Sunday, November 29, 2015
The most important meeting in the history of humanity
Unless we manage to contain climate change by the next few decades in a global effort, life in our planet will no longer be as we have known it. Oceans will grow, beaches and coastal cities will disappear and population movements will be massive. The poor will suffer more, and both developed and developing countries will have to introduce dramatic changes in the way people behave. All these issues will be discussed in the UN meeting starting tomorrow in Paris. Nation-states are ridiculous instruments in the face of this challenge. Humanity has to act cooperatively. This is what British writer Will Hutton has to say about the event today in The Guardian: "The most obvious response to climate change should be to transform the way the world generates energy. Living standards have risen 40 times over the last 250 years in the west, driven neither by the small state beloved of conservatives nor the large state favoured by socialists. Rather, the growth has resulted from a complicated interaction between capitalism and science and technology, of necessity publicly funded, creating wave after wave of transformations in the character of our economic base and the quality and quantity of what it produces. The same now has to be done for the world’s energy production. It needs to be technologically transformed to become as near carbon-free as possible, which will only work if there is a substantive global research and development effort led by governments, matching those of conquering space or winning a war, to explore the necessary technologies. Embracing global political solutions such as a global carbon tax or global emission caps are beyond political reach, given the range of entrenched interests, not to mention the stubborn refusal by many conservatives to accept climate change science. It will be innovation that will save the planet. This is the blisteringly obvious truth that should be written in neon in the skies above Paris at tomorrow’s launch of the 2015 UN climate change conference. Its goal is to try to agree binding agreements to limit the increase in global temperature to two degrees centigrade by 2100."