Information and (random) thoughts on environmental governance
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Climate Scentists Rapping

Climate scientists getting their message across, as rappers; cool… and funny to watch.

And here are the lyrics:

yo….we’re climate scientists.. and there’s no denying this Climate Change Is REEEEALL..
Who’s a climate scientist..
I’m a climate scientist..
Not a cleo finalist
No a climate scientist
Droppin facts all over this wax
While bidness be crying about a carbon tax
Climate change is caused by people
Earth Unlike Alien Has no sequel
We gotta move fast or we’ll be forsaken,
Cause we were too busy suckin things Copenhagen: (Politician)
I said Burn! it’s hot in here..
32% more carbon in the atmosphere.
Oh Eee Ohh Eee oh wee ice ice ice
Raisin’ sea levels twice by twice
We’re scientists, what we speak is True.
Unlike Andrew Bolt our work is Peer Reviewed… ooohhh
Who’s a climate scientist..
I’m a climate scientist..
An Anglican revivalist
No a climate scientist
Feedback is like climate change on crack
The permafrosts subtracts: feedback
Methane release wack : feedback..
Write a letter then burn it: feedback
Denialists deny this in your dreams
Coz climate change means greater extremes,
Heat won’t be the norm
Heatwaves bigger badder storms
The Green house effect is just a theory sucker (Alan Jones)
Yeah so is gravity float away muther floater
Who’s a climate scientist..
I’m a climate scientist..
I’m not a climate Scientist
Who’s Climate Scientists
A Penny Farthing Cyclist
No
A Fox News Journalist?
No
A Paleontologist?
No
A Clean Coal Lobbyist?
No
A Cashed up Alarmist?
No! a climate scientist! Yo! Preach!

Written and performed by Climate Scientists, Dan Ilic, Duncan Elms and production by Brendan Woithe at Colony NoFi.

May 16, 2011   No Comments

WikiLeaks, Climate Politics and Cancun

Logo used by Wikileaks

Image via Wikipedia

The past few weeks have been “eventful” in the climate change arena. The whistle-blower group WikiLeaks exposed some obscure practices surrounding international climate negotiations (which have been called by some climate bullying, bribery, espionage, blackmail and dirty diplomacy).

The confidential US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal how US and EU governments used money, threats and espionage to gain support, particularly from developing countries, for their “climate” agenda at the United Nations Climate Summit (COP 16) last year in Copenhagen. The objective of the US diplomatic offensive was to gain political backing for the controversial “Copenhagen Accord”.

The Copenhagen Accord is an unofficial document (that is, not adopted in the UN process), which serves many of the US interests. The accord allows that each nation chooses more amenable targets for greenhouse gas emissions cuts, and cannot guarantee the cuts needed to avoid dangerous effects of climate change. Also, it threatens to circumvent the UN efforts to extend or craft an adequate replacement for the Kyoto protocol, by which developed economies have binding obligations. As a result, strong objection to the Accord mounted among many countries, particularly developing nations and those nations more vulnerable to climate change. The mission of the US were then to overwhelm such opposition – by gaining support of as many countries as possible, it would be more likely that the Accord would be officially adopted.

The leaked diplomatic cables show how nations such as the Maldives, Saudi Arabia and representatives from the Alliance of Small Island States and African Union were “persuaded” to back up the Accord. They also reveal the US determination in forging alliances against their most influential adversaries: Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

Currently, the Copenhagen Accord is backed by 140 countries – which comprise 75% of the countries that are parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and are responsible for over 80% of greenhouse gas emissions.

See some of the US diplomatic cables relating to climate change:

  • On potential financial and technical support to Saudi Arabia in diversifying its economy in the face of climate change
  • On the prospects of US and EU bringing nations to support the Accord
  • On the Dutch government’s ploy to solicit support for the climate Accord from countries receiving development assistance
  • On the Maldives government promise to support the Accord in exchange for US funding
  • Meanwhile, the first major UN meeting on Climate Change after the failed Copenhagen Summit took place in Cancun, Mexico. Expectations were naturally low. None the less, modest progress was made in relation to cutting carbon emissions, climate aid, preventing deforestation, enabling technology transfer and monitoring emissions. These outcomes are far from “saving the planet”; however, for many commentators the Cancun agreements help restoring credibility of UN’s negotiation process.

  • WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord (guardian.co.uk)
  • Cancun climate agreements at a glance (guardian.co.uk)
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    December 19, 2010   No Comments

    Right and Wrong

    For deniers, politics beats the science. Handouts beat both

    From Australia to the US, the rightwingers who claim climate change is a leftwing conspiracy will grab green subsidies

    By George Monbiot / The Guardian

    It was Australia’s second climate change election. Climate change deposed the former leaders of both main parties: Kevin Rudd (Labor) because his position was too weak, Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal) because his was too strong. When Julia Gillard, the new Labor leader, also flunked the issue, many of her supporters defected to the Greens.

    Labor’s collapse began when the senate rejected Rudd’s emissions trading scheme. Faced with a choice of dissolving parliament and calling an election or dropping the scheme, he chickened out and lost the confidence of the party. Gillard’s support began to slide when she proposed to defer climate change policy to a citizen’s assembly. Nearly 70% of the votes she lost went to the Greens.

    Turnbull, like Rudd, was ousted over the emissions scheme, but six months earlier. His support for it split the Liberal party, and just before the first senate vote last December he was overthrown by Tony Abbott, who had told his supporters that climate change “is absolute crap”. If Abbott manages to form a government, he will reverse the result of the 2007 election, in which the Liberal party was defeated partly because it wouldn’t act on climate change.

    It’s not difficult to see why this is a hot issue in Australia. The country has been hammered by drought and bushfires. It has the highest carbon dioxide emissions per person of any major economy outside the Arabian peninsula. Australians pollute more than Americans, twice as much as people in the UK and four times more than the Chinese. Most Australians want to change this, but the coal industry keeps their politicians on a short leash. Like New Labour here, Rudd and Gillard’s administration was a government of flinchers. It has been punished for appeasing industrial lobbyists and the rightwing press.

    Australia provides yet more evidence that climate science divides people on political lines. Abbott is no longer an outright denier, though he still insists, in the teeth of the facts, that the world has cooled since 1997. Some members of his party go further: Senator Nick Minchin maintains that “the whole climate change issue is a leftwing conspiracy to deindustrialise the western world”. (He has also insisted that cigarettes are not addictive and the link between passive smoking and illness can’t be demonstrated). A recent poll suggests that 38% of politicians in Abbott’s coalition believe man-made global warming is taking place, in comparison with 89% of Labor’s people.

    It’s the same story everywhere. At a senatorial hustings in New Hampshire last week, all six Republican candidates denied that man-made climate change is taking place. Judging by its antics in the Senate and primary campaigns all over the US, the party appears to be heading for a unanimous rejection of the science. Václav Klaus, the ultra-neoliberal Czech president, asserts that “global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so”. The hard-right UK Independence party may soon be led by Lord Monckton, the craziest man in British politics, who claims that action on climate change is a conspiracy to create a communist world government. The further to the right you travel, the more likely you are to insist that man-made climate change isn’t happening. Denial has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics.

    In the Telegraph, the Conservative Daniel Hannan tried to explain this association. “When presented with a new discovery, we automatically try to press it into our existing belief-system; if it doesn’t fit, we question the discovery before the belief-system.” He’s right, we all do this. It is also true that in some respects an antagonism to climate science is consistent with rightwing – especially neoliberal – politics. The philosophy of the new right is summarised by this chilling statement from Václav Klaus. “Human wants are unlimited and should stay so.”

    But rightwing denial leads to perverse outcomes. In a desperate attempt to appease deniers in his party, Turnbull proposed handing £70bn to industry to soften the impacts of acting on climate change. Rudd’s scheme, by contrast, was more or less self-financing. Abbott intends to lavish subsidies on polluting companies without demanding any corresponding obligations. State handouts? Rights without responsibilities? When did these become conservative policies?

    Since way back. In the US Republicans also favour green incentives for industry, without caps or regulation. Worldwide, subsidies for fossil fuels are 12 times greater than subsidies for renewable energy. Many of the most generous handouts are awarded by rightwing governments (think of the money lavished on the oil industry under George Bush).

    Yes, climate change denial is about politics, but it’s more pragmatic than ideological. The politics have been shaped around the demands of industrial lobby groups – which in many cases fund those who articulate them. Rightwingers are making monkeys of themselves not just because their beliefs take precedence over the evidence, but also because their interests often take precedence over their beliefs.

    A fully referenced version of this article can be found on George Monbiot’s website

    August 27, 2010   No Comments