- Date published:
11:43 am, November 28th, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: capitalism, Environment, global warming, Globalisation, International, Politics, science, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, useless - Tags: AGW, bonn, CO2, COP, inaction, talking
Maybe you jump in the car to pop down to the dairy, or round to the supermarket, or whatever. It’s inconsequential and yes, you care about global warming.
So, let’s assume the total trip there and back amounts to 5 km of driving. No big deal, right?
‘Every’ car driver habitually uses the car for very short and’ inconsequential’ trips. But. There are over 1 billion private vehicles in the world. So every ‘trip down the dairy’ that’s just a couple of km, is one of over 1 billion such trips being taken repeatedly every day – contributing to well over one million tonnes of CO2 emissions… each and every time the kids are dropped at school; a loaf of bread is grabbed from the dairy; the dog is driven to it’s walk….
That rough and ready (some will say “unfair”) calculation* assumes every car has emission standards in line with EU regs (which of course they haven’t), and that every car is instantly driving at optimum speed with no ‘surge’ in emissions at the point of ignition etc. That’s cars.
But then there are those of us, like the politicians and negotiators flying to COP(out)23 Bonn recently, who use planes in a similarly cavalier fashion. A fairly incidental return flight from Auckland to Wellington, flying economy class, is getting up to around fifty ‘trips down the dairy’**in terms of emissions….and maybe one hundred and fifty ‘trips down the dairy’ if travelling business class.
So anyway. What with average land surface temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere during October clocking in at 1.1 degrees C above the 20th Century average – not the pre-industrial benchmark that’s used for 2 degrees– and with September having had the highest land surface temperatures on record for the Southern Hemisphere, those people at Bonn no doubt “got a shimmy on” and began enacting some good stuff. Right?
Yeah. Nothing came out of Bonn.
The talk shop fest of Paris still doesn’t have to translate into any action until 2020. And at Bonn it was agreed to have ten summits, reports, dialogues and meetings that politicians, policy makers, diplomats, bureaucrats, negotiators and their logistical support teams can fly around the world to attend before congregating for COP 24 in Poland next December for…. well, something or other – because the worlds oceans may never have been this warm, and higher atmospheric CO2 levels are causing malnourishment across species, so it’s imperative that “important people” keep talking.
*1 billion (private cars) x 130 (grammes – EU emission standard) x 5 (km) x 3 (to approximate weight of CO2 resulting from given amount of expelled carbon)
** 90kg of CO2 per person for an economy seat return flight between Auckland and Wellington.