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Enlightened self-interest. Sheesh.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Here's the tl;dr of the draft:

    All of the cuts must come from wealthy, majority-white countries.

    China, India, Africa, and South America are all totally and completely exempt from any rules and may emit as much greenhouse gas as they wish.

  • by khallow ( 566160 ) on Monday December 07, 2015 @10:54AM (#51072691)
    I see this in the draft:

    To hold the increase in the global average temperature [below 1.5 ÂC] [or] [well below 2 ÂC] above preindustrial levels by ensuring deep reductions in global greenhouse gas [net] emissions; (

    They are still emphasizing an extreme effort rather than a rational one. There are three obvious rebuttals to this. First, too many parties simply don't have an interest in this. For example, most oil subsidies come from countries whose economies have a significant dependence on exporting oil. Other large fossil fuel-consuming nations, particularly, the US, China, and India have long expressed disinterest in such levels of reduction.

    Second, humanity doesn't generate greenhouse gases arbitrarily. Instead it is in pursuit of other priorities. From past missteps, I see strong indications that any serious attempt to meet the requirements of an extreme mitigation effort will result in a global-scale mess.

    Third, we still don't have actual evidence that there is a serious problem. We just have, yet again, strongly worded assertions. It really should be a warning sign to everyone when the people pushing this aggressive strategy can't back their claims with facts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hort_wort ( 1401963 )

      Third, we still don't have actual evidence that there is a serious problem. We just have, yet again, strongly worded assertions. It really should be a warning sign to everyone when the people pushing this aggressive strategy can't back their claims with facts.

      That's the real tough part about it... By the time we know for sure what will happen, it'd be too late. The risk is just SO HIGH that most scientists recommend playing it safe. Humanity could have a tough time surviving if we get into the "runaway climate change" scenario. Will that happen if the global temperature goes up 1 degree C? 10?

      Aside from all that though, poison ivy grows faster with more CO2. Eeks. Just another reason to stay in my basement.

      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        That's the real tough part about it... By the time we know for sure what will happen, it'd be too late. The risk is just SO HIGH that most scientists recommend playing it safe. Humanity could have a tough time surviving if we get into the "runaway climate change" scenario. Will that happen if the global temperature goes up 1 degree C? 10?

        We don't know what will happen, but we're somehow supernaturally confident it'll be too late to do anything about it. Doesn't sound like a reason for urgency to me. Instead, sounds like a huge argument for doing nothing except the status quo, which is already an extremely beneficial thing for humanity.

        Actual evidence would make selling climate change a whole lot easier.

        • by khallow ( 566160 )

          Actual evidence would make selling climate change mitigation a whole lot easier.

          FIFM. I already grant that there is some degree of global warming. I don't grant that it is a serious enough problem that we need to impoverish people and societies for it (especially given the counterproductive effects of poverty such as higher population growth and disinterest in environmental affairs).

        • We don't know what will happen, but we're somehow supernaturally confident it'll be too late to do anything about it. Doesn't sound like a reason for urgency to me.

          Suppose 97% of your military commanders came forward and told you they believed that a country would invade. They show you satellite images of how the enemy forces are building up. They can't tell you for sure what would happen. The infrastructure, economy, and way of life could be entirely ruined. The country may never recover. Or maybe the invaders will just walk through and not do a thing.

          Let's assume you have a VERY small military, just a token gesture really to make your citizens happy. Would you want

          • by slew ( 2918 )

            We don't know what will happen, but we're somehow supernaturally confident it'll be too late to do anything about it. Doesn't sound like a reason for urgency to me.

            Suppose 97% of your military commanders came forward and told you they believed that a country would invade. They show you satellite images of how the enemy forces are building up. They can't tell you for sure what would happen. The infrastructure, economy, and way of life could be entirely ruined. The country may never recover. Or maybe the invaders will just walk through and not do a thing.

            Let's assume you have a VERY small military, just a token gesture really to make your citizens happy. Would you want the country to:

            a) Decrease defense spending.
            b) Maintain defense spending.
            c) Increase defense spending.

            Of course maintain or even decrease defense spending!

            We have satellite images showing China, ISIS (and maybe even Russia) building up enemy forces in the South China sea, Syria/Iraq, and Ukraine. We don't know for sure what would happen. The infrastructure, economy, and way of life of millions can be entirely ruined. The countries may never recover. Or maybe the invaders will just walk through and not do a thing.

            And we are decreasing defense spending. From a peak spending in 2011 of $705B, we a projectin

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by khallow ( 566160 )

            Suppose 97% of your military commanders came forward and told you they believed that a country would invade.

            This is not analogous. The 97% consensus is fraudulent. At best, it is agreement only among climate scientists that there is global warming and that it is mostly human-caused. Once you get away from the sliver of scientists who while most knowledgeable about the situation are also the most beholden, then the consensus drops significantly [wiley.com] (for example, Earth scientists had agreement of 90% with the assertion that climate had warmed since 1850 and 82% consensus that most of this change was due to humans).

            I

            • I appreciate your summary of statistics. I was unfamiliar with some of those and they make me feel a little better. Not much, but a little.

              You're correct about the 97% being an estimate of the number of scientists who believe in AGW. That's based on percentage of papers about climate change in general that expressed on opinion on it. A more accurate analogy would have been to multiply the 97% by the 67% who think it could lead to catastrophic damage in the next 50 years that you mentioned.

              Mitigation and ada

              • by khallow ( 566160 )

                in 2014, the US federal budget had $21.4B going into climate change programs and activities. This only 0.1% of the $16.8T going into the military.

                The US military is around $600 billion actually. Given that both sums are remarkably ineffective, I would suggest cutting both substantially instead.

            • So you say that, the more a scientist knows about climate science, the more likely said scientist is to believe in AGW? And that we presumably would get a better sense of the science by asking cosmologists and biophysicists and psychologists?

              What is your reason for thinking that climate scientists are "beholden", whatever that means? The usual line is that one fervently doesn't want to believe in AGW, and therefore the scientists must be wrong, and therefore that they have to be corrupted or compelled

          • Except of course for the fact that the 97% number comes from a study of the position on AGW taken by papers on climate in peer reviewed journals, not from a study of the opinions of scientists. In addition, The study in question concluded that any paper which did not explicitly state that it disagreed with AGW supported AGW, even when it was on a topic not related to warming at all.
        • We don't know what will happen, but we're somehow supernaturally confident it'll be too late to do anything about it. Doesn't sound like a reason for urgency to me. Instead, sounds like a huge argument for doing nothing except the status quo, which is already an extremely beneficial thing for humanity.

          The fool says "We don't know it's a cliff, so I'm not going to stop until after I jump over it."

          • by khallow ( 566160 )
            Cliffs could be anywhere. Why should I worry more about cliffs here than elsewhere? You need evidence in order to avoid blind decisions.
      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        Just another reason to stay in my basement.

        Just remember your basement will be the first place in your house to flood when the sea levels rise. Of course, it will also stay the coolest as temperatures rise. So at least you won't be sweating when you drown.

      • Yes, we should kill tens of millions of poor people and donate tens of trillions of dollars to genocidal dictators in order to "play it safe", y'know, just in case. Good thing that CO2 hypothesis has already been refuted by the two-decade "hiatus". Just as soon as the layperson realizes this is all a giant scam, we can be done with this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The goal of keeping the rise below 2C is based on scientific evidence, the interpretation of which is widely accepted, that suggests any more than 2C will cause problems so severe we really don't want to go there. To suggest otherwise is just burying your head in the sand.

      I really don't understand the objections to this goal. Even if you are absolutely convinced that there is no climate change, or that it is natural and unavoidable, or that nothing bad will happen or whatever, it's still worth cleaning up t

      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        Even if you are absolutely convinced that there is no climate change, or that it is natural and unavoidable, or that nothing bad will happen or whatever, it's still worth cleaning up the environment.

        In that case, you aren't actually cleaning up the environment. Think about it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Second, humanity doesn't generate greenhouse gases arbitrarily. Instead it is in pursuit of other priorities.

      Care to provide examples of some non-arbitrary "other priorities"? Continued existence for the sake of existence surely meets some definition of arbitrary.

      As for evidence howsabout the following:

      - Green house effect. Easily demonstrated in a closed car parked in the sun. Check
      - CO2 is a green house gas. Surface of venus is hotter than the surface of mercury. Check
      - Warmer oceans mean stronger storms. Check
      - Warmer poles means melting land ice. Check
      - 40% of all humans live within 100km of an ocean....

      Arguin

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        "Arguing time frame is rearranging the deck chairs. If anyone cares about society as is, the sooner we reduce CO2 emissions, the better"

              So how are YOU reducing your CO2 emissions since you have decided it's such an important thing to do.

        • I installed a 7.8 kW solar array on my roof which will pay its manufacturing energy back within 2 years and provide all or most of my electricity for another 20-30. Also convinced at least 2 neighbors and my in-laws to install solar. When I needed a new car I bought the one that gets 10 MPG better than the other final candidate. I got a road bike so I can take the bus to work weather permitting (the stop is 4 miles from the office). And new this year I'm going to start buying carbon offsets that fund renewa

      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        Arguing time frame is rearranging the deck chairs. If anyone cares about society as is, the sooner we reduce CO2 emissions, the better.

        Unless, of course, doing it sooner is bad for humanity and the environment. Mitigation isn't free. There are huge costs associated with it.

        You will die eventually. The sooner the better, right?

        • Mitigation isn't free but neither is adaption. If you look at history mitigation if often less expensive than adaption. That's where the old adage "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." (Ben Franklin) comes from.

          • by khallow ( 566160 )

            If you look at history mitigation if often less expensive than adaption.

            And it is often more expensive by the same measure.

            "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

            And why human behavior and physiology is highly adapted to being lazy.

    • by NetNed ( 955141 )
      When it's all about money, facts take a back seat to maximizing how to obtain the most cash possible. That's why you have terms like "Negotiators" in that story and not scientists.
    • Third, we still don't have actual evidence that there is a serious problem.

      There isn't any actual evidence that there is not a serious problem either. By working against possible solutions you are making a huge bet there isn't a huge problem. Are you prepared to lose that bet? I think I'll continue to believe the climate scientists who have gotten more right than wrong in their predictions.

      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        There isn't any actual evidence that there is not a serious problem either.

        It's not a serious problem now. And it's only a problem because of the large number of people on the planet.

        I think I'll continue to believe the climate scientists who have gotten more right than wrong in their predictions.

        At least you're thinking. But I think we need to be looking for a lot more right than that. And we need to look for some demonstration of that correctness that doesn't rely on adjustment of existing data to fit a particular narrative of catastrophic AGW.

  • >> Laurence Tubiana, the French envoy for the talks, said: "Nothing is decided until everything is decided."

    Hmmm...where have we heard that before?

    • Just like Pelosi and every other time a politician said similar things, it's an indication of how most negotiated deals work. One doesn't need experience to understand this just a basic grasp of how things work in the real world.

      In the case of Pelosi, anybody who passed US government 101 should grasp how much sense her statement actually makes. Same goes for "I was for it before I was against it" which also sounds bad out of context or with ignorance.

      Analogy: Love the 1st movie but hate the movie trilogy

      • >> it's an indication of how most negotiated deals work

        Not on Earth, anyway. Most sensible people go into negotiations with a list of things they absolutely must have and a list of things they'd like to have, and might even have a list of BS that they're willing to trade away or drop to get their "must haves" and "nice to haves" passed. What politicians' constituents want is some idea of which items are on which list before the final decision is made to they can influence the deal.

        When politicians say

        • Depends on the negotiation. If everything is negotiable up to the final agreement, then we don't know what's going to be in the final version until we have it and everything is finalized. Otherwise, a change in one thing might wind up changing another that we thought pretty settled.

          When I buy a car, I'm not committed to anything unless and until the salesperson and I agree on a contract that has everything laid out. Same principle.

  • What if CHINDIA has technology to covertly "export" their https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

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