Reports recorded live from the NGO press center at the Poland COP24 talks. A panel includes one of our favorite climate truth-tellers, the UK’s Kevin Anderson. Kevin explains where real action could start, and the myths world governments are selling us. Then Stuart Scott goes one-on-one with another critic of these international climate shows, Britain’s ice super-scientist Peter Wadhams from Cambridge.
This week’s graphic comes a detail from a painting by Kevin M. Paulsen. Thank you Kevin for sharing your work with us.
I open the show with me singing a song of rebellious hope for the Paris Climate Talks of 2015. Now as the bitter winter of 2018 ends, there are riots in the streets of Paris – against the carbon tax, against climate action. The same suits and limousines have flown this time to Katawice Poland in the 24th mega-meeting of world governments for more talk about climate action. World greenhouse gas emissions have never been higher. Climate-driven weather violence is already raging. There will be no answer from COP24.
“You are not mature enough to tell it like it is, even that burden you leave to us children.”
– 15-year-old Greta Thunberg at the UN climate summit Poland, 2018.
POLAND PANEL WITH KEVIN ANDERSON
We begin the show with a panel discussion from the NGO Press Center in Katowice Poland, recorded December 10th, by scientistswarning.org.
From scientistswarning.tv find the video for this panel recording here.
Kevin Anderson & Hugh Hunt – “A Rule Book for the Climate Casino” with hosts Stuart Scott and Victoria Hurth.
Published on Dec 12, 2018
https://ScientistsWarning.TV – “Kevin and Hugh are back with us this year discussing the new ‘climate glitterati’ that come annually to Davos to feign concern about the climate while they discuss techno-fixes that might allow the (in their minds at least) to continue their excessive lifestyle that is heading us directly for runaway climate change and collapse.”
This video opens with Kevin Anderson saying:
“I think we need to stop and reflect that we are 28 years on now, since the first report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [in 1990]. Emissions are probably up 65% higher and are still going up. And we still meet at events like this and we still say the same things we’ve been saying for pretty much 28 years.”
Kevin suggests that in Europe, if people in the top 10% of income (say assets greater than 55,000 pounds) were to scale back their carbon emissions to the mean emissions for all Europeans – that alone could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by one third! The point is that instead of punishing everyone, including the poor (who may riot, as they did in Paris in December) – get the rich to consume and emit a lot less. People who drive heavy vehicles, maintain two houses (or more), and fly around a lot are doing the most damage to the atmosphere. They could still live a very good lifestyle without polluting so much. Start there, says Kevin Anderson.
Kevin himself famously does not fly, being a climate scientist who can see the massive damage done by air travel. Apparently, just taking one international air flight can demolish all the emission savings by concerned people who otherwise try to save energy and life a low consumption lifestyle. For more on that, check out this article “Could aviation loopholes swallow climate progress?” by Annie Petsonk, published December 11, 2018.
Then just consider the climate damage done by the thousands of people who flew to Poland, from all over the world, to pretend they are setting “rules” (voluntary, unenforceable) to keep us safely at 1.5 degrees C. warming (already surpassed in many parts of the world, and expected globally during the 2020’s according to the latest science). Can these meetings not be held over the Internet from now on? Give the atmosphere a real break!
PETER WADHAMS – COP24 LEAVES OUT THE ICE
Next up, Dr. Peter Wadhams, professor of Ocean Physics, and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, UK. This interview is by Stuart Scott of scientistswarning.org was prerecorded and presented in Poland on December 7th, 2018.
Here are a couple of quotes from this interview with Peter Wadhams:
“The government can make a commitment saying in 30 years time we will have reduced our CO2 emissions by 80% – they can quote any number they like, because they have no intention of keeping to it. And so that’s the terrible thing about the Paris agreement. All the nations of the world agree, for the first time, that they would reduce their CO2 emissions. But they all produce voluntary figures for what that reduction would be – and as soon as the economic situation changes or they can identify some sudden need, they’ll say ‘Oh sorry, we can’t keep to that commitment because of x or y’.”
“That’s why I despair that by 2050 we’ll have zero emissions. I think that by 2050 we’ll have emissions that are quite possibly higher than they are today, and that everything the politicians have said is ‘hot air'”.
You can watch this on YouTube if you prefer.
Peter Wadhams – “IPCC Underestimates & Political Cowards”
Published on Dec 11, 2018
https://ScientistsWarning.tv – “Dr. Peter Wadhams nails the problem squarely on the head. The IPCC continues to famously underestimate the problem, even in its most recent ‘urgent’ report, and the politicians remain cowards, self-serving & and ‘corrupt,’ serving first the ‘fictitious persons’ (corporations) on a daily basis and once every few years going through the ‘democracy’ charade, when in fact we live in a Monetocracy. We are in a sorry state, and the climate negotiations are disingenuous and unfortunately doomed to fail from a terminal case of ‘kicking the can down the road’. False promises are the hallmark of politicians. But the IPCC can do better than to have continually underestimated the climate problem for the past quarter century.”
During this Wadhams interview, in Poland Stuart and Victoria talk about, and read from this key paper just published in the journal Nature, December 5, 2018: “Global warming will happen faster than we think“. I expect to have an interview with a co-author of that paper, David G. Victor, in mid-January on Radio Ecoshock.
ALEX ON THE POLAND CLIMATE TALKS AND OUR PERSONAL RESPONSE
I knew the COP24 climate talks were going nowhere when I heard that America, Russia, and Saudi Arabia blocked a welcome to the latest IPCC 1.5 degree report. The Paris Climate talks of 2015 asked for that scientific work, every nation approved it last June, but now, it’s not acceptable to the world’s largest fossil fuellers, so no thanks. We don’t need the science, and apparently, we don’t care about a livable future either.
Stuart Scott says he witnessed booths or artwork directly promoting the fossil fuel industry at the Poland climate talks. Poland itself is dedicating itself to more coal; it’s politics sliding back toward authoritarianism. Scott suggests that the Polish host country did not help alternative and indigenous voices reach conference attendees or the public. The NGO Press Center was distant, not well heated or cooled, with persistent sound and equipment problems. It was almost as though someone was discouraging any free speech and climate action!
The international climate talks have become a dangerous fantasy. We all pretend there is a plan. Our leaders are trying to do something to save us from climate change. But it’s a facade, derailed by fossil fuel interests, international banks, and our own addiction to this wasteful polluting way of life.
America, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, Poland – everyone is backsliding into climate denial. As my old friends in London David & Evelyn Wasdell of the Apollo-Gaia Project write in their 2018 Christmas Letter to friends:
“As anxiety increases around the world, so the power and intensity of the social defences against anxiety escalate at every level.”
The more we hear about California in flames, Venice flooding out, drought driving millions of climate refugees, the more defensive people who burn lots of fossil fuels become. We are like heroin addicts drowning out mom and dad with heavy metal music.
Writing about the climate talks in Poland, David Wasdell says “policy-making becomes insulated from scientific input and controlled by the powerful vested interests of the economic elites (personal, organisational and international).” And perhaps thinking of the carbon tax rioters in Paris, he writes “All energy and activity that should be mobilised to engage with external reality becomes internalised to deal with rising angst. That is the footprint of collective psychosis whose onset I outlined and predicted some 14 years ago!”
Indeed my show featuring David Wasdell continues to be one of the most downloaded Radio Ecoshock programs ever. It’s called “Facing the Harsh Realities of Now”. It’s still a fantastic overview of climate feedbacks that official groups like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change continue to overlook. That is why the world will warm much faster than you have been told.
So world governments have failed once again to set a course to a safe future. Globally, while the majority of humans are worried, we push forward to using more of Earth’s limited resources, while dumping plastics into the sea, and carbon into the sky. As the Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg says frankly, there is little interest yet in talking about global warming, much less changing our lives to limit the developing damage.
Personally, this tells us that no government will ever act to save us. Perhaps only personal bravery can. You and I know the science. We can see the reality. It is not pleasant to harp on other people, to tell them their lives are going dangerously wrong. Can we become brave enough to speak up, even to workmates, even to family, even to strangers? Don’t take that useless travel flight. Don’t buy into another wasteful consumer holiday spending spree. Walk or bike. Tell them and show them with your own actions. Or admit none of us cares enough to save the current wonders of creation.
The revolution, if it comes, will not be at the ballot box or on TV. It will be a mass social change beginning at first in a few million lives, in the most common choices, to avoid more greenhouse gases and despoliation of this planet home. You and I. that’s all we have.
Again from last week’s program with Greta Thunberg:
“even if there is no hope we have to do something…not having hope is not an excuse for not doing anything…the one thing we need more than hope is action, because once we start to act hope is everywhere...”
My heart-felt thanks to every listener who helps Radio Ecoshock stay on the air. I wish you happiness during your holidays if you celebrate them.