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Failing the future

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, December 20th, 2009 - 98 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, leadership - Tags: ,

So Copenhagen has ended in failure. I’m not surprised, but I am disappointed. As The Guardian reports:

Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure
Deal thrashed out at talks condemned as climate change scepticism in action

The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement in Copenhagen tonight, falling far short of what Britain and many poor countries were seeking and leaving months of tough negotiations to come.

After eight draft texts and all-day talks between 115 world leaders, it was left to Barack Obama and Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, to broker a political agreement. The so-called Copenhagen accord “recognises” the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C but does not contain commitments to emissions reductions to achieve that goal.

American officials spun the deal as a “meaningful agreement”, but even Obama said: “This progress is not enough.”

And in their editorial:

Copenhagen climate conference: The grim meaning of ‘meaningful’

Like businessmen who insist a deal is legit, politicians protesting they have done something “meaningful” arouse suspicions that the opposite is in fact true. And “meaningful” was about the best word the spin doctors could muster in respect of the agreement of sorts that was brokered in Copenhagen late last night.

The climate change summit had three big tickets on its agenda: emissions, financial assistance and the process going ahead. And on each of these counts the accord which was effectively hammered out not by the whole conference, but rather by the US, India, China and South Africa fell woefully short.

Let’s be clear what this means. The world is going to warm dangerously. There is no chance of holding warming to the 2 degree range. Even in the best case, where all the “voluntary” commitments of Copenhagen are met (hah!), warming will be at least 3 degrees:

A document leaked from the UN, says the world will warm by about three degrees this century if the greenhouse gas cuts proposed in Copenhagen are carried out – exposing the huge gap between the rhetoric of world leaders at the conference and climate science.

Scientists say the three degree rise would probably have severe consequences on human development for centuries, and may well trigger “tipping points” that cause uncontrollable climate change.

Couched in the bureaucratic language of the UN, this is a stark warning that carbon emissions cuts are on the wrong track. … The estimated impacts of a three degree temperature rise includes half of the world’s animal species facing extinction and half a billion people threatened with starvation.

That’s the best case. If feedback mechanisms already under way keep speeding up, it’s going to be a lot worse than that.

The so-called leaders at Copenhagen have failed us, and failed the future. New Zealand was among the intransigent “developed” nations that spouted empty words but refused to commit to real change. We bear our share of shame for this failure.

98 comments on “Failing the future”

  1. Our leaders have failed us. Even our own John Key’s visit to Copenhagen has resulted in failure. The world is gradually but inevitably going to become more and more stuffed.

    Now for the inevitable wingnut response. A couple of things for them to explain.

    If climate change is not happening then why is the North and South poles melting?

    For the North Pole have a look look here.

    To quote:

    “The ice in the north pole has shrunk for the fourth year in a row, to “lowest extent of ice cover for more than a century.”

    And for the South pole you should look at this doozy.

    Of course people like Monckton (shouldn’t that be “Mockton”?) will allege it is because of moon beams or sun sports or it is doctored or there is a leaked email that proves that pretty all well scientists are liars or are corrupt ….

    • gitmo 1.1

      Your bombast on climate change is about as useful as the shit you spout when you accuse anyone who takes issue with the repeal of Section 59 of being pro child beating.

      You really are a complete hand wringing retard.

      • prism 1.1.1

        How offensive gitmo. When there are serious concerns to discuss it would be helpful if the children go outside to play and don’t interrupt.

        • gitmo 1.1.1.1

          I not sure what’s more amusing that you’re offended by a pseudonyms comment on a blog or that you believe that there’s much serious discussion out side of partisan circle wanking that goes on at this blog…… I can only suggest you fuck off jerk wad.

          [Gitmo – you’re offensive and you add nothing of value to discussion. Stop insulting people like this or you’ll go in to moderation — r0b]

          • logie97 1.1.1.1.1

            I mentioned on “Trial needed for national standards” that trolls like Ellis and his kind are a waste of space and make reading blogs tiresome. My suggestion was that they be banned.

            Here we are just one discussion comment into this topic and some fool like Gitmo has added nothing to the debate but to take it off topic.

            If I want to read his type of comment I can visit Farrar’s Kiwiblog.

            to the Standard moderators, I am increasingly hearing of frustration of people who visit this blog and saying they don’t bother anymore. The numbers game of “viewings” can be distorted by the trolls who comment here.

            How ironic that the spam word today is “inevitably”

      • Galeandra 1.1.2

        As per normal, response = gitmo. QED

    • George.com 1.2

      Shouldn’t it be Lord Bunkum ?

  2. itsuptous 2

    Well- it is up to us now. It was always going to end up as a grass roots movement because change generally comes from the bottom up and politics tends to respond late.

    We need to change our behaviour as consumers. We could force change on the world and the status quo. Personally I now boycott products made in China and the USA . Actually I have pretty much given up shopping altogether. There is very little I really need and things can often be fixed if they break. I buy as much locally produced food as I can. If enough of us take action we can make a difference.

    • r0b 2.1

      Well spoken. Will try to put something together about resources for personal / local action later on. Suggestions welcome from all…

      • bill 2.1.1

        So Copenhagen was a talk fest. No surprises then.

        Here’s the million dollar question.

        Empirical observations/evidence tell us that climate change is not a threat; it’s a reality.

        Empirical observation/evidence tells us that the representative democratic model has failed on an issue that will broker no shortcoming or failure.

        What say the liberals in regards the next step? More talks? More meetings? Politely sit back and die?

        Oh, hang on, I get it! Some liberals are of the persuasion that we can consume our way out of this!

        Hmm. Reality check. If I was dead I would be buying precisely nothing. And the impact I would be having would be precisely zero. Climate change would continue unabated.

        We cannot stop the climate from breaking down by buying stuff or not buying stuff. The jabbering apes who flapped into Copenhagen would have us believe otherwise. They would have us believe that consumer power is a real power that will afford positive purchase on climate catastrophe.

        Believe that and you leave them free to jabber and their masters to cash in as we all take a ride to hell in a wheelbarrow.

        Seems to me that there is a door opening wide and ushering in a new type of denialist. A denialist who refuses to acknowledge the failure of our institutions; a denialist who will defend the political status quo and insist on ‘business as usual’ in the same vein as CCD insist on ‘business as usual’ in the productive sphere.

        Odd bed fellows. But bed fellows nevertheless.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          Sometimes, I think that the only way that we’re going to bring about the changes needed are to wait until after the catastrophe. Not an ideal solution but one that’s going to backed up by the hard facts of the catastrophe that the delusional CCDs and RWNJs can’t refute any more by saying that it’s “just a theory”.

          Seems to me that there is a door opening wide and ushering in a new type of denialist. A denialist who refuses to acknowledge the failure of our institutions; a denialist who will defend the political status quo and insist on ‘business as usual’ in the same vein as CCD insist on ‘business as usual’ in the productive sphere.

          People are used to the present system and are comfortable within it. Moving outside of it scares the bejeezus out of them and the only way of moving them is some sort of event that shows that the present system doesn’t work. It’s unfortunate really.

  3. r0b 3

    A measure of the anger at this outcome:

    Lumumba Di-Aping, the Sudanese chair of the G77 group of 130 poor countries, compared the proposed deal to the Holocaust.

    “[This] is asking Africa to sign a suicide pact, an incineration pact in order to maintain the economic dependence of a few countries. It’s a solution based on values that funnelled six million people in Europe into furnaces.”

    Di-Aping’s comments triggered immediate protests and calls to withdraw his remarks. Sweden called them “absolutely despicable” and Ed Miliband condemned what he called the “disgusting comparison” which he said “should offend people across this conference whatever background they come from”.

    • gitmo 3.1

      Was this the same chap who’s solution to climate change is for ‘developed” countries to just give a whole heap of cash to ‘undeveloped” countries ……………. like that’s worked a treat in Africa over the years.

      • gitmo 3.1.1

        Who’s…… I is retard !

        • Zorr 3.1.1.1

          Sadly I have to agree with Gitmo here.

          I have no idea who this person is and I feel that his anger is justified but the comparison to the Holocaust automatically makes anything else he might have said irrelevant due to it. Godwins Law strikes again. Honestly, people like this need to come up with some better comparisons because Hitler wasn’t the only mass murdering psychopath to rule a country in the past 100 years. Just look at Pol Pot.

          • Macro 3.1.1.1.1

            What gitmo said is just pure crap! Any aid that has been given to African Nations over the past 20 or so years has been given with such stringent conditions by the World Bank that it is virtually useless. And the insistence on adopting pure monetary policy by these officials has been one of the prime causes behind the failure of so many African states. Whereas Europe and North America blithely subsidize their farmers to continue to produce food uneconomically, African Nations must adopt “pure market” policies. The Result? African Nations are unable to encourage their farmers to adopt modern farming methods and their produce is undercut by foreign subsidized food. So whereas money has gone to giving food to the hungry of Africa very little money has gone to helping these people to develop farming and agricultural practices to help themselves. eg $500m in food aid vs $5m in development aid.
            A further result is that now these Nations are right in the gun as far as changes in Climate are concerned. They have already been shafted by the “developed” nations and are justifiably angry because they are about to be shafted again. All they can see in the future is starvation and death.

            • Zorr 3.1.1.1.1.1

              What Gitmo said is crap. All I was saying is that the sad fact is that this individual chose to relate what was happening to the furnaces of the Holocaust.

              The way Western nations have treated the African nations is truly disgusting and I agree with that to. Just this guy put his foot in it for so many people by that one single silly analogy. By using it he has essentially voided his own speech… x_x

              • Macro

                To be dealt a hand of starvation and death by the developed nations is pretty much holocaust territory in my opinion. OK no gas chambers – but the same outcome – millions will die.

                captcha “hangs”

              • Bill

                Maybe he was referring to the moral vacillation; the selfish ‘pragmatisim’?

                Nobody gave a flying fuck about the gypsies and the gays or the cripples and brain damaged and the jews and the communists or anarchists until after the war was over.

                All that manpower tied away from the front line?

                Likewise nobody gives a fuck about the primary recipients of climate collapse.

    • Gosman 3.2

      We should listen to this man because Sudan knows an awful lot about genocide. Just ask the people in Soth Sudan and Dafur.

      What a pathetic joke Lumumba Di-Aping’s statement is.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    I’m not surprised – the politics was always going to favour the ruling elite*/business class. It would never do what was needed to save the worlds ecology as doing so would decrease profits.

    * Politicians aren’t the ruling elite – they’re the ruling elite’s servants.

  5. singularian 5

    You guys are right about a grass roots movement to force change. Unfortunately I don’t think it will be a movement in the direction you desire.

    For me personally, I have never been actively involved in politics or in any activist movement. This issue though has shaken me from my slumber and I will be actively agitating for the truth to emerge from the flat-earth propaganda you useful idiots have been regurgitating for the last ten years.

    There are tens of thousands of people like me out there. I fear your cosy little world is going to be in for a shock in the next couple of years.

    Mickey, a question – Were the Northern or Southern ice caps static prior to the industrial revolution? Can you provide any absolute proof that any retreat of ice is unprecedented or man made? Please no links to RC or any other now discredited source. ( can you see how this is going to play out boys?)

    The irony of Sweden and the UK getting huffy at being compared to Holocaust enablers is just too sweet.

    yours

    Singularian the denier (ha)

    • quenchino 5.1

      Any source quoted to support AGW would simply be re-defined by you as ‘discredited’. You are not here to listen to any argument, your question is a fake and your mind is closed.

      You are not even here to discuss AGW; at heart you know that the age of unlimted growth and expansion is over, and that as a result the easy, privileged ride you have had through life is coming to an end.

      What you are really doing is making angry , impotent little whimpers.

      • singularian 5.1.1

        quenchino – do you think, in light of the emails, that realclimate.org is a respectable source of climate science?

        You are not here to listen to any argument, your question is a fake and your mind is closed.

        Heh, I suggest you go and have a little read the archives of a site like Hot Topic or even this one and then deny that it’s not a universal condition.

        You are not even here to discuss AGW;

        This post is about the failure to reach a political accord at a political conference.

        at heart you know that the age of unlimted growth and expansion is over, and that as a result the easy, privileged ride you have had through life is coming to an end.

        You know my heart and my ride through life, I’m impressed.(you could make a fortune as an online psychic, it’s never to late to change career)

        As to impotent whimpers, we shall see.

        • quenchino 5.1.1.1

          Hah…changed your snotty tone when challenged.

          flat-earth propaganda you useful idiots have been regurgitating

          You have no useful qualifications or experience in climate science (nor do any of the ‘sources’ you read), yet you confidently declare almost everyone actually working in the field to be wrong. That is the height of arrogant hubris. Your mind is closed.

          Were the Northern or Southern ice caps static prior to the industrial revolution? Can you provide any absolute proof that any retreat of ice is unprecedented or man made?

          Of course ice caps are not static, everyone knows that. Over long periods of time the earth’s climate and sea levels has changed dramatically; therefore the premise of your fake question is wrong.

          On the other hand AGW predicts rising temperatures and shrinking ice caps. These are exactly what is being observed. Therefore the onus is on the denier camp to prove that they are not being caused by human action. This you have totally failed to do.

          • singularian 5.1.1.1.1

            Hah changed your snotty tone when challenged.

            bahahahahahahahahahahaha, you’re kidding right? ching.

            The onus is on the AGW scientists to prove what they’re hypothesising and have others prove it by reproducing their results. Anything else is not science.

            (nor do any of the ‘sources’ you read)

            Fuck me, this just gets better and better.

            Now you know what I read too.

            Classic.

            predicts

            That’s all you’ve got?

            • felix 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Prediction matched by observation. Read it again.

              God it’s just embarrassing.

              • singularian

                What observation felix.? The climate changes?

                They’re computer models, they didn’t, for instance, predict the present cooling did they? So was the model right or wrong?

                • lprent

                  singularian: There is no current cooling.

                  From memory the most of the average hottest years world wide have happened in the last decade.

                  Perhaps you’d like to actually read and consider evidence rather than offloading stupid incorrect sound bites.

              • felix

                This has all been explained so many times.

                Can someone ban this moron?

              • singularian

                ban them all right felix?

                I’m sure it’s been ‘explained’ but the fact is they didn’t predict cooling so either the models were wrong or the data is wrong, which is it?

            • quenchino 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Now you know what I read too.

              It’s obvious, you just barf up lines from disinformation central.

              You know no actual science. You have no ability to determine whether what you are reading is right or wrong. You are incapable of gathering coherent evidence, you can form no rational arguments, and proofs are fully beyond you. If evidence is produced contrary to what you believe, you smear it’s credibilty because that is all you are capable of. If you are shown to be wrong, you ignore it. Nothing will change your wrong thinking because you have not the tools to do so.

              The onus is on the AGW scientists to prove what they’re hypothesising and have others prove it by reproducing their results.

              Thay have repeatedly, but you will never accept this because apriori you reject all evidence as ‘discredited’. You never answer a straight question with an honest answer. It is pointless to discuss anything with you because you are not interested in discussion, learning or debate even. Your only purpose is to spread confusion and doubt.

              You lie and lie repeatedly. And you know that are doing so. I am not going to waste politness on a contemptible fool.

              • singularian

                Hahahahaha, what a cock.

                There’s a revolution coming quenchio, I, for one, can’t wait to slam my jackboot on your neck and squash you into the mud of history.

                You and felix and Lynn show here exactly why you’re going to lose. Arrogant bullying losers.

                The tides turned boys. Get used to it. That’s no lie.

                [Were you trying to see how far you could go before getting moderated? Well you just found out. Adding you to the moderation list (huh – Lynn beat me to it)– r0b]

                • lprent

                  singularian: Ummm, idiotic taunting by a dumbass too incapable to hold their end up in the debate.

                  • singularian

                    You still find the need to moderate me Lynn. Why don’t you leave my ‘dumbarse’ comments up so everyone can see how smart you are?

                    Unless the truth is too much???????

              • quenchino

                I, for one, can’t wait to slam my jackboot on your neck and squash you into the mud of history.

                As predicted… angry, impotent whimpering.

                Arrogant bullying losers.

                This immediately after making threats yourself? It was you who came in all swaggering bombast making febrile claims that all of the accepted climate science was ‘flat-earth propaganda’ and that those of us who understand it are nothing but ‘useful idiots’. And then when you are called on your stupidity you start whimpering about being ‘bullied’…. how childishly pathetic. Go away and grow some.

                I’m no longer going to indulge ignorance. There is no excuse for it and no reason to give it a platform. If you are just going to repeat sub-cretinous drivel from denier sites you will be treated as a trolling crank.

                If you want to learn something the net is full of superb resources; one of the best is Tamino at Open Mind. He is a real mathematician, and his explanations of statistical technique and how it applies to climate science are highly readable. But you have to put some time into it; a quick skim read is pointless, I’ve had to put in days and days of time to get a grasp of some of his material… but it is absolutely worth it.

                Come back when you have done some reading, and have some honest and real questions. Until then don’t expect a polite reception.

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.1.3

              singularian: I suspect that you wouldn’t understand evidence until it is lapping over your feet. You certainly don’t appear to have the intelligence to understand the science.

              • singularian

                Yeah, na, you’re right Lynn – I’m just a dumb shit, whilst you and your fellow travelers are the pinnacle of intelligence.

                Unfortunately for you Lynn there are millions like me around the world and there will be hundreds of millions more in the coming months. The Mob is going to rule Lynn and if you know anything about history then you’ll know what that means.

                Good Luck.

                • lprent

                  singularian: When looking at the state of your intelligence, we can only go by the evidence of your comments here.

                  If they appear to have no idea of the issues, show a shallow understanding of the science, refuse to engage on anything but a superficial level, and largely consist of playground taunting – then the evidence is that you are quite dumb.

                  I’m sure that you will be considered in the eventual political decisions. However your weighting per individual will probably be considerably less than someone who is articulate and shows some understanding of the issues.

                  Politicians tend to avoid mob rule. It moves to the messy too fast for them to control.

              • felix

                Not such a singularian after all, eh?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Not such a singularian after all, eh?

                I guess he means it in the ‘singularity’ sense

                Basically fancies himself as the vanguard of the borg proletariat.

              • singularian

                Felix and Pascal – maybe you should study a little more history.

                You’re just looking plain ignorant from where I sit.

                Lynn – moderation now? Haha echo chamber?

                [lprent: it was evident that you weren’t interested in discussion, and more interested in trolling. I put you in moderation to see if you could write some comments that had content and didn’t look like flame starters. So far that hasn’t happened. Your last two comments have zero information content as have all of your comments this morning. Eventually I’ll get tired of noting on them and releasing them. ]

              • singularian

                Yeah whatever sadsack.

                You realise what a complete dickhead you sound like sometimes, right?

                I’ve got better places to be. Enjoy your echo chamber.

                Merry Christian festival.

    • Singularian

      “Were the Northern or Southern ice caps static prior to the industrial revolution? Can you provide any absolute proof that any retreat of ice is unprecedented or man made? Please no links to RC or any other now discredited source. ( can you see how this is going to play out boys?)”

      I do not know. I know that if I am crossing the road and a big truck hurtles towards me and there is the possibility it will strike me then I get out of the way. I do not wait for conclusive proof that it will hit me before I do anything.

      Besides you have it wrong. You guys should prove conclusively that climate change is not happening before we engage in the luxury of inaction.

      • singularian 5.2.1

        Climate change is always happening Mickey.

        So really it is up to ‘you guys’ to prove a definitive link to man made Co2 rises and climate change. That hasn’t happened yet.

        To take your big truck analogy – It’s a misty morning Mickey, the future fog has rolled in and you have no idea whether it’s a big truck hurtling towards you or a 50cc step-thru reverberating off the hills.

        How about glaciers Mickey, do you know anything about glaciers? Were they static prior to the industrial revolution?

      • Occasional 5.2.2

        Mickey, if a truck hurtles at you you get out of the way. Yes. You don’t stop, dig into your pockets for a fiver and throw it at the truck hoping it will make a blind bit of difference.

        Climate change is real, but your hand-wringing assumes humans are the main cause and therefore that we can do something about it. If we aren’t the main cause, no amount of fivers is going to stop it.

        Best course of action remains Plan A; Get out of the way and adapt, man.

        • prism 5.2.2.1

          There have been quite a few tv and films dealing with this subject along the adaptive, apocryphal lines you recommend. A good one was Survivor on Brit TV last century.

  6. Trying to get an international accord through the UNFCCC process was always going to be difficult — you try getting 192 countries to agree on anything, with Saudi Arabia using the CRU emails to demagogue and deny the science. I expected more from the media, both left and right, but I guess it’s typical of them to focus on the bad, since that’s just the way the climate change news narrative rocks. A doomsday metaphor is deeply entrenched in both the news about climate change and the news about climate change negotiations.

    However, there is good news out of Copenhagen: the $100 billion fund to help developing nations adjust to climate change and mitigate their carbon emissions; the first step towards an international network to collaborate on research into lowering agriculture emissions (credit where credit is due, Grosser — not my favourite person — appears to have led well on this); a breakthrough with China, which is now committing to opening the books on its emissions; and finally — and importantly — a move away from decisions requiring buy-in from every nation towards a tighter leadership role for big emitters.

  7. Nothing is the right answer. Obama must have been dis mayed upon his arrival to JFK…………….. deep snow.
    The world is not warming at all unless you use corrupted GISS & CRU data.

    [lprent: You’d better lookup the difference between ‘climate’ and ‘weather’. They are quite different concepts.

    In case the discussion of the last few years has escaped your attention, average global warming and the extra energy in the climate systems will cause more extreme weather as the climate changes. The resulting climate change will mean colder weather in some areas, as well as warmer weather in others. That is why it is called climate change and the causation is global warming.

    We all know you crave attention. But perhaps you shouldn’t display your ignorance so much in public. ]

  8. itsuptous 8

    I find it a total mystery why people would defend to the death literally their right to buy cheap junk from China. Is this really how people measure their quality of life? They would have no quality of life if they can’t consume, consume, consume? I find this very sad.

    I think people were happier thirty years ago. At the malls now I see many very overweight, miserable looking people. The culture people so angrily defend doesn’t look to be doing many people much good.
    Perhaps the reason so many people are overweight now is not all down to the junk food culture (though that is pretty harmful) but also depression. People comfort eat because the way we live lacks any sort of meaning or purpose.

    There is no sense of community any more. There is no value in trying to be a good person. The media fires the message at us 24 hours a day that the only thing that gives a person value now is money and possessions. I have had enough of it all. I very rarely turn on the TV anymore. All it is a medium for big business to make us conform to their ideals of what the world should be.

    • bill 8.1

      1 in 4 on anti-depressants. 1 in x self medicating on alcohol. 1 in y self medicating on dak. 1 in z self medicating on whatever pharmacuetical.

      1 in however many filling up personal voids with ambition; with ideas of personal power; with consumables; with desperate faiths, obsessions and perversions.

      What you mean people were happier x number of years ago?

      We got happiness in bottles and packets and shopping malls. We got it in liquid form and powder and capsules. We can snort it, swallow it or inject it and you want that we reject it?

      miseryguts.

      • gitmo 8.1.1

        Yes people were far happier without all the benefits that the modern age has delivered…. well at least those those who didn’t die early, in childbirth, malnourished ……. oh wait a minute.

        • Ben 8.1.1.1

          Wow, accrediting all that’s good in the world to the “modern age” requires a really large effort to simplify things.. I don’t even want to spenmd the time of constructing a counter-argument…

          However on Bill’s comment, I see the same thing happening, cross-borders, wherever wild-west capitalism really penetrates. Same with my home country (Hungary), where anti-depressants were unknown 10 years ago, same country that now has similar levels as the UK. But I can’t find any accurate data on NZ levels. Are there any studies, or census data on this? Cheers

    • prism 8.2

      itsuptous
      Your points remind me of thoughts I’ve had. People in malls shopping for leisure etc and women buying clothes. They are big buyers of clothes, and can have their attitudes sampled by looking at the awful gossip magazines preying on and glorifying celebrities at the same time. A waste of paper with possibly not any article that is useful for a healthy, happy human. (Men’s magazines also exist of this type).
      The clothes shops cater for women’s obsession with looking smart and looking like someone else! Getting people to be proud of themselves, not worry about small marks on clothes, and not have to have everything perfectly ironed would be a significant green move. People also might learn to mend seam tears, loose threads etc.
      If clothes were not thrown out with abandon, a huge waste of product, worktime and energy would be saved. Op shops get much clothing that’s slightly spoiled but still attractive and wearable. They also receive the cast-offs of the consumer who doesn’t wash or care for clothes preferring to dump often nearly new clothes but in a stained and unsaleable state, sometimes not even clean enough for rags. The waste dumped of useless clothing amounts to many tonnes.

      • itsuptous 8.2.1

        A few years ago, what was in fashion for females at the start of the season was still in fashion at the end of the season. The fashion outlets that target teenage girls (I am the parent of two teenage girls) now change the fashions every few weeks. I have watched my daughters buy clothing that is then out of fashion 6 weeks later and cannnot be worn!!
        Perfectly good, serviceable clothing that will be thrown out because of our society/economy depends on people constantly consuming and disposing of goods and one of the main ways this is achieved is by constantly changing “the fashion”.

        This is not in any way sustainable. To change the world we as consumers have to stand up and say no more of this sort of manipulation.

        • prism 8.2.1.1

          The pressure on parents from youngsters who feel peer pressure to wear the ‘right’ the ‘in’ clothes! To hold out against it requires what technique? Perhaps NigeI Latta has some wise words. He seems to be sensible and pragmatic. I have heard of parents of a group of teenagers getting together and agreeing on ground rules so they can’t be leveraged by the well-known – But A’s parents let A have that, or Everyone has one. But parents themselves may encourage this with their own buying habits.

          • Zorr 8.2.1.1.1

            The biggest problem prism isn’t that we necessarily need to work with each other to stop our children controlling us but to actually communicate with them in a real world sense and have the conversations that lead to real decision making. Currently I am looking forward to a future where I am raising two sons and I fully hope that by the time they are hitting their teens that we will be able to have constructive conversations that result in everyone getting a little of what they want. Too often we rely on hard and fast “rules” to govern our childrens lives when what is required of them once they leave home is that they need to be able to make decisions that are correct for themselves given the situation. By forcing our children to do whatever we think is right we do 2 things, force them to accept our rules and remove their ability to set their own.

            By expecting blind obendience to our opinions we teach them to not engage critical thinking so that when they are with their peer group they are doing exactly what we have taught them. Listening to the opinion of someone else and not engaging critical thinking.

          • itsuptous 8.2.1.1.2

            My daughters are highly academic girls who don’t fit in well. I’m afraid that at certain ages having a few sets of fashionable clothes is pretty important for girls- girls can be very hard on other girls.

            As a familly we have agreed to make Christmas different this year. We are giving donations to worthwhile causes and probably won’t give gifts. I’m relieved to be off the Christmas treadmill- I have no desire to buy for the sake of buying.

            • prism 8.2.1.1.2.1

              Christmas giving and receiving is quite nice provided we can be Relaxed about it. My in laws adopted a $2 shop limit. To think of someone else is a good thing about Christmas, and receiving something for you can give a lift, but also remembering the KISS principle.

              • I’m not so starved of humanity that I need a special day to think about someone else. Amazingly enough, I’ve even found that I can give without going down to the shop first.

  9. The greens can thank their communist friends in China for the lack of real progress.

    • outofbed 9.1

      “The greens can thank their communist friends in China for the lack of real progress.”
      Do you believe the shit you write?

  10. Herodotus 10

    From reading I have found that it would cost about $10b to be able to delivery clean water to the entire world. US citizens spend $450b on Christmas alone, what is the cost of the US/UN war efforts in say the last year?. If we cannot delivery clean water to the world for what is really petty cash. How can we solve anything more substantial?
    MickySavage, the worlds climate is always changing, the issue is AGW an issue and if so to what extent, and by implementing the desired cuts in emmissions what was going to be the result?

  11. prism 11

    NZ Herald Adrian Macey
    On Copenhagen deliberations Key comes out with that cliche comfortable (or relaxed) we hear frequently from him “New Zealand was comfortable with the text” 19 Nov NZ Herald.

    And our climate negotiator bags the UN because countries’
    leaders couldn’t agree to stronger measures. How unreasonable, the UN is so convenient to blame. The whole procedure must have been like herding cats. The final trick I use to get my cat’s co-operation is shake the kitty bic packet. Perhaps the advantages of action to the self-interest of each of the nations there was not shouted about loudly enough.

  12. grumpy 12

    If the Polar ice cap has completely vanished in 5 years we will know Gore was right – otherwise…….

  13. pointer 13

    grumpy,

    Gore got himself muddled over that. The scientist whose research he was referring to (I forget his name) actually stated that ice cover in the Arctic would be down by 85% in 5-7 years. So Gore was wrong, but not by much — 100% or 85%, there’s not a whole lot of difference.

  14. burt 14

    The leaders at Copenhagen have not done what your so called science wanted them to do. But let me just check I understand your concern.

    The failure to set stronger emission reduction targets for 20-30 years from now will cause a complete disaster in the next decade? Is that the sum of it ?

    • Alethios 14.1

      Your question highlights your ignorance.

      You don’t have any idea of what the ‘so called’ science is telling us, yet you’re dismissing it out of hand. I could hypothesize a number of different reasons of why that might be, but instead i’m just going to label you an idiot. An idiot who has no problem dismissing an entire field of academic studies because it doesn’t fit in with your a priori world views.

      Let me check I understand you here.

      You think you’ve stumbled upon a king hit, blindingly obvious, clinching evidence that this entire ‘climate change’ business is nonsense?

      • burt 14.1.1

        No, I’m not enough of an idiot to think one piece of fabrication found in porrly reviewed climate (ah hem) science invalidates the entire research. But unlike religious followers I’m not prepared to just believe a minority of twats who are too scared to face scrutiny of their theories in robust ways.

        Can we have the findings of the IPCC fully peer reviewed and allow the voices of dissent to play their normal role in science – that’s if it is OK with the people who claim to be correct and have evidence beyond doubt.

  15. burt 15

    rOb

    The article on feedback mechanism you link to is from 2006 and it says this;

    “Our results reinforce the fact that every bit of greenhouse gas we put into the atmosphere now is committing us to higher global temperatures in the future and we are already near the highest temperatures of the past 700,000 years,’ Torn said. “At this point, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions is absolutely critical.’

    They must have used Al Gore’s special data series that removed the inconvenient history and also hid the decline.

    • felix 15.1

      When burt says “hid the decline” he’s presumably referring to those emails he didn’t understand. This video shows how ridiculous his implication is.

      The whole series is worth a look.

    • burt 15.2

      The only thing I couldn’t understand about those emails is why people who for years have been justifying action on the basis there is a consensus and the science is settled now say of course there is dissent and naturally the majority take time to convince.

      What ever you say felix, it’s your faith and you won’t be shaken from it – that is commendable.

      • felix 15.2.1

        I’m not a religious man, burt.

        The video’s only about ten minutes and not difficult to follow. I posted the link for anyone who might have thought you were making sense but you should have a look too if you get a chance.

      • lprent 15.2.2

        Bullshit burt. I’ve been saying that there is always uncertainty in science about exactly where things wind up or exactly what is going on now. That is normal, and everyone that knows anything about the topic on the science side has been saying that.

        It is science is not faith. The touching faith of the CCDs is the only thing that says there are certainties and if there is uncertainty then everything is wrong that is a issue.

        There is no uncertainty about the effect of pumping pollutants like CO2 into the atmosphere. It will cause climate change. That is what climate scientists and earth scientists are damn certain of. The problem is that you can’t see exactly where it will end unless you have a time machine. So they conservatively document the expected effects based on what is known. Those conservative findings are the IPCC reports.

        Just because you can’t understand the difference between faith and science, doesn’t mean that the rest of us are so stupid.

  16. Doug 16

    Only in America Obama gets home to the biggest fall of Global Warming in years many dead I wonder if a treaty will fix it.

  17. pointer 17

    All the prognostications and hand-wringing about how Copenhagen has failed is a teeny tiny bit overblown. Before going in to the conference, the people taking part didn’t expect much out of it except that the harder decision making would be kicked down the road to Mexico City in 2010, but there would probably be some nonbinding statements of intent. Guess what — that’s just what happened. Check out the bar chart at Eli’s place:
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2009/12/mid-term-test-part-i.html

    I don’t know what Jeannette Fitzsimons is on about with all her rhetoric about COP15 failure, except maybe she’s got to keep the pressure on from the left. If that’s the case, then good on her for doing so.

    The real crunch is in Mexico City, people!

  18. Ben 18

    Perhaps something more fruitful than resisting power within the capitalist system (avoiding chineese / US goods, favouring NZ produce, mending work clothes, etc..), would be to organise oursleves, as people, as citizens of a planet, to smash it, and construct something better. Capital isn’t a law of nature, or some godly force. It’s not set in stone, it’s a human construction. It can be dismantled as easy as it was constructed. But as long as we think of ourselves as isolated individuals, so powerless against a huge, imposing, organised system that all we can do is select the products we do and don’t buy… Well as long as that persists, nothing will chage.

    • prism 18.1

      Ben talking about dismantling systems being easy is an oxymoron I think. Anyway you only have to read the to and fro on blogger sites to know that with such strong emotions and prejudices driving thought, getting agreement on the best way forward with the least harm can never be an easy task.

      An example is how a new committee of a volunteer group may act. They will often change everything that was done in the past without referring to the minutes of past meetings, so they don’t understand the systems they are abandoning. They will decide policies on spurious grounds and end up demolishing the organisation and energy for it amongst members. This is an always possible scenario.

      • Ben 18.1.1

        Thank you for the correction. I myself was speaking from strong emotions (outrage), without first pausing and considering. I will retract my comment about smashing the system. I hold to the basic argument that individual efforts will not amount to anything, unless organised on a broad scale, on a consesus basis (like the World Social Forum’s main decisionmaking mechanism), and able to use a large body of analysis and research.

        So sorry about the rushing tone, I am the last to believe changing systems, or even (much needed) perceptions is easy or quick. I got a little hot-headed via the news about COP15.

        • prism 18.1.1.1

          The Copenhagen ‘decisions’ sure get everybody’s temperatures up. Global warming of a different kind.

        • Bill 18.1.1.2

          Ben and Prism…

          Recognising and rejecting Capitalism is instant.

          Building a viable alternative will take time although seeds of possible futures have already been planted in many countries and persist even in the hostile environment of (almost) all encompassing Capitalism.

          Anyway, my point is that Capitalism does not need to be dismantled, reformed or smashed. It simply needs to be abandoned.

          And that is where the nascent alternatives come in and where vision and debate about different visions comes in.

          • prism 18.1.1.2.1

            Bill what about starting a thread on some of these alternatives you are thinking of to replace capitalism. Is social credit one of them?
            I have been involved with Green Dollars which is a good idea but fuzzy round the edges in its economic analysis.
            Helping people with small loans like the Graneem? Bank and small venture trusts in NZ is good.
            Does not having capitalism mean not using money? There is a whole way of life built on making a living selling symbols and advice rather than doing anything physical which often pays very badly. How can this world dichotomy be ameliorated?

        • prism 18.1.1.3

          The World Social Forum sounds interesting. I googled it and there is a mass of stuff on it to read about.

  19. infused 19

    Good videos for you all. Part 3 & 4 are damming if true

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNXoUWrAzj4&feature=related

    • felix 19.1

      Um, do you mean Lord Monkeytune and his “cooling since 98″ bullshit, or Alex Jones and his “everyone’s trying to take over the world except me” schtick?

  20. Zorr 20

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_itPEoTvu3wg/Syo-gKFiYlI/AAAAAAAABFw/r5cxmHDAjaE/s1600-h/091207usatC.slideshow_main.prod_affiliate.91.jpg

    Sorry for the long link, but it is what I consider to be a very excellent cartoon that depicts the situation accurately. Thanks to Pharyngula.

    • felix 20.1

      Very good.

    • wtl 20.2

      And I think the cartoons says something else as well – perhaps we have to stop arguing about the science of climate change, but instead start ‘selling’ the solutions. I’m sure the general public isn’t entirely convinced about AGW – skeptics and deniers have a large enough voice to seed doubt, and no one likes to be told they are contributing to a problem that will lead to destruction of the planet, so many may choose the easy way out (“it’s all a hoax”). But instead of trying to convince people about the reality and fighting an uphill battle, maybe it’s time to start pointing out that if our society does make an effort to reduce our greenhouse emissions, we will build a better world – there will be less pollution in our cities and towns, people will be healthier, we won’t be dependent on oil from volatile regions, we will produce a how series of new jobs and so on. Who wouldn’t want that?

      We can be dismayed by some of the negative aspects of human nature, such as people only thinking in the short time and about themselves, or we can accept it and try to work with it.

    • Bill 21.1

      That the monocle wearing Gerald Warner of Craigenmaddie? Former Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland under a Tory government? Regular contributor to the Telegraph newspaper? Complete twat?

      That Gerald Warner?

  21. Gosman 23

    As predicted by many observers, the Copenhagen summit was a lot of hot air and not much in the way of substance.

    Given the fact that hardly anybody came away from the Summit smelling of roses where does this leave NZ in terms of our AGW stance?

    It will be much harder to critisise NZ’s position when noone else is making much progress.

  22. prism 24

    Boo hoo. Is this how our wonderful world will end? Quenchino and Singularian locked in futile battle, teeth clenched (the ones they haven’t knocked out) fighting the ultimate way with every weapon they possess in spitting fury over not being right or listened to when it counted and there was time to think about what could be done and do it?

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