Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« Naturopath tells Fox viewers that coffee will make them fat | Main | FBI-linked white supremacist walks »

December 14, 2009

Copenhagen: A death panel for countries like Tuvalu

Born_in_tuvalu_tee  The tiny nation of Tuvalu has taken center stage in Copenhagen. 

"I woke up this morning crying, and that's not easy for a grown man to admit," Tuvalu's chief climate negotiator, Ian Fry, told hundreds of delegates in the Bella Center in Copenhagen on Saturday. "The fate of my country rests in your hands," he said, his voice breaking. Global warming is an existential issue for Tuvalu and other small island nations. If global warming goes unchecked, these countries will literally be wiped off the map. For countries like Tuvalu, COP15 is effectively referendum on their continued existence. Will the rest of the world step up, or will it write them off?

Tuvalu and its supporters want a treaty to protect island states. They also seek legally binding emissions targets for all countries geared to stop global warming at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. 

During the aftermath of the Iranian election, supporters sported green twitter icons to show their support for the protesters. In that spirit, I decided to change my twitter icon to an "I heart Tuvalu" button. The picture is from Tuvalu's official Cafe Press store. Join me!

Comments

no way Alon.

car, cheap gas, highway and the automobile industry/media/advertising is too entrenched. It's the entire circle of jerk.

I think US public would rather sink NY and new orleans under the ocean first before giving up car and cheap gas.

Even if the option is readily obvious and implemented all over the world. (eg. liveable city made for walking with great public transportation.)

on top of that, automobile price is about to drop so much (china car industry), it'll off set $1-2/gallon price change. We are talking about annual cost less than $1000, something in the range of $5000 bucks in car cost of ownership.

Think how Japanese car entered US market during the 70's oil embargo. The lower cost and fuel economy off set the gas price. Thus maintaining the car culture for another 3 decades.

Of course 2 decades from now. Ford will be the only meaningful US car maker. The rest will be Japanese and Chinese.

Honda is a US car maker - the Accord was both designed and manufactured in the US. It even has the large size characteristic of American cars: it weighs 1.7 tons, compared with about 1 for common French cars. What it doesn't have is the mystique of GM. If GM and Chrysler default and liquidate, there won't be much left of the highway lobby. The oil companies fund thinktanks, but they have to engage in astroturf, they're so unpopular.

The real cost of cars is decreasing, but the real cost of gas and highway construction is increasing. You can't drive your car everywhere when the road is clogged and widening it costs billions. And increasingly, local boosters are switching over to wide-eyed rail schemes; most of those light rail and high-speed rail schemes are a complete waste of money, but given the right mix of activism and government emphasis on cost-effectiveness, those schemes could be diverted to more useful avenues (pun intended).

Not early Honda Civic line, with which japanese car made first in road. It was compact sedan. After that, comes Accord, mid size sedan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Civic_%28first_generation%29

The 4 door sedan version of this bodystyle was not available in the USA, and the sedan was not a hatchback until 1978, just before the introduction of the Second Generation. In the USA, the advertising campaign used to introduce the Civic was, "Honda, we make it simple."

The Civic's features allowed it to outperform American competitors such as the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. When the 1973 oil crisis struck, many Americans turned to economy cars. Reviews of American economy car quality were poor and getting worse due to spiraling costs for manufacturers. Japanese culture had a long-standing tradition of demanding high-quality economy cars, and the growing American desire in the 1970s for well-made cars that had good fuel mileage benefited the standing of Honda, Toyota, and Datsun in the lucrative U.S. market.

--------

On top of that cheap oil can go for another 5-6 years. Knowing notoriously lack of will in US politics when it comes to energy policy, we can be sure when gas hit sub $2/gal. Every politician will party like it's 1995 again when oil was $20/barrel. (Did US industry learn anything from 70 oil shock and 80's detroit crisis? NO. in the 90's they invent Van and SUV!... and once again get killed after gas hit $3/gal-$150/barrel.)

Wanna bet Toyota fuel cell and chinese electric car will be around when gas price drop below $2/gallon. And the idiot will make gigantic gas guzzling cars again. ... Then getting killed when next oil spike happens again a decade from now. (That would be GM.)

http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/12/iraq-oil-capacity-could-reach-12.html

ok. anyway. this is on topic and extremely cool.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091215194218.htm

Researchers studying carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas and a key driver of global climate change, now have a new tool at their disposal: daily global measurements of carbon dioxide in a key part of our atmosphere. The data are courtesy of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft.

Fuel cell and electric cars would solve part of the emissions problem, if they weren't so expensive. Unlike semiconductors, battery technology has not progressed very quickly in recent years, which means that $5,000 electric cars are still a long way in the future.

So it looks like the Copenhagen talks have essentially fallen flat. Swell. Now we can all join the free market fundamentalists, tea baggers, and other climate denialists for some loud crowing before we stick our heads even further into the sand.

It'll be years before the denialist's victory is generally recognized as Pyrrhic, but then we'll be gone by then, so who cares? In any case, no amount of evidence will convince the climate “skeptics” now or perhaps ever. I can't speak for the climatologists, but I do know something about biology/ecology, and can see that the effects of global warming in that realm are becoming profound. The problem is that what's happening is often obscure, subtle, confusing, and may be quite counter-intuitive. An example is published in the journal Global Change Biology (Online 14 Oct. 2009) - "Contemporary climate change in the Sonoran Desert favors cold-adapted species” From the abstract:

“we show that warming and drying of the Southwestern United States over the last 25 years has corresponded to a shift in the species composition of Sonoran Desert winter annuals, paradoxically favoring species that germinate and grow best in cold temperatures. Winter rains have been arriving later in the season, during December rather than October, leading to the unexpected result that plants are germinating under colder temperatures, shifting community composition to favor slow growing, water-use efficient, cold-adapted species.”
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122650867/abstract


That's certainly not going to convince someone like the genius reader who's absorbed all the FOX news talking points before writing the following comment to an editorial on the Copenhagen climate talks in the Portland Oregonian:


“Global Warming nonsense is just an excuse to control the masses and steal from the achievers to give to the corrupt slackers.
Look at the attendees in Copenhagen---private jets, limos--these folks are playing the 'believers' for fools with psydoscience. Look at Gore, the ultimate hypocrite--who, by the way is making millions selling 'guilt' in the form of BS carbon credits.
True Americans need to fight this nonsense and work to insure that the US keeps its sovereignty and not become subservient to a corrupt UN.”


See, global warming is all a crazy plot cooked up by lying egghead scientists and socialists. It isn't real and doesn't mean a thing. Don't worry, go back to sleep.

So it looks like the Copenhagen talks have essentially fallen flat. Swell. Now we can all join the free market fundamentalists, tea baggers, and other climate denialists for some loud crowing before we stick our heads even further into the sand.

It'll be years before the denialist's victory is generally recognized as Pyrrhic, but then we'll be gone by then, so who cares? In any case, no amount of evidence will convince the climate “skeptics” now or perhaps ever. I can't speak for the climatologists, but I do know something about biology/ecology, and can see that the effects of global warming in that realm are becoming profound. The problem is that what's happening is often obscure, subtle, confusing, and may be quite counter-intuitive. An example is published in the journal Global Change Biology (Online 14 Oct. 2009) - "Contemporary climate change in the Sonoran Desert favors cold-adapted species” From the abstract:

“we show that warming and drying of the Southwestern United States over the last 25 years has corresponded to a shift in the species composition of Sonoran Desert winter annuals, paradoxically favoring species that germinate and grow best in cold temperatures. Winter rains have been arriving later in the season, during December rather than October, leading to the unexpected result that plants are germinating under colder temperatures, shifting community composition to favor slow growing, water-use efficient, cold-adapted species.”
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122650867/abstract


That's certainly not going to convince someone like the genius reader who'd absorbed all the FOX news talking points before writing the following comment to an editorial on the Copenhagen climate talks in the Portland Oregonian:


“Global Warming nonsense is just an excuse to control the masses and steal from the achievers to give to the corrupt slackers.
Look at the attendees in Copenhagen---private jets, limos--these folks are playing the 'believers' for fools with psydoscience. Look at Gore, the ultimate hypocrite--who, by the way is making millions selling 'guilt' in the form of BS carbon credits.
True Americans need to fight this nonsense and work to insure that the US keeps its sovereignty and not become subservient to a corrupt UN.”


See, global warming is all a crazy plot cooked up by lying egghead scientists and socialists. It isn't real and doesn't mean a thing. Don't worry, go back to sleep.


So it looks like the Copenhagen talks have essentially fallen flat. Swell. Now we can all join the free market fundamentalists, tea baggers, and other climate denialists for some loud crowing before we stick our heads even further into the sand.

It'll be years before the denialist's victory is generally recognized as Pyrrhic, but then we'll be gone by then, so who cares? In any case, no amount of evidence will convince the climate “skeptics” now or perhaps ever. I can't speak for the climatologists, but I do know something about biology/ecology, and can see that the effects of global warming in that realm are becoming profound. The problem is that what's happening is often obscure, subtle, confusing, and may be quite counter-intuitive. An example is published in the journal Global Change Biology (Online 14 Oct. 2009) - "Contemporary climate change in the Sonoran Desert favors cold-adapted species” From the abstract:

“we show that warming and drying of the Southwestern United States over the last 25 years has corresponded to a shift in the species composition of Sonoran Desert winter annuals, paradoxically favoring species that germinate and grow best in cold temperatures. Winter rains have been arriving later in the season, during December rather than October, leading to the unexpected result that plants are germinating under colder temperatures, shifting community composition to favor slow growing, water-use efficient, cold-adapted species.”
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122650867/abstract


That's certainly not going to convince someone like the genius reader who'd absorbed all the FOX news talking points before writing the following comment to an editorial on the Copenhagen climate talks in the Portland Oregonian:


“Global Warming nonsense is just an excuse to control the masses and steal from the achievers to give to the corrupt slackers.
Look at the attendees in Copenhagen---private jets, limos--these folks are playing the 'believers' for fools with psydoscience. Look at Gore, the ultimate hypocrite--who, by the way is making millions selling 'guilt' in the form of BS carbon credits.
True Americans need to fight this nonsense and work to insure that the US keeps its sovereignty and not become subservient to a corrupt UN.”


See, global warming is all a crazy plot cooked up by lying egghead scientists and socialists. It isn't real and doesn't mean a thing. Don't worry, go back to sleep.

Grrrrr! Typepad.

I agree with this, I have high hopes but low expectations for the climate summit. The biggest problem is that, for the largest and most economically powerful nations on Earth, specifically the US, the PRC and India, there is no incentive, no enforceable imperative to cut emissions other than good will.

The comments to this entry are closed.