On the highway to climate hell

Even though there are a lot of citizens and politicians who claim that all those climate activists are lunatics and insist that those scientists who claim that the earth is warming, it is safe to say that all those climate deniers will have their children facing reversible disasters in a few years.

Many people keep their ears and eyes closed to the warnings of multiple climatologists, some of whom do seem to speak in thin air. Many of those scientists have been rightly de-challenged over the many meetings that have taken place in previous years to expose climate change to politicians. One may wonder what actually needs to happen in the world before people’s eyes will open.

27th annual U.N. climate talks, known as COP27, November 2022 Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry, who’s also this year’s conference’s president, said

COP27 is to be convened while the international community is facing a financial and debt crisis, an energy-prices crisis, a food crisis, and on top of them the climate crises.”

He is fully aware that now there are more problems and that it will now be more difficult to achieve all the goals articulated in Paris.

“In light of the current geopolitical situation, it seems that transition will take longer than anticipated.”

Marc Champion and Salma El Wardany, whose writings you also can find on my site “Some View on the World” write

The UK wrapped up its ­hosting duties at COP26 with a claim to have kept alive the Paris Agreement’s goal of capping warming at 1.5C above preindustrial levels. Those gains have now been at best stalled or at worst reversed by the wartime logic brought on by the invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has turned Europe’s energy spigot into an economic weapon in response to sanctions, and major developed economies faced with suddenly scarce natural gas supplies are racing to open up old coal-fired power stations. {The Road to Cop27}

Patrick Verkooijen, chief executive officer of the Netherlands-based Global Center on Adaptation, an international organisation focused on brokering climate solutions.  said

COP27 will be a train wreck if the adaptation finance doesn’t come through.”

An industrial area, with a power plant, south of Yangzhou’s downtown, China

Last time when the world leaders got together for a climate summit, the backdrop was thoroughly menacing. A pandemic had decimated national budgets. We also saw the poor countries up in arms over the hoarding of Coronavirus vaccines by the same wealthy nations whose fossil fuel consumption did most to warm the planet. Poor countries could only look on as polluting superpowers such as America, China and India continue to pollute without parallel, while the consequences of their actions are most felt in their regions suffering from massive droughts as well as flooding and incalculable weather conditions.

Those countries have reason to be afraid nothing will change for the good. They see the world’s biggest oil and gas companies descending on COP27 in an all-out offensive to protect their profits. They are aware of the plans of those industrialised capitalist countries to exploit the EU energy crisis to lock in gas as a path forward instead of actual clean energy. And if those rich countries succeed, it will mean we continue down our currently catastrophic pathway to 2.5+ degrees of heating.

The threats we face are a matter of life or death. If we don’t slam the brakes on runaway climate change, our future is extreme weather, food shortages, and millions displaced. The next few months will decide if we succeed or fail, but to win we need to centre the voices of the communities with everything at stake.

Last Monday UN secretary general Antonio Guterres addressed once more world leaders who, this time gathered in Sharm El Sheikh, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt at the Cop27 conference.

One of the key objectives around which the 2015 Paris Agreement was formed, was to bring a halt to the increasing global warming. The intention everyone agreed to was to hold the global average temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. But as it happens more often with political agreements is that a lot of words went into the wind, but few really made an effort to get their country to commit to a major reduction in global warming, to a maximum of 1.5°.

Despite the wide-ranging agreement reached at Cop26 in Glasgow last year, the world body is predicting planet earth is likely to see accelerated sea level rises, glacier melting and more record heat waves. Even in Western Europe, a lot of people could feel the effects of global warming over the last two years. Huge floods took place, with people talking about a ‘water bomb’, along with huge droughts and accompanying forest fires.

The diplomats and world leaders now gathered in Egypt for the annual United Nations climate summit are tasked, in some sense, with holding the global average temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming and having to come to an agreement to help the poor countries which undergo most trouble by the polution industrialised countries are causing.

The head of the UN has warned the world is

“on the highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator”

as temperatures rise to dangerous levels.

Mr Guterres also warned that

“we are in the fight of our lives – and we are losing”

with greenhouse gas emissions still growing and temperatures still rising.

He said climate change was

“the defining issue of our age. It is the central challenge of our century. It is unacceptable, outrageous and self-defeating to put it on the back burner.”

Today, it also seems that people everywhere want to put forward the war in Ukraine as an excuse. Referring to that war in Ukraine, Guterres warned:

“Today’s crises cannot be an excuse for backsliding or greenwashing.”

Professor Hannah Cloke of the University of Reading also warned:

“The time we have to change the course is getting shorter and shorter and shorter and there just feels like a lot of talking and no action, and as a climate scientist it is just awful, it’s really, really frustrating.”

That is the big problem we as citizens have to witness. We see and hear a lot of politicians talking about what is happening in nature and what should be done, but we do not see anyone really taking sufficient measures at home.

Some countries would have preferred not to show up at this year’s conference. Britain’s previous prime minister, Ms Liz Truss, even wished the king would not go to that nevertheless very important meeting. Her successor was not really keen on it either and would normally, like his predecessor, not have gone either. About this, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said Mr Sunak

“had to be dragged kicking and screaming into showing up at all.

Due to outside pressure, the PM of Greater Britain will have to show up and actively participate. It shall be his first attending international outing as prime minister following what opponents called a “screeching U-turn,” having planned to stay home to work on domestic financial issues.

“When real leadership is required at home and abroad, we have a weak and wobbly prime minister on a day trip.”

Mr Sunak used his speech to call on countries to stick to commitments made at the Cop26 summit hosted by the UK in Glasgow, if it is to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

But Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tweeted that the PM lacked credibility

“when his own government hasn’t met finance pledges”

and

“was continuing fossil fuel subsidies, won’t rule out new coal and is green-lighting more oil and gas.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is also at the conference, seems to understand the reason why all leaders there at the conference should put their heads together. She said there is an obligation for richer countries that have largely caused climate change to help those suffering its effects.

The call for a loss and damage response fund for nations on the front line of climate change has emerged as one of the key demands from the global South to Cop27.

Sohanur Rahman, from Bangladesh, one of the hardest hit countries, said:

“I am from a coastal community where cyclones and storm surges are frequent — we are facing climate disasters every year.

The riverine country of Bangladesh (“Land of the Bengals”) is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and most of the people living there have no sufficient means to tackle the bad weather conditions.

“Climate-vulnerable countries such as Bangladesh should not bear the brunt of the climate crisis alone.”

But former PM Boris Johnson said the UK did not have enough cash to pay “reparations” to low-income countries affected by climate change.

World Meteorological Organization Logo.svgA new report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) ahead of Cop27 also reported that the Earth is warming faster and sea levels rising more quickly.

Mr Guterres called data from the WMO’s latest state of the global climate report

“a chronicle of climate chaos.”

“We must answer the planet’s distress signal with action – ambitious, credible climate action,”

he said.

The annual report said that the rise in sea levels over the past decade was double what it was in the 1990s and since January 2020 has jumped at a higher rate than that. Since the beginning of the decade, seas have risen at five millimetres a year compared to 2.1 millimetres in the 1990s.

The WMO said the last eight years have been the warmest on record.

Its secretary-general Petteri Taalas said:

“The melting [of ice] game we have lost and also the sea level rate.

“There are no positive indicators so far.”

Mr Taalas said the only reason that the globe hasn’t broken annual temperature records in the past few years is because of a rare three-year La Niña weather phenomenon. The cyclic counterpart to El Niño, consisting of a cooling of surface waters of the Pacific Ocean along the western coast of South America.

“This latest report from the World Meteorological Organisation reads like a lab report for a critically ill patient, but in this case the patient is Earth,”

said climate scientist Jennifer Francis of the Woodwell Climate Research Centre in Cape Cod [formerly known as the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC)].

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn said:

“Cop27 must achieve climate justice, support the poorest for loss and damage, and deliver systemic change on a global scale.

Capitalist and industrial countries will have to come to realise that they have to do their bit to help those countries that run into climate problems because of their actions.

The world has to be aware that we are running out of time.

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Find also to read

  1. The link between extreme weather and extreme inequality
  2. The Guardian’s view on the world 5th week of May 2022
  3. The Telegraph’s Weekly view 2022 June 04 – June 10
  4. Composted reads for the 2nd week of June
  5. USA Climate Change Action Plan
  6. Failing climate: Climate-aid pledges by industrialized nations are worthless, according to the leader of Seychelles
  7. In the picture for 2022 July 04 – July 10 by The Week
  8. Stories from the climate warrior for the first half of July
  9. July 8: It’s curtains for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who did not deny that the climate crisis was real
  10. US Climate Activists Pivot to Local Action
  11. 2022 First half of July – Here’s what else you need to know in Green
  12. 2022 Second half of July – Here’s what else you need to know in Green
  13. The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking
  14. The Observer end of July 2022 overview
  15. System change, not climate change
  16. 2022 August biggest climate milestones
  17. The Week of 2022 September 05 – 11
  18. Reviews about nature for the first half of September
  19. A third of Pakistan left underwater
  20. Only time will tell if Britain’s new PM has what it takes to confront the biggest crisis of all
  21. Ban Ki-moon called for ramping up adaptation measures to climate disasters happening around the world
  22. Will Sunak rebuild green agenda torn up by Truss?
  23. The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022 November 07
  24. The Telegraph Frontpage for 2022 November 08

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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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4 Responses to On the highway to climate hell

  1. CarolCooks2 says:

    You are correct Marcus when you state eyes and ears are closed plus when an ex-Prime Minister of the UK states they don’t have enough money to pay “reparations” to low-income countries affected by climate change one wonders where governments’ priorities lie on expenditure…Are they going justify a comment like this to their grandchildren when asked when most low-income countries have not contributed to global warming but are living with the consequences of the countries that have

    Like

  2. Pingback: What was at stake in Sharm El-Sheikh – Some View on the World

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