COP27, the meeting of the rich and powerful with a smattering of people who actually know something about global warming and its impacts, was a total disaster for the planet. No agreed reductions in fossil fuels but an agreement to ‘compensate’ poorer countries for the impact that rich countries ongoing CO2 production will have on their local environment.
The fact that there were at least 36 private jets which flew participants into the COP27 conference, spewing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere is one small demonstration of what these conferences are about- looking good and taking no action while our living planet dies.
While there were many indigenous peoples attending the COP27 who were able to voice their concerns about the current state of the earth and make suggestions for change, their voice had absolutely no weight in the final decisions made by the big power-brokers ( who depend on a CO2 producing economy to keep the electoral money rolling in).
Those indigenous groups talked not only about climate change, but more importantly, about the loss of biodiversity and our dis-connection with the rest of nature which industrialization and commodification has done to our beautiful living world in the last 200 years. Without our fellow living things on this planet ; we are done .
The idea that giving some money to a poor country to compensate for a now unsolvable problem of environmental destruction is frankly bizarre, and amply demonstrates that mental vacuity of those rich and powerful people.
No doubt the money will be useful and may help poorer countries mitigate the losses to their local ecosystems and help humans survive in their devastated environment a little longer, but in many cases that money will simply be spent on more ‘development’ and ‘progress’ and thus more environmental destruction.
And as we can already begin to see, many of the global ‘rich’ countries are already struggling to cope with the environmental ‘costs’ to their own economies, so their capacity to pay anybody else for their own stupidity is soon going to be substantially diminished.
Everywhere we see the powerful and the media portraying climate change as some little problem we can solve- at some stage- but lets get on with the business of despoiling the planet now -while there’s money to be made!
I see sublime examples of this on my local state television news channel, who in one news segment show how our magnificent government has made some new pledge to reduce carbon emissions and the next news segment extols the virtues of that same government encouraging tourists from half way round the world to travel to New Zealand.(and home again). Those enormous jet plane carbon emissions (about 5 tonnes of Co2 each way) will of course not be counted in New Zealand’s carbon emissions but to the tourist’s home country, so naturally everything is ok!
We will undoubtedly exceed 1.5C increases in global temperatures in the not so distant future , and will also certainly reach 3.5C increases if we do not dramatically reduce our consumption of energy globally. Green energy solutions; solar, wind and wave can make that transition a little easier, but they cannot ever replace the quantity of energy from oil gas and coal we continue to consume at ever increasing rates.
We all need to come to terms with consuming less and helping to recreate the natural world .
If we don’t, and very soon, Nature will decide for us in not so pleasant ways.