Year 2, Month 12, Day 1: Maybe We Could Get A Carbon Patch?

This sounds depressingly familiar. NYT:

WASHINGTON — With intensifying climate disasters and global economic turmoil as the backdrop, delegates from 194 nations gather in Durban, South Africa, this week to try to advance, if only incrementally, the world’s response to dangerous climate change.

To those who have followed the negotiations of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change over their nearly 20-year history, the conflicts and controversies to be taken up in Durban are monotonously familiar — the differing obligations of industrialized and developing nations, the question of who will pay to help poor nations adapt, the urgency of protecting tropical forests, the need to develop and deploy clean energy technology rapidly.

I used the cancer analogy yesterday, and I’m using it again today. Sent November 27:

The United States, one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, is acting like a five-pack-a-day man trying to wish away a negative biopsy. Scientists the world over, with increasing urgency, are saying that genuine action on climate change must be taken soon to avoid a metastasizing catastrophe — and America’s politicians are equivocating, because…well, because they’re scared.

Like someone who’s just come out of the oncologist’s office, they’re scared of change, scared of an uncertain and dangerous future, and scared of what it’s all likely to cost. And just as a heavy smoker unequivocally “needs” a cigarette to stay calm while he contemplates his diagnosis, the industrialized carbon-burning nations “need” another hit of carbon energy before they give it up.

We know it’s bad for us, that it’s very expensive, that it has drastic long-term health consequences. And we swear to quit, soon. Maybe next year. We promise!

Warren Senders

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