What Next After Copenhagen
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What Next After Copenhagen

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What next after Copenhagen?

What next after Copenhagen?

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    What Next After Copenhagen What Next After Copenhagen Presentation Transcript

    • What next after Copenhagen ? Shashikant S Kulkarni [email_address]
    • Will we see something binding?
      • Climate change is not just a possibility, it's happening now with potentially catastrophic consequences for millions of people. In the coastal village of Moura in Bangladesh, 30 families agreed at an impromptu meeting that their only hope of survival was to become climate refugees.
      • A year or two ago,
      • people expected
      • Copenhagen to
      • produce the
      • equivalent of
      • the Kyoto Protocol –
      • a comprehensive climate roadmap
      • for the next decade or more.
      • Copenhagen meeting
      • didn’t live up to those expectations
      • In the past few years, scientists have discovered that most of the mass extinctions in the past were global warming events (from basalt flows). Only the most recent dinosaur killing “KT” event appears to have been due to an asteroid.
      • Peter Ward, professor of Biology and of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, estimates “that 1,000 ppm [atmospheric carbon dioxide] will put us in lethal territory, for that figure will ensure the melting of all ice on land on our planet, which will bring on a slowing of ocean currents, followed by a greenhouse mass extinction”
      • James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and perhaps our most prominent climate scientist, has described a frightening forecast of how greenhouse gas emissions could cause our demise. When you combine a brighter and hotter sun than in past extinctions, plus the potential release of methane hydrates, Hansen believes we are risking the oceans boiling away and turning the earth into another Venus
      • The collapse of civilization is likely and the extinction of Homo sapiens is possible if we don’t take action now.
      • In terms of difficulties with the negotiations, it's not like Copenhagen was called all of a sudden, we've known about it for years. How is it that we've got to this point and it seems that the necessary groundwork in terms of compromise and negotiation has perhaps not been laid?
      • There was a lot of foot dragging and a lot of quarrelling, a lot of blockading and a lot of delay in Copenhagen.
      • And Connie Hedegaard, the Danish official described it as “kids given - you know, if you give a kid a little bit of a delay in their homework assignment, they'll always put it off till the last second and then the last second, and if you give them another pass, it'll bump to the next second. And that's kind of what's happened in this process”
      • One of the key sticking points to the agreement has been China's unwillingness to allow for international monitoring of its emissions reductions.
      • And those who are pushing for action, whether they're world leaders or the Greenpeace folks out on the street, have a much harder task, which is to engage a world to change energy norms when we have - right now, basically in the developed world, we just plug stuff in and don't think about it much.
      • Will an unsuccessful summit likely to embolden climate change sceptics?
      • They're going to prepare for the next one.
      • This process has been since first meeting in 1988.
      • And this will go on through the coming decades. This is a process that many experts really are convinced is more like the trade talks - you know, the whole WTO, all that stuff. That started in the '40s, the 1940s, and we're still working out details of how countries relate to each other in terms of trade. And this is - because this issue is not just about climate, it's about economies and energy choices, it's a much more challenging thing than just sort of slapping a pollution restriction on some chemical.
      • Sea levels will continue to rise.
      • The 20th Century, sea levels rose close to a foot. We didn't notice, really, because we adapted and build shorelines. And if it's two feet the next century, you know, we'll probably adjust to that. If it's six or 10 feet, that's a big deal and then you really have huge economic costs.