Democratic voters are depressed, demoralized, and tuning out — and there’s no use in denying it. Amanda Marcotte
In a couple of weeks, the world will come together in Glasgow, Scotland, in what is yet another attempt for worldwide action to attempt to prevent planetwide devastation trajectory we have yet to slow down as a result of decades of inaction.
The U.N Climate Change Conference, a/k/a the Conference of the Parties (COP 26), is the 26th year that the vast majority of the world’s nations come together and attempt to agree on how to move forward. By any standard, this year’s climate emergency is a preview of how deadly the emergency has become, and the consequences that await us are too horrifying to contemplate.
We know that devastating impacts are inevitable, and no matter what we do, we are boned. If we chose to be less boned, some of what is left on earth could be saved by immediate action to slow down the impacts of sea-level rise, drought, and heat so brutal that it could kill millions within years.
We also know that people are becoming demoralized by so many looming catastrophes. As the Capital Weather Gang in their headline, An upcoming climate summit is supposed to save the planet. But pessimism is building.
“Pessimism is building” is an understatement as we witness two Democratic Senators joining republicans shanking a dagger into the heart of the climate fight. I would identify them by name, but I don’t want another diary highjacked again by the Leave Brittany Alone snowflakes.
The reconciliation bill is a climate bill. Manchin demands the Democrats eliminate the Clean Electricity Performance Program. No climate, no deal for his infrastructure bill that showers the fossil fuel industry with all kinds of goodies.
Ishaan Tharoor writes:
But for all the efforts underway, a kind of advance pessimism is taking shape ahead of the summit. The International Energy Agency released a report Wednesday declaring that “clean energy progress is still far too slow to put global emissions into sustained decline towards net zero” and that a dramatic escalation needs to come about. “Reaching that path requires investment in clean energy projects and infrastructure to more than triple over the next decade,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, the energy watchdog for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres has lamented what he sees as a lack of momentum and solidarity among the world’s governments, which are all expected to make and adhere to significant commitments to slash their carbon emissions. “I believe that we are at risk of not having a success in COP26,” Guterres told Reuters last month. “There is still a level of mistrust, between north and south, developed and developing countries, that needs to be overcome.”
We are at the edge of the abyss where Guterrez warns COP that we need to be careful about our next steps. As Barack Obama was fond of saying to the GQP -don’t muck it up.
Earlier this year, John F. Kerry, the United States’ climate envoy, described the summit as the “last, best chance” to get more pledges of emissions cuts, aid to less-wealthy countries vulnerable to climate change and investments in renewable energies to wean the world off fossil fuels. As it is, unless mammoth reforms are implemented across the world in the coming years, it looks unlikely that governments will be able to ward against the 1.5 degree Celsius rise in preindustrial global temperatures that scientists believe marks a kind of red line — a rate of planetary warming that would lead to catastrophic climate effects, the disruption of economic life and the destabilization of whole communities.
Kerry has worked very hard in the leadup to Glasgow, attempting to achieve commitments from the countries that release lots of CO2 into the atmosphere. But if the total funding of 3.5 trillion dollars is reduced, it will be a fatal blow to the last opportunity for any meaningful action ever again. This is the last and final shot for sapiens to escape an extinction event.
Now, Kerry appears to be offering a more limited vision for what may be accomplished at COP26. “By the time Glasgow’s over, we’re going to know who is doing their fair share, and who isn’t,” he told the Associated Press in an interview Wednesday, acknowledging that many countries may struggle to make good on commitments they’ve already made, let alone those they have not. Kerry said “there will be a gap” between emissions cuts countries have promised and those that are needed. “We’ve got to be honest about the gap, and we have to use the gap as further motivation to continue to accelerate as fast as we can,” he said.
Kerry has spent much of the year traveling to the capitals of major emitters and coaxing them toward new pledges of emissions cuts. Visits by Kerry to Saudi Arabia and Mexico before Glasgow could prefigure new commitments from both those countries.
But the United States is as much a guilty party as others. Kerry pointed to the frustrated negotiations in Congress over infrastructure bills that are essential to Biden’s plan to cut U.S. emissions to half of the 2005 level by 2030. If such legislation fails to pass, Kerry admitted, it would mark a grievous blow to American climate leadership. “It would be like President Trump pulling out of the Paris agreement, again,” Kerry told AP.
If you are not furious, you are not paying attention.
The writers in Climate Brief work to keep the Daily Kos community informed and engaged with breaking news about the climate crisis worldwide while providing inspiring stories of environmental heroes, opportunities for direct engagement, and perspectives on the intersection of climate activism with spirituality politics, and the arts.
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