193 countries have just signed up to a UN-brokered deal on climate change, and the first thought is: why in Cancun? It’s a luxury beach location in Mexico. Did they all go on a jolly and get caught up in the pleasant surroundings, so much that many of them signed up to give the rest of them a few billion here and there over the coming years? To build windmills. And wave stations. And probably hike up the tax on flying to pay for it.
Then you might think: perhaps getting nearly 200 representatives of the world’s countries (including the big ones) into one place, with all the necessary meeting facilities and less of the goldfish-bowl mentality, is a challenge. Cancun was probably a good choice. In fact, as it appears some kind of agreement has been achieved instead of the anticipated collapse, perhaps we should give a good slap on the back to whoever picked Cancun. Certainly better than their last botched attempt in Copenhagen.
If successful, the agreement will probably do a lot for energy security as there will be more focus on alternative/renewable sources. As for its chances of having an impact on the global temperature (keeping the increase below 2 degrees this century), I don’t think so. For every scientist put up in support of one side, another equally respected scientist stands up to defend the opposite argument. This conflict makes people dismiss the technical argument and search for alternative ulterior motives. Greed, lust for power, global dominance and many other reasons are being touted. With all this, the necessary agreements on the horizon are unlikely to garner the level of support they need, especially if voters are hit in their pockets, and Cancun will be a distant dusty memory.
Meanwhile, we may (or may not) have an impact on the immediate climate trend as we argue our way from one agreement to the next and maybe Mother Nature will decide to flex her muscles and show us exactly how puny we are. While we are concerned about the surface of this planet overheating, according to long term planetary patterns we’re actually due a period in the deep freeze.
Plus a big rock from space.
And a pandemic, for good measure.
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