Monday, December 12, 2011

Climate change: Ruining my future

So, Durban is done and the fix is in. Oh yes, they have a "framework" for a new climate deal with "legal force", covering both developed and developing nations. But even if its successful, it won't be finalised until 2015, and won't come into effect until 2020. The graph below, from Shaping Tomorrow's World, tells you everything you need to know about the effectiveness of such a deal:


The longer we wait, the harder the task of keeping stabilising CO2 concentrations gets. By choosing to wait until 2020 before doing anything, our governments have made the job more than twice as hard, forcing us to cut emissions by 9% a year rather than 3.7%. And by doing so, they've also set themselves up to declare the problem to be "too hard" and avoid doing anything at all.

In other words, our governments at Durban have just decided to let the planet burn, so they can continue to live in artificial, unsustainable comfort for another decade. This isn't just a matter of them ruining the world for their children and grandchildren; they're also ruining it for you and me. I expect to live for another forty or fifty years, barring accidents. And these rich, polluting fucks have just decided that the world I'm going to be living in will be much worse than the one I live in now. As you might be able to tell, I'm pretty pissed about that.

And just to top it all off, New Zealand is part of the problem. We've abandoned Kyoto, refused to be part of the EU-led deal for a provisional second commitment period, and done our best to spoil negotiations for everyone else. Naturally, the National Government is pretending that this is some sort of "success". But its not. We have collaborated in ruining the future, and all so farmers can continue to make money by mining our environment and externalising their costs onto everyone else.

Australia is now more progressive on climate change than we are. Australia. Thanks a lot, National.