Tag Archives: climate change conferences

The climate countdown: 2022 edition

This year’s international conference on the climate, COP27, begins on Sunday, November 6th at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The previous conference, COP26, resulted in a number of promises to reduce the production of greenhouse gases (GHGs) with the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. COP27’s goal is to see how well the world has been doing so far and to plan what must happen next.

The key issues are: is global warming better or worse than it was in COP26; how fast is global warming changing and in what direction; how close are the facts to what was promised last year and what must be done to reach the 1.5C goal?

It’s time to check the evidence so far and think about alternative futures.

Continue reading The climate countdown: 2022 edition

two transitions are happening globally

It’s that time of year when it’s useful to look back on what has been accomplished and consider what may lie ahead. In particular, it’s time to discuss the progress of two important transitions related to climate change: COP26 and teleworking.


The 26th annual United Nations Conference of the Parties, recently held in Glasgow, Scotland, was a potpourri of hopes realized and crushed. For many attendees, the hope that finally, finally some concrete action on climate change would happen turned into more frustration. There was, at least, a general agreement among the attending countries to eliminate methane production by the late 2020s, although Indonesia had second thoughts about its agreement.

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Climate change: Promises, promises, promises

Recently President Joe Biden chaired a virtual international conference on climate change that included many of the world’s leaders. The conference gained a number of new or updated promises by nations, including major emitters like China, Europe and the US, to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2030. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that these ventures are still mostly promises. Actual major reductions in GHGs have yet to be seen. The Covid-induced global slowdowns in transportation and other forms of energy consumption, big as they were, were still largely masked by emissions elsewhere. For example, China added several coal-burning power plants to its active inventory in 2020. The result is that growth in GHG emissions today is still largely unchecked. Furthermore, for each year the promises are unfulfilled the required rate of decrease of GHGs in following years goes up if we are to meet the promised goals.

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Death by Durban, Part 2

The Durban climate change meetings are over. The results are in. They are: not much has been resolved. The 2012 expiration date of the Kyoto protocols is unchanged. No new protocol was adopted. Still, there is movement toward a global agreement on climate change sometime around 2020 or so. This agreement would/might include China, India, and other large carbon–emitting nations. But 2020 may be way too late to have the world avoid serious temperature change.

The general impression that this meeting leaves is that, if you feel that action is required now to reduce further global warming, you had better not depend on any government  (except maybe the state of California) to make it happen. As I stated in my previous blog on this topic, Mother Nature is indifferent to the actions of mankind. The laws of physics remain in effect regardless of who believes himself in charge. This year, 2011, was again one of the warmest on record with a number of serious weather events. The non-climate disaster in Japan simply added to the toll of misery inflicted on humanity. So, what to do?

Here’s a list of rescue resolutions you might want to make for the coming year: Continue reading Death by Durban, Part 2

Death by Durban

In 2005 the so-called Kyoto protocol went into force, requiring most of the developed nations to begin serious reductions in their production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). The protocol was designed to last until the end of 2012. It specifically left out reduction requirements for developing countries such as China, Brazil, and India. The European Union countries began specific and varied steps to implement the protocols; the United States did not.

Today what is supposed to be a determined attempt to expand the Kyoto protocols beyond 2012 begins in Durban South Africa. The outlook for success is not bright. For example, Japan, one of the major leaders in development of the Kyoto protocol, has said that it would not support a second commitment beyond 2012. So what began as an important effort by world governments to slow the rate of global warming is in real danger of suffocating. Rather than taking an energetic step forward, the participants are in danger of death by ennui.
Continue reading Death by Durban