December 8, 2009
Copenhagen climate change conference: what’s at stake?

World leaders are gathering in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, from December 7-18 to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference — perhaps the most high-profile environmental meeting of the past fifteen years.

Worldfocus recently spoke with Scott Barrett, a professor of natural resource economics at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs & Earth Institute. He gave us his thoughts on the conference and what leaders hope to achieve.


Worldfocus: What is the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference?

Scott Barrett: It’s a meeting of the parties that are signatory to the framework convention on climate change –the Kyoto protocol — and others who are not, such as the United States. The parties are supposed to come up with a framework to succeed Kyoto. The Kyoto Protocol came into force in 2005 to tackle global warming and applies to some countries from 2005 to 2012. The big question is what comes after 2012.

Worldfocus: Who are the key players?

Scott Barrett: Participation by the United States is central. The world went ahead with Kyoto back in 2005 but they realize it did no good. The United States will not engage any framework seriously unless other countries such as China enter it as well. China is shorthand for fast growing developing countries like India. China and the US are the key players.

Worldfocus: So, does India not matter?

Scott Barrett: India matters, but if a deal can be agreed upon with China, India will get on board.

Worldfocus: What’s at stake at the conference? What does the conference hope to achieve?

Scott Barrett: If success means we have to meet target timetables to meet target emissions, I’m not sure that is success. We used this framework for the Kyoto Protocol and that did not work. Success is defined as if an agreement is reached it changes behavior. It has got to change what countries do and how they operate in regards to climate change.

Worldfocus: Is there any hope that a new treaty will be agreed upon?

Scott Barrett: I think what we are going to get most likely is political agreement. The U.S. has not issued firm goals to curb climate change. President Obama simply cannot pledge to do something unless he can be sure the Senate and Congress will ratify it. At the Copenhagen summit President Obama will affirm his concern for climate change and his conviction that the US has to play a part in addressing the problem but I don’t see how he can make a firm commitment to a new treaty.

Worldfocus: At the end of the day will a deal at Copenhagen effectively address climate change?

Scott Barrett: There will be meetings on climate change for the rest of our lives. No matter how much you achieve these meetings will go on.

A view of Mount Kilimanjaro from Kenya. Photo: Flickr user mailliw

Worldfocus: The grandfather of global warming, James Hansen, recently came out saying that the Copenhagen Summit should fail. What is the motivation behind this statement?

Scott Barrett: I assume what he means is that there is a legitimate concern that politicians are so eager for a decision they will agree to pledges and these promises will only be a distraction and not be achieved. Governments have to be moved to tackle climate change by how they spend money, what technology is developed, etc. This is how success should be defined, not just agreements.

Worldfocus: Where do developing nations fit in?

Scott Barrett: The poorer, smaller countries are in a difficult situation because they themselves cannot do much to fundamentally address their situation. However, they are the most likely to feel the effects of climate change, and the developing nations feel they should get assistance.

Richer countries have accepted they have a responsibility to poor countries. While they [richer nations] acknowledge their role, their response to development financing is much more muted.One of the things we are going to have to do is adapt. Developing nations will have an uphill battle. But the idea is to convert responsibility to meaningful developmental assistance.

We need to rethink development to highlight this. As we see our future unfold, climate change has the ability to exacerbate current difficulties. Climate change is not just an environmental problem. It has a profound impact on whatever we do.

- Connie Kargbo

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Comments

15 comments

#15

Have you people ever heard of climategate? What about the international tax that will go directly from US Citizens to the World Bank in Switzerland? What about the over 200 new bureaucracies that this bill sought to create? Or the international “police force” it sought to put in place?

Hear that? It’s the of your freedom and money being withdrawn and permanently deposited in the banking cartel. Wake up you sheep!

#14

What? What? Am I actually getting the last word on this? What I have suggested should take your breath away. Once you start breathing again, at least you can celebrate that you have that freedom for the moment. What can you do to stop what I have suggested from happening?

First strive to always do what is compassionate and generous. Realize that “Mean People” SUCK, and don’t be one!

#13

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and its companion, greed. If you choose fear and greed over compassion and generosity, what follows will very likely be our future. This supposed future can and will happen and will happen sooner than most of you think, if we stick to our present course. We must take a new course heading in as much of the opposite direction as possible. Here is what will happen for sure if we don’t:

1) Frozen tundras are thawing and will release the methane that they hold, heating up the atmosphere at an even greater rate.
2) The Antarctic Ice Sheet, which floats on a layer of water that allows it and all other glaciers to flow as they currently do, will flow much faster as that layer of water increases. At some point the Antarctic Ice Sheet will collapse and slip into the Antarctic Ocean causing a massive tsunami(s) and catastrophically raising sea levels world wide.
3) This massive shift of water mass to a new location on the earths crust will put extreme new pressures on the earths crust, in new places, greatly magnifying tectonic activity causing more and larger earthquakes and reawakening sleeping volcanoes like the Yellow Stone Mega Caldera. It will also cause the poles, north and south, to shift dramatically, literally turning our world upside down.
4) To make matters even worse, the ocean floors will catastrophically release the smothering methane that they hold. The sky will become a fiery and suffocating orange and black.
5) Reawakened fiery volcanoes will add their two cents worth too.

I can even see a new “Ice Age” occurring as the world rebounds from the multiple extreme changes it will experience simply because “WE” refuse to recognize our own involvement in the process of “Global Warming,” and we fearfully and arrogantly cling to our old ways. Be warned, this is our future if we do not wake up from this awful nightmare WE are creating.

This is what those of you who call Climate Change a hoax face, and are forcing everyone else to face with you, if you do not open your mind and your heart to this great need for change that we all face, and must face together, if humanity itself is to survive.

#12

Amongst all of the talk about this subject there does not seem to be much talk about the amount of CO2 that is given off by the Oceans?

#11

If the world community doesn’t address the aquatic thermal accumulation at least as aggressively as they’re addressing the CO2 accumulation. The planets ice will continue to decline rapidly, because this condition accelerates as it progresses, due to the cooling potential being reduced as the ice declines, thus making it harder and harder to repair. The deep water ice took hundreds of thousands, if nt millions of years to form. We cannot replace that loss, so we’ll endup having to compensate, which will be expensive to do. We have the ability and the knowhow to reverse this course. We simply need to rethink the world economic structure to accomodate this emergency environmental repair. This effort should provide good paying long term jobs for everyone seeking work.

#10

The reason that we have an aquatic thermal accumulation, is because the aquatic environment has an inwards direction of conduction throughout nearly 97 percent of its outer surface area, normally. The aquatic thermal accumulation has reduced that number down to about 89 percent. The change all taking place within the planets colder regions where the thermal accumulation is being vented off through the much colder surface waters, where the conductive powers of the oceans DOW, or colder (deep ocean water) is the weakest.

#9

While seeking historic and current aquatic thermal data, I was shocked to learn that the oil industry apparently has never been required to provide sensitive thermal data to insure that extracting vast quantities of oil from under the oceans and seas isn’t potentially increasing the natural rate in which thermal energy is being transferred from the warmer planet surface into the colder waters. So I did some in house, preliminary experiments to see if I could detect an increase in the rate of thermal energy being transferred, and I could! Write your representitives insisting that the oil industry provide this data, because they need to be held responsible for such potential thermal increases into the aquatic environment. The aquatic environment is extremely fragile from a thermal standpoint, it doesn’t take much to create a thermal accumulation, as we have in the waters around the world today.

#8

I’m a scientists, and I can assure you, global warming is very real, as is the rapid decline in the planetary ice. Truth is, the CO2 accumulation is a substancial secondary contributing factor. The main contributing factor is humanities aquatic thermal contribution that has also created a massive low level thermal accumulation that has neutralized the naturally dominant downwards direction of conduction within the planets colder regions, thus triggering the twelve fold increase in the rate in which the planets ice was previously melting. If we do not address the human aquatic thermal footprint the ice will continue to decline, even if we get rid of all of the atmospheric CO2’s. I’ve done the experiments and seen the supporting data. Thank you!

#7

for those interested in understanding the fraud that has taken place under the guidance of climate ’scientists’ go to: wattsupwiththatd0tc0m

#6

information on much of the flawed ’science’ underlying global warming: http://wattsupwiththat.com/

#5

December 9, 2009
So long as the world is splintered into more than one hundred nation-states every one of which–let alone the more powerful states among them–is primarily if not wholly concerned with advancing its own economic,political and strategic ends rather than preventing the impending ravages of accelerating global warming, there is little hope of any binding global action coming out of the present or future conferences. The fate of the human race and the rest of Nature is at stake; yet the world continues to temporize, and postpone effective action.

#4

Recent Greenland ice borings have revealed that rapid climate warming has occurred over the centuries. Therefore the earth may be in another warming cycle over which humans have no impact. Nevertheless we should still try to get the dirt out if the air that we breath

#3

Recent Greebmland ice borings have revealed that rapid climate warming has occurred over the centuries. Therefore the earth may be in another warming cycle over which humans have no impact. Nevertheless we should still try to get the dirt out if the air that we breath

#2

Copenhagen climate talks, as the Kyoto Protocol, will fail or marginally meet the need for pollution reduction; because, the world’s population is infected with a non-thinking uncaring disease,”Godism,” that is the root cause of global warming.

One would think, the world’s population faced with a .7 to 2.0+ global temperature increase and 1 to 2/3-population decrease, estimates, would come to an agreement on removing or at least minimizing the world’s deadliest disease. The syndicated channel E/I broadcast exactly what the disease is and to all the children within its television coverage – doing a very good job of it. Regardless, the newscast of several televisions broadcasts still, do nothing, but highlight the extent of the disease.

What is the disease – money! After two days of listening to the Copenhagen coverage on two or more channels. It is very apparent that every player, organization, club, or country is playing for its cut of a disease pie – but the pie is snake oil. Yet, the rich countries owe the poorer countries a debt, the economy, flooding in the Philippines. Like a country’s carbon-foot-print and cost, let’s not limit the disease. With, Copenhagen’s talks committees and entertainment, I hope Denmark is getting the most, money, out of its disease.

Again, like Denmark, the mid-eastern countries, companies, and others have put together a group of scientists to dispute the global warming findings – who’s paying their salary. Only this group doesn’t dispute global warming, but what is the cause - as if somehow, a natural occurring global warming, that terminates a major group of the population, is somehow better than a man made event - that terminates a major group of the population. What it boils down to is: “don’t mess with my disease and let’s get rich off the latest and greatest show in town.” These are other symptoms of the disease.

So what is the disease? Money is an agreed-upon-method of exchange that all nations, governments, companies, and people use to resolve disputes over goods and services. “Agreed-upon-method” means invented. Money is coins and paper currency. Coins, stamped out of metals found in the ground, are basically dirt. Paper currency, whether cloth or paper, is from plants or tree bark. Yet, now, money is represented in the electronic form, in the various forms in the computer – the disease, dirt and tree bark, has mutated to one step closer to “Godism.” It is “Godism” because as the world’s population squabble over a hoax, the temperature rises and the population dies. When there is no population, there is no need for dirt and tree bark. Like the flu, the disease has run its course.

So with the obvious stated and all its solvable problems it presents, why isn’t the news commentators asking the hard question – “Why is not the Copenhagen talks curing the disease; thus global warming?” Most likely, it is because of ratings and access – another symptom of the infection and like the disease, a ruse.

What is the ruse: it’s awful hard to believe, a country that makes its own currency, currency accepted, can run a debt unless “infection causes” are in the house. Just think, the survivors of this holocaust can say – “Yes, but we kept our dirt and tree bark?”

#1

Copenhagen climate talks, as the Kyoto Protocol, will fail or marginally meet the need for pollution reduction; because, the world’s population is infected with a non-thinking uncaring disease,”Godism,” that is the root cause of global warming.

One would think, the world’s population faced with a .7 to 2.0+ global temperature increase and 1 to 2/3-population decrease, estimates, would come to an agreement on removing or at least minimizing the world’s deadliest disease. The syndicated channel E/I broadcast exactly what the disease is and to all the children within its television coverage – doing a very good job of it. Regardless, the newscast of several televisions broadcasts still, do nothing, but highlight the extent of the disease.

What is the disease – money! After two days of listening to the Copenhagen coverage on two or more channels. It is very apparent that every player, organization, club, or country is playing for its cut of a disease pie – but the pie is snake oil. Yet, the rich countries owe the poorer countries a debt, the economy, flooding in the Philippines. Like countries carbon-foot-print and cost, let’s not limit the disease. With, Copenhagen’s talks committees and entertainment, I hope Denmark is getting the most, money, out of its disease.

Again, like Denmark, the mid-eastern countries, companies, and others have put together a group of scientists to dispute the global warming findings – who’s paying their salary. Only this group doesn’t dispute global warming, but what is the cause - as if somehow, a natural occurring global warming, that terminates a major group of the population, is somehow better than a man made event - that terminates a major group of the population. What it boils down to is: “don’t mess with my disease and let’s get rich off the latest and greatest show in town.” These are other symptoms of the disease.

So what is the disease? Money is an agreed-upon-method of exchange that all nations, governments, companies, and people use to resolve disputes over goods and services. “Agreed-upon-method” means invented. Money is coins and paper currency. Coins, stamped out of metals found in the ground, are basically dirt. Paper currency, whether cloth or paper, is from plants or tree bark. Yet, now, money is represented in the electronic form, in the various forms in the computer – the disease, dirt and tree bark, has mutated to one step closer to “Godism.” It is “Godism” because as the world’s population squabble over a hoax, the temperature rises and the population dies. When there is no population, there is no need for dirt and tree bark. Like the flu, the disease has run its course.

So with the obvious stated and all its solvable problems it presents, why isn’t the news commentators asking the hard question – “Why is not the Copenhagen talks curing the disease; thus global warming?” Most likely, it is because of ratings and access – another symptom of the infection and like the disease, a ruse.

What is the ruse: it’s awful hard to believe, a country that makes its own currency, currency accepted, can run a debt unless “infection causes” are in the house. Just think, the survivors of this holocaust can say – “Yes, but we kept our dirt and tree bark?”

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