Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Bay of the Wise


It was a big Roevember and it's not quite over yet.  Hopefully, the D's will win the runoff in Georgia and actually pick up a seat in the Senate.  It will be quite a repudiation of the party that is out of control. Unfortunately, they did manage to eke out control of the house by a few votes.  Had it not been for Long Island and the  lower Hudson River along with  the seats that DeSantis gerrymandered, the table would have been turned. So it wasn't a wave or tsunami, it was more like a light rain.  But it will make things soggy and the House will be a mess.

But as the election began to show itself, another event in Africa was convening.  It was COP27.  And if you don't speak diplomatic acronym that's the  27th Conference of Parties for the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established an international environmental treaty to combat "dangerous human interference with the climate system", in part by stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.[1] It was signed by 154 states at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992. Its original secretariat was in Geneva but relocated to Bonn in 1996.[2] It entered into force on 21 March 1994.[3]

As for COP 27, here is the press release:

UN Climate Change News, 20 November 2022 – The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27 closed today with a breakthrough agreement to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters.

“This outcome moves us forward,” said Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary. “We have determined a way forward on a decades-long conversation on funding for loss and damage – deliberating over how we address the impacts on communities whose lives and livelihoods have been ruined by the very worst impacts of climate change.”

Set against a difficult geopolitical backdrop, COP27 resulted in countries delivering a package of decisions that reaffirmed their commitment to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The package also strengthened action by countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change, as well as boosting the support of finance, technology and capacity building needed by developing countries.

 I had several friends who went.  One was our Mayor and the other was our County Commissioner from Travis County.  We had dinner this weekend and the results of her report are much worse than the  meeley mouthed milk toastie  official Press Release.

Here are the five main accomplishments from Reuters:


After years of resistance from rich governments, nations for the first time agreed to set up a fund to provide payouts to developing countries that suffer "loss and damage" from climate-driven storms, floods, droughts and wildfires.

Despite being the standout success of the talks, it will likely take several years to hammer out the details over how the fund will be run, including how the money will be dispersed and which countries are likely to be eligible.


The final COP27 deal drew criticism from some quarters for not doing more to rein in climate-damaging emissions, both by setting more ambitious national targets and by scaling back use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.

 While the deal text called for efforts to phase down use of unabated coal power and phase-out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, some countries had pushed to phase out, or at least phase down, all fossil fuels.

But from the opening speeches to the gaveling of the final deal, the use of fossil fuels was affirmed for the near future.

President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates - host of next year's COP28 climate summit - said his country would continue to deliver oil and gas "for as long as the world is in need".

Oil company CEOs were on hand at this year's summit, after having been pushed to the margins at COP26. Natural gas chiefs were billing themselves as climate champions, despite gas companies having faced lawsuits in the United States over such claims.

Nevertheless, some electricity-poor nations in Africa argued for their right to develop their natural gas reserves, even as they face increasing climate impacts such as drought.

Other Highlights.


Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was greeted by roaring crowds as he declared "Brazil is back" in the global climate fight, and vowed to host COP30 in 2025 in the Amazon region.


A critical precursor for the climate talks' success happened far away from the Red Sea locale.

As the COP entered its second week, China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden met in Indonesia for the G20 where the heads of the world's two largest greenhouse gas emitters agreed to restart cooperation on climate change after a months-long hiatus due to tensions over Taiwan.


The world of finance has failed to provide enough money to help countries cut their carbon emissions and adapt their economies to the changes wrought by global warming, yet the COP27 talks suggest change is coming.

Among the steps likely to free up more cash is a plan to reform leading public lenders such as the World Bank so that they can take more risk and lend more money. By doing so, countries hope more private investors will join in.

For me, the super take away is that the whole show was sponsored by Coca Cola.

My guests for dinner were alarmed at the pace of progress and they have been to at least five of these things over the years.  They didn't see how the current pace was going to keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees C.  In fact neither does this group. This from last year's report:

"The world's largest-ever climate change report has been published, setting out the most up-to-date assessment of how the climate crisis will impact the world over the coming decades.

It has found that the average global temperature is likely to rise by more than 1.5°C within the next 20 years, surpassing the limit settled on in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

This warming will result in more frequent and widespread extreme weather events - including heatwaves, heavy rainfall, drought, wildfires and ocean acidification all of which have already been increasing in severity around the planet.

'Today's IPCC Report is a code red for humanity,' says António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.

'The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk.

'Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.'

In all predicted scenarios, we are now expected to release enough carbon emissions to cause the planet to warm by 1.5°C by 2040, although with the current trajectory of emissions this will likely be closer to 2034.

The past five years have been the hottest on record since the 1850s. The recent rate of sea-level rise is nearly triple that of 1901-1971 and human influence has caused the global retreat of glaciers since the 1990s.   
It's the kind of thing that makes you want to pack up the kids and go to Sharm El Sheeikh


Which by the way, 


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