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CLIMATE WARMING AND SEA-LEVEL RISE ARE HERE TO STAY- LET US FACE IT »« INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) ADDRESSES THE UNITED NATIONS

THE 18TH CLIMATE WARMING CONFERENCE – JUST A SHAM! – THEY ALWAYS ARE

10 Dec 2012

On 09 Dec 2012, at DOHA, Qatar – The annual “United Countries of the Parties” climate warming conference concluded late Saturday after the customary all-night negotiating session, and recriminations over who should bear the costs and burdens of a warming planet. Delegates from more than 190 countries, agreed to extend the “Kyoto Protocol” for a few more years; and to commit to more ambitious (but unspecified) actions to reduce emissions of climate-altering gases (greenhouse gases). The 2012, 18th Conference failed to produce an outline of a new agreement, leaving such questions to future Conferences. That is what they do, year after year.

TALK – JUST TALK!  Few countries ever do anything to reduce greenhouse gases emissions; consequently, there is an ever growing concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Given the current trend in greenhouse emissions, the world’s atmospheric temperature will likely rise more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from pre-industrial times; this was the central goal of the conferees; even so, the group put-off for future years any plan for addressing the problem, merely stating an intention to “identify and explore in 2013 options for a range of actions to close the pre-2020 ambition gap.”

“KYOTO PROTOCOL”- JUST A SHAM!  The Conference, formally known as the 18th “Conference of the Parties” (COP 18), was always considered a transition from the longstanding division of countries, into (a) industrialized polluters and (b) developing-world victims of sea level rise and climate change. That division was enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol, which the USA never joined, and which assigned pollution reduction targets to advanced countries, but none to developing countries, including the world’s current largest greenhouse gas emitter, China. The conferees agreed last year in Durban, South Africa, to work toward a new protocol, or other legally binding instrument that would require actions of all parties; not just rich countries, as under the Kyoto agreement of 1997. The new agreement is to be concluded by 2015 and enter into force in 2020.

MONEY PROMISES – JUST PROMISES! Industrial countries had pledged to secure $100 billion a year by 2020 in public and private financing to help poor countries cope with climate change, but have been vague about what they plan to do before then;  Only a handful of countries, not including the USA, have made concrete financial pledges for adaptation aid over the next few years; even now, Todd D. Stern, senior USA negotiator, said: “The USA will continue to provide substantial climate-related aid to vulnerable countries; however, I am not in a position, to promise new American financing, given the ongoing budget talks in Washington”.  N’uff said!

THE CONCEPT OF “LOSS AND DAMAGE” was addressed by the Conference recognizing the increasing frequency of “extreme weather events”, as well as slower-acting threats like drought and sea level rise. PROMISES, PROMISES – The Conferees agreed on the need for more financial and technical support for the most vulnerable countries, but failed to create a process to handle such aid, thus angering some delegates: Kieren Keke, foreign minister of the Pacific nation of Nauru, and chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States, said the package adopted Saturday is: “deeply deficient…This is not where we wanted to be at the end of this Conference, I assure you…It certainly isn’t where we need to be in order to prevent islands from going under, and other unimaginable impacts. It has become abundantly clear that unless the work is supported by world leaders, particularly those representing the countries most responsible for the crisis, we will continue to fall short year after year.” (Note: Many small islands located just above sea level, are being evacuated, and will soon disappear), AND NOBODY IS WILLING TO HELP.

INDEPENDENT EFFORTS BY COUNTRIES ARE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL. Jennifer Haverkamp, director of the international climate programs at the Environmental Defense Fund said: “What this Conference reinforced is that while this is an important forum, it is not the only one in which progress can and must be made…The disconnect between the level of ambition the parties are showing here and what needs to happen to avoid dangerous climate change is profound.” Put plainly, these folks all want to “fly their own kite”, and scratch only where they itch. The most effective actions to date have been taken at the National, State and local levels, with a number of countries adopting aggressive emissions reductions programs and using other means to help finance them. While the USA has not yet adopted a comprehensive approach to climate change, the Obama administration has put in place a comprehensive “Automotive emissions reduction program”, and a plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. California has adopted a “cap-and-trade” system for 2013.  Other countries, including South Korea, Australia, and most of Europe, independently started earlier, and have gone much further. Such efforts hold promise, at least in the short term, for mitigating climate change.

GREENHOUSE GASES ARE ACCUMULATING FAST. Scientists say the problem is growing worse faster than any of them predicted even a few years ago. It is painfully evident that the 18 yearly Conferences held so far by the United Countries, were at best a palliative to the global climate change problems, and at worst, an expensive, useless sideshow. Games people play to appear important and concerned, when they only wish to provide lip service, and to appear “politically correct”.

Thanks to the New York Times p. A13, 09 Dec 2012, for their excellent quotations.

 

OUR VIEW AND COMMENTARY

GREAT GLOBAL CHANGES ARE COMING. The greenhouse effect (and temperature rise) is already producing great global atmospheric changes that will in time, change our civilization as we know it.  The polar cap is melting, causing a relenting sea level rise which in time will force many littoral cities to reconsider relocating to higher ground.  Recall New York and New Jersey, and New Orleans? One can add other places like Venice, Italy, one of the most visited places on earth, where St. Mark Square is now inundated by two feet of sea water.  We shudder to consider the future of the Netherlands (was Helvetia/Holland) mostly already located below sea level.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, humans have always chosen to live near the sea because the sea is generous. The sea gives, but the sea also takes away. It always has, and always will. There is ample geological evidence that the global map has changed many times in the past, and that even locations above 10,000 feet were once under the sea. Most places where oil/gas exist, were recently under the sea (in geological terms).

EVEN MIGHTY RIVERS ARE SUFFERING The snow-melt from the Himalayas is the source of water for several nations like Nepal, and China. Problem is: the snow is melting too quickly there too. Without that source of water, many billions of people will be forced to look for fresh water elsewhere or in desalination (not to mention its effect on their hydro-plant dams). The dry weather in the central USA has reduced the flow of water in the mighty Mississippi river to the point where it is now practically non-navigable. That river was very important to the rapid development of the USA.

MAN’S PENCHANT TO BURN FOSSIL FUEL EXACERBATES THE PROBLEM. Coal and oil combustion inexorably produce huge quantities of Carbon dioxide (Nat Gas about half as much). What a shame!  Petroleum and coal are too wonderful a resource to burn, and natural gas a wonderful source of fertilizer.  Science has found, and will yet find many useful products from fossil fuels that will cause us to regret having burned them up for energy. That knowledge alone should suffice to cause humanity to seek green (renewable) energy technology ASAP.  And yet, the “United Countries of the Parties” think it is all about money, and who should pay it! They just don’t get it! They are self-serving idiots who can’t see the forest for the trees.

AND WORSE YET…An added dimension to the problem is that many nations, USA included, are still burning coal as if it were the only fuel available. In San Antonio TX (my home city) our City Public Service Energy foolishly persists in using two “coal-burners” (Spruce I, and II at Calaveras Lake) with a combined output of 1,240 MW, even though just 40 miles south of San Antonio, TX, there is accelerated development of a huge oil/gas (Eagle-Ford shale) which will alone, very soon rival Russia’s Nat gas production; and yet, there is currently no plan to retro-fit coal-burners to Nat gas.  We need to understand that nearly all power-plants are high-pressure steam turbine-driven generators, and that the method for producing steam is the main variant.  In a ” Thermo-electric” plant the fuel can be oil, Nat gas, or coal, or even refuse, and the only difference is how the fuel is burned; Hence, retro-fitting an existing thermo-electric plant from coal or oil to Nat gas, is relatively inexpensive, and can be accomplished relatively quickly.  Prior to 1984, San Antonio, TX used only Nat gas for electrical generation.  Such a move should only be viewed as a temporary measure until Texas can improve its Grid, and develop windtricity, and other sustainable (green) energy generation technology.

THE WORLD SHOULD FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF GERMANY.  Plan to eliminate NPP’s, develop a new, modern electrical distribution system (Grid), further green (sustainable) energy technologies such as wind, solar, and others.  In our mind, the example being set by China and its continued reliance on coal, will bring about terrible health consequences among its people already forced to breathe highly polluted air.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo) 

UPDATE 30 DEC 2012

IN RESPONSE TO SOME OF OUR READERS The best advice I could give ANYONE regarding climate warming and sea level rise is: Don’t buy any seaside property located less than 10 meters above sea level, don’t emigrate to countries or regions with heavy air pollution, or smog producing industries, or nearby radioactive sources, or near Nuclear Power-Plants(NPPs). Look for countries, or regions that are now heavily vested in renewable “green energy”, for they shall inherit the earth. Many countries are even now quietly transfiguring to renewable energy sources. Stay away from NPPs. Remember, most NPPs in the world (there are over 1,000) are also Spent-fuel Repositories (transuranic nuclear waste) and are likely to stay so for many years to come, simply because decommissioning is expensive and difficult to accomplish; problem is: What to do with 50 years of nuclear waste accumulation.

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET THAT BEING AN ADULT, IMPLIES  COPING WITH LIFE’S UNCERTAINTIES: IF WE CAN KEEP OUR HEAD, WHEN THOSE  AROUND US ARE LOOSING THEIRS, THEN WE WILL BE BETTER-OFF FOR IT.  THE WORLD BELONGS TO THOSE WILLING TO ACCEPT/RECOGNIZE THAT CHANGE, IS UNAVOIDABLE, AND PERHAPS A PART OF “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST”.  TRUTH IS, WE CAN ALL DO WITH A LOT LESS THAN WE CONSIDER  NECESSARY TODAY.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 !!!

YOUR FRIEND,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S. We are happy to announce that our readership has nearly trebled in the last part of 2012, and that we are viewed in over 65 countries; with many of those approaching 1,000 reads per month. We are all bonded by a desire to hear only “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, for the truth will enable us to better cope with change, and life in general.

 

December 10, 2012 at 5:10 AM
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