Accelerating Irony

April 13, 2014

Escher's_ReptilesNo-more-excuses point, in a kind of watershed moment this morning — via the Guardian:

Catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards, according to a landmark UN report published on Sunday.
It concludes the transformation required to a world of clean energy and the ditching of dirty fossil fuels is eminently affordable.

My underline for emphasis. A crucial threshold no doubt, and  a way-tiny time element, too.

(Illustration: M.C.Escher’s ‘Reptiles‘ found here).

Despite the supposed optimism, further down in the Guardian story this reality: Nonetheless, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change at the lowest cost, the report envisages an energy revolution ending centuries of dominance by fossil fuels and which will require major political and commercial change.
And…The report found that current emission-cutting pledges by the world’s nations make it more likely than not that the 2C limit will be broken and it warns that delaying action any further will increase the costs. Delay could also force extreme measures to be taken including sucking CO2 out of the air.
And the real-money bit:

The report’s final 37-page summary emerged from a week of negotiations between the 194 countries, with long disputes over contentious sections running until 6am on the last night.
Objections from rich nations saw the complete removal of a section stating that hundred of billions of dollars a year would have to be paid by developed countries to developing countries, to ensure they grow their cities and economies in a non-polluting way.

And…one must remember two weeks ago tomorrow: Official release of the UN’s IPCC climate-change report, detailing some bad shit… and a time preference —  “It is not something that is [only] going to happen in the future…”
A companion-piece, sort of, and ejected upon the world that same day:

“Our analysis and those of independent agencies confirms our long-standing view that all viable energy sources will be essential to meet increasing demand growth that accompanies expanding economies and rising living standards,” said William Colton, ExxonMobil’s vice president of corporate strategic planning, upon releasing the report.
“All of ExxonMobil’s current hydrocarbon reserves will be needed, along with substantial future industry investments, to address global energy needs.”

A simple case of horrible irony, that’s all. Sample a small taste off all that burning of ‘current hydrocarbon reserves,’ by reading Bill McKibben’s piece in Rolling Stone from two years ago, and let the words wallow around in your olfactory noodle for awhile — a horrific, nightmare flavor/scenario.

And that fabled “2C limit” noted above in the IPCC report, according to climate scientist and long-time activist, James Hansen, is nothing more than a facade, “the target that has been talked about in international negotiations for 2 degrees of warming is actually a prescription for long-term disaster.”

Meanwhile, here on California’s north coast this Sunday morning the weather looks good — bright sunshine already with a few cloud swirls formed in tuft-wisps flutter slowly across blue skies. And some fairly warm temperatures, too, with no rain in the forecast for nearly a week, and then only a small chance, which means most-likely not.
So, where’s the rush…

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