Ecosocialist Notebook

Climate crisis: The rich don’t want solutions

The latest IPCC report inadvertently shows that corporations and their governments are determined to avoid protecting the poor from climate change.


Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change published its latest report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. The full report is over 2500 pages long, which means that even people who are very interested in this will only read the 44-page Summary for Policymakers that was produced by the final Working Group meeting in Yokahama, just hours before the full report was released.

That’s better than reading nothing, but unlike the main report, the Summary is written and edited by politicians and bureaucrats, and their priorities aren’t necessarily scientific. Over the years, the Summaries have consistently been more conservative, more cautious, than the Reports they summarize.

That being so, it’s very significant that the latest Summary includes very blunt warnings about the dangers that climate change poses. The situation is so serious that even government do-nothings can’t hide it.

BUT … as the following comments show, very important material was omitted from the Summary. The author is a professional writer who lives on the west coast of the U.S., who writes for AmericaBlog under the pen name Gaius Publius. These are excerpts from his April 2 post.

A great deal of the impact of global warming will be felt by the poorest nations on earth, for example, low-lying Bangladesh. Keep in mind that the poorest nations on earth never caused the crisis. The perps are rich Western nations, like the U.S. and Europe, with our high-consumption, high-waste lifestyles, and the emerging nations, like India and China, who are burning carbon as fast as they can, to catch up to us.

The poor nations are just along for the ride in most cases. With that in mind, here’s all you need to know:

  1. Poor nations are innocent victims of climate change now, and will be even more victimized in the future.
  2. To fix their vulnerabilities, it will require a transfer of money from rich nations in the neighborhood of $100 billion per year, according to the World Bank.
  3. According to the large IPCC report (the 2500-page report), the first two statements above are included as part of the data for consideration.
  4. Those statements (1 and 2) also appeared in the SPM, the executive summary, up until the very last draft, which was discussed for final approval in Yokohama.
  5. At that meeting, the need for $100 billion in crisis funds to aid poor nations was removed from the 48-page Summary, the only document that will be read outside the scientific community.
  6. The U.S. led the push to remove the statement.….

Your three take-aways from this material should be:

  1. There will never be international cooperation, because the rich will never pay a dime to offset anyone’s cost to deal with this crisis. Believe it. Anyone who goes down that path — bless their heart — is chasing a dream that human souls live inside the monsters who are keeping this crisis going. If the rich wanted to fix this, it would be fixed years ago. They will never want to fix this.
  2. Any nation can embark on a Zero Carbon energy economy the minute it wants to. It doesn’t need permission (or help) from any other uncooperating nation. Denmark can do it alone. France can do it alone. The U.S. can do it — yes, alone. Abandoning the hunt for the unicorn of international cooperation is freedom from the veto of other nation’s rich people….
  3. The rich will have to be moved aside to solve the climate crisis. And by that I mean forcefully. They will never surrender, never meet us halfway. They will only delay us while they cash their next checks and sell more carbon.

More proof: Also last week, ExxonMobil released its carbon asset risks report. That report was supposed to show how the company planned to allow for huge asset losses when limits on fossil fuel emissions make its massive reserves unusable. Exxon’s answer: It’s business as usual.

“We are confident that none of our hydrocarbon reserves are now or will become ‘stranded’. We believe producing these assets is essential to meeting growing energy demand worldwide.”

In other words, screw the world, we plan to burn every last ounce of oil and wring every last penny of profit from it.

Gaius Publius is right, the rich must be moved aside to solve the climate crisis. The sooner that happens, the safer this world will be.

—-
Ian

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Posted in Capitalism, Climate Change, Ecosoc Notebook, IPCC

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2 years 3 months ago

The only lever that the rich have to use to get their own way is money. Suitable reforms to the money systems world wide would weaken the leverage of money for this purpose. See ‘The Physics of Money’ on my website.

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