COP 18: Guess Who The Bad Guys Are

The 18th session of the Conference Of The Parties opened this week in Doha, Qatar. Its mission: find the political consensus to save the planet from catastrophic warming in the little time we have left before shit gets right out of hand (grim note: it might be too late to prevent calamity, although we can probably still mitigate total apocalypse, woo).

It says something about the total failure of morality, vision and courage of the world’s political and business leadership that no one expects anything actually significant to come out of this round of negotiations. I seems pretty reasonable to just give up and stop paying attention. Well fuck that despair shit. Climate change is fact, it’s having real impacts NOW and we need to find international agreement on what to do about it and not ignore it like a bunch of “la-la-I-can’t-hear-you”-ing sissies.

How nasty are things getting? From the Guardian:

While the diplomats dither, time is running out. Global greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, having barely registered a blip from the financial crisis and recession. As a world, we are doing worse than ever on climate change, just when we need to be doing better – if emissions do not peak by 2020, scientists have warned, we may lose forever the chance to contain climate change to manageable levels. On current trends, the world is headed for 6 Celcius of warming, a level not seen for millions of years and that would cause chaos, according to the International Energy Agency. Fatih Birol, chief economist, says: “I don’t see enough of a sense of urgency. We do not have time to waste. We need progress at these talks.” Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN environment program, warns: “While governments work to negotiate a new international climate agreement, they urgently need to put their foot firmly on the action pedal.”

This isn’t alarmist malarkey. This is real. You should be terrified and angry. You should share that terror and anger with your politicians, your friends, your relatives and everyone else you know.

Get on it!

Anyway, The Guardian will probably be the best place on the Internet to follow daily Doha news although I’d suspect good ol’ reliable Desmog Blog will have mandatory reads as well. And you’re welcome to visit the United Nation’s Doha page. They’ve put it on the Internet just for you.

MEANWHILE! Like I suggested in the headline,  Canadians are the bad guys are at Doho. How could we not be? We’re the only country that quit Kyoto! We suck!

(Well, the Conservative government and the Canadians who support them quit Kyoto and dragged the rest of us along. I’m not sure most of us wanted to bail on the treaty. I hope not.)

How suck? ALL THE SUCK. Here’s The Guardian on how much Canada blows:

The cornerstone of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s policy has been to try to approve key pipelines, such the Keystone XL, from Alberta to Texas, the Enbridge Northern Gateway, from Alberta to the West Coast, and Enbridge Line 9, an eastbound pipeline reversal that could see tar-sands crude pumped to Quebec and the Atlantic coast. Harper’s 2012 budget bill, called C-38, replaced the entire Environmental Assessment Act in order to “streamline” approval of major oil and gas pipelines. The 2011 budget slashed funding for Environment Canada by over $222m (£140m), with cuts specifically to departments dealing with climate change, clean air, waste management and water resources.

“The environment assessment regime put in place in the past year would be a laughing stock in a developing country,” said Elizabeth May. “We have a government that is less concerned about climate than the CEOs of major oil companies.”

So that’s where we’re at with climate change. It’s really bad, eh? Happy Friday!

Sorry for this crankypants post. I’ll toss up some animal videos shortly after 3:00 to cheer you up.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.

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