Paris Climate Agreement – Hold Your Applause

Paris Climate Agreement – Hold Your Applause

Just a quick post about the recent climate change conference agreement about which there is so much celebration. Don’t uncork the champagne just yet! Sorry to splash a bucket of cold reality onto all of this, but the truth is there are so many problems with this “great achievement,” not the least of which is the simple fact that even if it were followed to the letter (which seems very unlikely), it won’t do much to stop global warming and climate change from reaching a tipping point beyond which the climate change situation may be catastrophically irreversible.

On the cover of The New York Times, Sunday, December 13, 2015, accompanying the article about the international agreement that was reached in Paris, there is also a “news analysis” piece by Justin Gillis (“Healing Step, If Not a Cure”), which makes some important points. For example, concerning the agreement, it states:

Countries have offered no plans that would come remotely close to achieving either goal [the higher target goal, or the lower target goal], and, given the current state of technology, it is difficult to see how they could be achieved. That led some scientists on Saturday to dismiss the tighter temperature targets as feel-good measures with no real meaning.

That sums it up rather nicely. I added the bold print, for emphasis, and the parenthetical info.

Is the agreement that was reached in Paris better than nothing? Of course it’s better than if no agreement at all had been reached. But does the agreement represent an adequate response to the ecological problems we are causing in every corner of the globe? Not even close!

As the years roll by, it becomes increasingly evident to me that one of the greatest threats we face, is our species’s general lack of a deep sense of eco-consciousness (if that’s the right way to phrase it). That explains why, for example, there are so many people who genuinely feel very good about this agreement and applaud it (or who don’t even care at all, either way; or don’t believe in global warming in the first place). And so very few who — realizing how deeply alarming the situation is — rightly hold their applause for something much more substantial and much more deserving of applause.