Top Leaderboard, Site wide
November 25, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!






Joan of Arc


Truthdig Bazaar
They Knew They Were Right

They Knew They Were Right

By Jacob Heilbrunn
$17.16

Bad Money

Bad Money

By Kevin Phillips
$17.13

more items

 
Ear to the Ground

U.S. Tries to Break Copenhagen Deadlock

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Dec 17, 2009
AP / Anja Niedringhaus

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for a $100-billion fund was a lower amount than developing nations say they require to address the climate issue.

In a move to ostensibly “save” the United Nations’ climate talks in Copenhagen, the U.S. has pledged to support a $100 billion multilateral fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change and develop environmentally friendly technologies.  —JCL

The Guardian:

The US moved to assert its leadership and save the UN climate talks in Copenhagen from collapse today, saying it was ready to support a $100bn (£62bn) fund to shield poor countries from the ravages of climate change.

But speaking at the conference, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, warned developing countries that the finances would only flow if their leaders signed up to a strong global warming deal at the summit.

“The US is prepared to work with other countries to jointly mobilise $100bn a year by 2020,” Clinton told a press conference on a day that began with reports that the summit’s Danish hosts had given up hope of reaching a deal.

However, she warned: “In the absence of an operational agreement that meets the requirement that I outlined there will not be the final commitment that I outlined - at least from the United States.”

Read more

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By uki, December 17, 2009 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the $100 billion clinton offers up is to kill kyoto to be
replaced not with any mandates at all, but by
“transparency,” and the disbursement of the money
would be made by powerful developed nations to
those undeveloped nations who play by the rules
(which will be framed by oil and coal companies in the
legislative halls of the developed nations).  think
IMF/World Bank—you guys do this and that, even
though it’s not in your nation’s best interest, and we’ll
give you money.

our greed, folly, and stupidity make our early passing
from the planet more palatable to ponder, at any rate,
I guess, in this hour of the wolf.

Report this
Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, December 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

A warmer climate could prove to be more beneficial than the one we have now. Much of the alarm over climate change is based on ignorance of what is normal for weather and climate. There is no evidence, for instance, that extreme weather events are increasing in any systematic way, according to scientists at the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the World Meteorological Organization and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Indeed, meteorological theory holds that, outside the tropics, weather in a warming world should be less variable, which might be a good thing.

In many other respects, the ill effects of warming are overblown. Sea levels, for example, have been increasing since the end of the last ice age. When you look at recent centuries in perspective, ignoring short-term fluctuations, the rate of sea-level rise has been relatively uniform (less than a couple of millimeters a year). There’s even some evidence that the rate was higher in the first half of the twentieth century than in the second half. Overall, the risk of sea-level rise from global warming is less at almost any given location than that from other causes, such as tectonic motions of the earth’s surface.

Many of the most alarming studies rely on long-range predictions using inherently untrustworthy climate models, similar to those that cannot accurately forecast the weather a week from now. Interpretations of these studies rarely consider that the impact of carbon on temperature goes down—not up—the more carbon accumulates in the atmosphere. Even if emissions were the sole cause of the recent temperature rise—a dubious proposition—future increases wouldn’t be as steep as the climb in emissions.

Indeed, one overlooked mystery is why temperatures are not already higher. Various models predict that a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will raise the world’s average temperature by as little as 1.5 degrees Celsius or as much as 4.5 degrees. The important thing about doubled CO2 (or any other greenhouse gas) is its “forcing”—its contribution to warming. At present, the greenhouse forcing is already about three-quarters of what one would get from a doubling of CO2. But average temperatures rose only about 0.6 degrees since the beginning of the industrial era, and the change hasn’t been uniform—warming has largely occurred during the periods from 1919 to 1940 and from 1976 to 1998, with cooling in between. Researchers have been unable to explain this discrepancy.

Is there any point in pretending that CO2 increases will be catastrophic? Or could they be modest and on balance beneficial? India has warmed during the second half of the 20th century, and agricultural output has increased greatly. Infectious diseases like malaria are a matter not so much of temperature as poverty and public-health policies (like eliminating DDT). Exposure to cold is generally found to be both more dangerous and less comfortable.

Moreover, actions taken thus far to reduce emissions have already had negative consequences without improving our ability to adapt to climate change. An emphasis on ethanol, for instance, has led to angry protests against corn-price increases in Mexico, and forest clearing and habitat destruction in Southeast Asia. Carbon caps are likely to lead to increased prices, as well as corruption associated with permit trading. (Enron was a leading lobbyist for Kyoto because it had hoped to capitalize on emissions trading.) The alleged solutions have more potential for catastrophe than the putative problem. The conclusion of the late climate scientist Roger Revelle—Al Gore’s supposed mentor—is worth pondering: the evidence for global warming thus far doesn’t warrant any action unless it is justifiable on grounds that have nothing to do with climate.

Report this
 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook