what then should we call it ?
just ordained, good friend rita lucey
offers first holy mass – for mother
welcome one blessed activist
huge caring supported by as much courage
months of prison walls & miles of protest walks
if not already, one day you’re sure to know her !
Gotta apologize, friends of Ma, outta here this long. Can’t let it go any longer. Much of these days for wifeling, helping her recover from deep surgery. Deeper than ever we saw coming.
No, can’t leave my readers alone, having just finished Naomi’s latest -One Great Work- page by page since Sept’s Peoples Climate March, ideally released just then. Powerful, humanly – scientifically – masterly gathered. How ’bout you ? Read it by now yourself, shemovesme friend ? Hope so. If not, do get right to it. You’ll soon know why.
Wifeling hears me go on & on about the book, concluding author must be something like another Rachel Carson. Clearly Rachel herself would be cheering. Naomi’s husband Avi Lewis is making TCE into a movie. Bravo, does it ever deserve it ! But please, reader, don’t wait for it.
No, no other words for it -for what we’re facing on this beautiful planet: TCE adds up to my most basic + my most advanced education for our Ma. Last few days I’m mulling just how to write it up . . . where to start, my pages & pages of underscoring nearly as many as Naomi’s originals. Seems I’m not alone at such a pen juncture. Rob Nixon started out with a similar baffle – here’s his own NY TIMES REVIEW 11/6/14
While we’re at it, if you’re looking for more reading clues, click here for another fine interview – bk review – auth review – pub excerpt at YES MAGAZINE – THE GUARDIAN – THE NATION – SIMON & SCHUSTER
And speaking of the Times, here’s TCE’s top 20 non-fiction rating story -just #12 in its 3rd wk, #17 4th wk following release. And that’s it; since then gone. Please Ma buddies – let’s go get it !
OK back to those pages, perhaps now far enuf away to begin hearing what sticks ( as if this aging memory of mine has anything like a last word ! )
First off, Naomi, it’s your sharp, energetic, forceful approach, creatively aligned for the best of reader engagement. I’m right with you from page one. You do get right to it, those first pages blatantly topside vs. easing your way up any ladder of speel for our planet.
We need a Marshall Plan for the Earth
– p 12
This well known target ( of world climate meetings ) has more to do with minimizing economic disruption than with protecting the greatest number of people.
– p 20
Before long, it’s so evident – what a journalist ! Your research – your energy – such non-stop probing, all taking us to the very source of Ma’s debacle – unfettered corporate ideology of the market. Oh my gosh, our turn to lose what we thought we’d won in that long, cool thrash of communism so-called vs democracy so-called.
Climate change detonates the ideological scaffolding on which contemporary conservatism rests. A belief system that vilifies collective action and declares war on all corporate regulation and all things public simply cannot be reconciled with a problem that demands collective action on an unprecedented scale and a dramatic reigning in of the market forces that are largely responsible for creating and deepening the crisis.
– p 48
Talk about those corp deniers. You go right to it – to them, starting your book in person at their very conference. Then to the very ones -who doesn’t think so- right with us, the biggest of our environmental friends, their size attributable -wow- to those same fossil giants.
The Nature Conservancy has been in the oil and gas business ( itself ) for a decade and a half. That this could happen in the age of climate change points to a painful reality behind the environmental movement’s catastrophic failure to effectively battle the economic interests behind our soaring emissions: large parts of the movement aren’t actually fighting those interests -they have merged with them.
– p 208
But nowhere is it about anything like hate, as my own lens knows so well, this most authentic movement for our mother. It comes from the most natural love of her beauty, you two remind us . . .
I believe that the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.
– quoting Rachel Carson herself ( 1954 ); TCE p 355
And speaking of our mother and what’s most authentic, the one time you seem to abandon a journalistic stand-off here you are connecting our planet’s fertility mission to your very own !
Finally what sticks is who you tab as earth’s best activists, known in your land as America’s first-nation folk, not only for their most natural affinity to our mother, but -admittedly most surprisingly- for such very real leadership from taking on their own land debacles to exiting courtrooms the winners. No wonder they were the very ones leading the rest of us down Broadway.
These victories add up: they have kept unaccountable millions of tons of carbon and other greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Whether or not climate change has been a primary motivator, the local movements behind them deserve to be recognized as unsung carbon keepers, who, by protecting their beloved forests, mountains, rivers, and coastlines, are helping to protect all of us.
– p 371
Naomi, I have to say in these final days of mine, presence at last is taking over. Here maine-coon Abby nestles beside me, dawn by smiling dawn, life itself so brightly in place, past any clouded yesterday. So it needs be.
I’ve always looked to Canada as America’s grounded northern conscience. Now, even as tarsands pulls your country down our lowest of corp undertakings, here you bring us home
to what’s happening, gifted planetwise;
to what’s so needed for our here & now.
. . . nature’s most beautiful gift
~ albert einstein
thanks dancing rabbit for showing us how to move
intentionally – presently – humanly
and yes – multo inspirationally !!
what you’re up to sure makes me want to be with you
. . . if ever you doubted her growing sweaty
NASA animation depicting warming global temperatures, 1880 to 2014
( click on youtube logo on their screen above for pub details )
and here it is, 2014 – hottest year of them all
read BRIAN KAHN’S FULL ARTICLE ON CLIMATECENTRAL via NASA & NOAA 1/16/15 release
yes & no . . . vox writer brad plumer adds it all up – what the world’s national environment reps meeting in peru this month were able to prep for next year’s big paris climate summit.
yes, we’re talking at last, given what’s at stake.
no, hardly on the same page, taken who’s pounding.
Updated by Brad Plumer on December 14, 2014, 12:10 p.m. ET@bradplumer / firstname.lastname@example.org
What the new UN climate deal does (and doesn’t do)
1. UNDER A NEW UN DEAL on climate change agreed to in Lima, Peru, every single country has agreed to submit a plan next year for addressing their greenhouse-gas emissions.
2. That’s a first. Past climate deals only targeted the emissions of wealthier nations and exempted fast-growing countries like China and India.
3. But there are huge caveats. The plans will all be voluntary — countries can promise to cut as much or as little as they want. And there’s no rigorous outside review. (The US wanted one, but this was opposed by China and India.)
4. Experts warn this deal isn’t enough to prevent significant global warming: the world IS STILL ON PACE for temperature increases of 3°C (5.4°F) or more by 2100. Which means how to adapt to warming has become an equally large part of these talks — especially for poor nations.
Lima Climate Action High Level Session, taken December 11, 2014. (Ministerio del Ambiente/Flickr)
At this year’s UN climate conference in Lima, Peru, representatives from 196 countries AGREED TO A DEAL that could eventually commit every nation to slow the growth of its greenhouse-gas emissions.
Over the next six months, each nation will be required to submit a plan for how it will address future emissions. These plans will form the basis of a MAJOR NEW CLIMATE AGREEMENT to be negotiated in Paris at the end of 2015 and take effect by 2020.
The actual content of each country’s plan, however, is entirely voluntary. In principle, countries are supposed to pledge to do more on climate than they’ve already been doing. But there are no rules about how emissions actually get restrained or what the timetable should be. (See items #10 and #14 HERE
Some countries have already put forward pledges:
The Obama administration HAS PLEDGED that US greenhouse-gas emissions will be 26 to 28 percent lower in 2025 than they were in 2005.
The European Union plans to reduce its emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
CHINA ALSO INTENDS TO STOP its emissions from rising past 2030 or so — and plans to ramp up its share of renewable energy.
You’ll notice that not all pledges are equal. This is by design. As part of a US-China DEAL STRUCK BEFORE THIS CONFERENCE , the United States agreed to cut its emissions immediately, whereas China’s emissions wouldn’t peak until 2030. The idea here was that China is poorer and should get more leeway to grow.
That principle was enshrined in this latest UN deal, which notes that national pledges should take into account “different national circumstances.” A country like India — where 400 million people still lack electricity — shouldn’t have to cut as quickly or as deeply as Germany. Countries are merely encouraged to explain how their pledges are both “fair” and “ambitious.”
This new accord is a conceptual break from the past. The last climate treaty, the 1997 KYOTO PROTOCOL , required only wealthy nations to cut emissions. Developing countries like China and India were exempt. There was some logic to that at the time. But nowadays, developing countries make up the majority of global carbon emissions — and excluding them doesn’t make sense:
So this new deal will take a different approach. Each and every country will have to pitch in to help constrain global emissions — although it’s up to them to determine how much.
The Lima deal still has a lot of question marks
There’s still a lot that’s very hazy about this climate agreement. For one, these national climate pledges are UNLIKELY TO PROVE LEGALLY BINDING in any way. That’s something that Europe had been pushing for, but was opposed by both China and the US. (it’s unlikely that Congress would ever ratify a formal treaty).
That means countries can propose whatever climate action they feel like. World leaders that submit weak plans (or fail to follow through on their pledges) won’t face any sanctions or punishments. Progress will mainly depend on peer pressure between countries.
Even monitoring the plans themselves could prove difficult. During the Lima conference, the United States tried to insist on a minimum standard for what emissions pledges must look like. It also pushed for rigorous outside review of all national plans after they were submitted. But these items were strongly opposed by China, India, and others. (India was reportedly ready to scuttle the whole deal if these items were included.)
Instead, THE FINAL LIMA DEAL simply says that countries “may include” detailed information on how and when they intend to cut emissions. (Or they may not!) There will be no formal assessment of each country’s plans. All that will happen is that, in November 2015, the UN will tally up all the national pledges and estimate how they stack up to the broader goal of preventing morethan 2°C of global warming. Otherwise, there’s little monitoring or verification.
The Lima agreement also encourages countries to come up with ways to help poorer nations adapt to the impacts of global warming, like sea-level rise or droughts. But this, too, is vague. The US and Europe have long opposed any deals that would require wealthier nations to compensate poorer countries for “loss and damages” caused by global warming (say, low-lying islands that vanish under the rising seas). So this will continue to be a point of contention.
In the meantime, wealthier nations have pledged to provide (voluntary) climate aid. Under a separate deal, nations AGREED TO RAISE $100 BILLION PER YEAR from public and private sources to help poorer countries adapt and adjust to a hotter planet. It’s still unclear where this money willcome from, however.
The deal isn’t enough to prevent significant global warming
Back in 2009, the world’s leaders agreed on how to define “dangerous” global warming. Basically, they said, we shouldn’t let global average temperatures rise more than 2°C (or 3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels. Otherwise, the risks from rising temperatures, extreme weather, and sea-level rise would be too great. (Here’s a MORE IN-DEPTH LOOK at how this target came about.)
Right now, however, the world is on pace to blow past that 2°C limit. And it seems unlikely that this Lima goal will avoid this fate. ONE RECENT ANALYSIS by MIT researchers looked at what was realistic to expect from countries in terms of short-term emissions pledges. (This was based on “national communications, discussions with observers of conditions in various countries, and — by necessity — a good deal of guesswork.”) Their conclusion? The 2015 pledges would fall well short of the cuts needed to stay below 2°C of global warming.
At the conference in Lima, Secretary of State John Kerry put it bluntly in a speech: “We’re still on a course leading to tragedy.”
Other onlookers have been somewhat more sanguine. Even if the latest talks won’t be enough to meet that 2°C goal, they note, building forward momentum on climate action is worthwhile in its own right. Over at Dot Earth, ANDREW REVKIN HAS MADE THE CASE that this newer, “softer” approach to climate negotiations may prove more effective than previous approaches that tried to impose hard emissions limits on countries.
Similarly, Robert Stavins, a Harvard economist who studies global climate talks, PUT IT THIS WAY : “What is mostimportant is long-term action. Each agreement is no more than one step to be followed by others. And most important now for ultimate success later is a sound foundation, which is what the Lima accord provides.”
IN AN AUGUST ESSAY , Michael Liebreich, head of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, noted that conditions are more favorable for climate action than they have been in the past. Many low-carbon energy sources — like wind, solar, and electric cars — are advancing faster than expected. (Others, however, like nuclear power and carbon capture for coal plants, have stalled out.) Clean-energy financing has grown to more than $250 billion per year. A climate deal could, at the very least, help nudge those trends forward.
Ultimately, however, slowing down global warming WILL REQUIRE A MASSIVE SHIFT in how the world uses energy — requiring huge changes in how we fuel our cars, power our homes, heat our buildings. At best, this deal is only a very modest step in that direction.
HERE’S WHAT THE WORLD WOULD LOOK LIKE if we took global warming seriously.
Past UN climate talks have failed. WILL THIS ONE BE ANY DIFFERENT ?
A GRAPHICAL LOOK at the deep divisions between rich and poor countries on climate change.