THE BRIEF [NOV 14-20’22]
Our leaders failed us all, FDA approved first lab-grown meat and no phase-down/out of fossil fuels at COP27.
Welcome to this week’s edition of The Weekly Climate 🎉
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This BRIEF is a bit longer than usual because I chose to include my lengthy commentary on the general state of COP and things. If you just want news feel free to skip this section and head straight into “News you can’t miss”.
COP27 is over. The Guardian wrote a very clear picture of what were at stake and a great post on what we got. A few “high”-lights:
Loss & Damage fund: Good, but a very light start
Possible loophole for gas or coal with carbon capture and storage to be a part of “clean energy”
Loophole for carbon credits to be counted more than once.
1.5C still official target (but zero policies to back it even remotely up)
Warning! There are some poorly hidden profanity in the next bit. If you’re sensitive to that kind of thing please jump straight ahead into “News you can’t miss”. I apologize but I’m lost for words.
The 600 fossil fuel lobbyists, the Petrol minister, the big ag lobbyists all wasn’t exactly set up for success and we got something pretty far from that. The fact that we should be “happy” about a loss and damage fund, i.e. just the fund, not the financing of it, just the fund, is so mind blowingly ridiculous that it kind of feels like it was just thrown in there just to make sure climate activists wouldn’t go completely full scale rebellion because at least now one high profile topic got sort of checked off. The Loss & Damage fund is like a band aid, while important, will for sure get wet and fall off pretty soon when it comes to financing it.
The key topic of phasing-out fossil fuels were not addressed. In fact formulations surrounding it were even loosened. Now we can get fossil gas and coal with carbon capture under this definition as well. This is so - f*cked - pardon my french that I’m lost for words. Fossil fuels phase-out is THE only thing that matters right now and this COP enabled fossil fuels to be back on the menu. That is insane. That is insane.
To all the politicians, I don’t know how you can live with yourself. You know you have a choice right? You can listen to the science or not. You chose not to. Again.
I don’t believe in politics anymore (again). I’ve written that too many times. I’m fed up of voting climate, yet seeing that the majority of general public just don’t care. People don’t seem to understand that everything they’re afraid of will be multiplied by climate change. Afraid of refugees stealing your jobs? Climate change are multiplying that already. Afraid of wildfires? Climate change are multiplying that already. Afraid of high taxes? How do you think we’re going to pay for the adaptations if not through taxes? Afraid of losing your job? How do you think the economy will react to decreasing food supply, unliveable areas of the planet, wars, refugees, etc? And on and on. Every topic you can think of will be made worse by climate change.
I’m fed up of hoping that maybe they (politicians and the public) will see the light this time. Maybe something will happen at this COP. Maybe finally we’ll get some real action. When in fact we won’t. Politics will not solve this. It can’t it’s too narrow minded focussed on 4 year election cycles to care about what will happen in 70 years. It’s too soiled in fossil fuels and dirt from modern agriculture to ever be able to do anything.
Think about that for a second. I mean it. Really think. The people we in our democracies put in charge via our votes are not able to do the right things to solve the biggest crisis that has ever faced humanity largely because of big fossil fuel and big ag interests are throwing money at them and influencing them on every turn. They explicitly choose to ignore climate protesters and science. Think about that. Meditate on it. Isn’t it f*cked?
So what to do? Katherine Hayhoe so often write that the most important thing you can do is to talk about it. I even end my newsletter with this quote. Talk to your friends and family about it. Get them involved. If nothing else just get them to tweet or toot or whatever about it. On that note I’m deeply thankful for the tireless climate activists who did a great job in pushing for the results we needed.. Thank you 🙏
There are a lot of climate writers that I really deeply respect who write about how it’s not our fault, so it’s not up to us to solve this thing. But I’m afraid that it kind of is, because who the f*ck else?
P.S: While full of despair about our the state of our democracies I will never stop voting climate no matter how little I believe in the system.
‼️News you can’t miss
Here’s one important scary/bad (🙀), good (😻), interesting (😼) and fossil (💩) news item.
🙀 Our leaders failed each and every one of us — George Monbiot
😻 FDA has approved the first lab-grown meat
💩 No global phase-down / out in COP27 agreement
This week’s highlights
[#cop27 #offsets] — Long term readers of this newsletter knows that ever since my “death to net-zero” deep dive I’ve been quite vocal about my dislike of offsets because they allow the fossil fuel industry (and everybody else) to continue to do what they’re already doing. The COP27 draft quite imaginatively makes this problem even worse now since it allows for some credits to be counted more than once. Yes you read that right. There was also a great Twitter thread on this.
[#cop27, #bigag] — Along with the 600+ fossil fuel lobbyists Big Agriculture is also heavily present at COP27, it’s then no surprise that the US and it’s big ag partners announce more funding for efficient fertilizers. You would think this is a good thing, but if you do then you forget that fertilizers today is largely a fossil fuel product and that fertilizers are completely unnecessary if we would just switch to use more climate friendly farming methods. This is idiotic.
[#cop27 #lossdamage] — Probably the biggest news out of COP27 was the agreement between developed nations to establish a fund for loss and damage financing for climate vulnerable nations. And sure it’s a big and very very crucial step in terms of climate justice. But am I the only one thinking that it’s like offering painkillers to somebody bleeding to death. Don’t you first staunch the bleeding and then provide painkillers? Not a doctor though so maybe you can do these things simultaneously, but it’s just too bad that nobody thought about stopping the fossil fueled bleeding. If we don’t stop fossil fuels then won’t the funding just ever increase until the point that nobody can ever pay? (but maybe that’s the point in the first place). And then there’s the other titbit that no agreement was made on how to finance it. Just that there should be a fund. Come on! This is like calling yourself an entrepreneur because you just registered your company.
[#cop27 #carboncapture] — A really great article by the great Ketan Joshi on the futility and danger of offsets and carbon capture and storage as a “solution” to the climate crisis. It shows in great detail why we must be extremely vary about technologies that seek to keep the fossil fuel industry alive. This is even more vital today when it is so clear that the fossil fuel industry lobbyists have direct access to lawmakers. And which solution do you think the fossil fuel lobbyists are pushing at COP27? Carbon capture and storage of course! (P.S. Note that big difference between carbon removal (👍) and carbon capture 👎).
That’s it for this week folks!
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Remember if you’re feeling down, angry or sad from some of the news in this newsletter one cure is to act. And one way you can always act that also happens to be one of the most powerful things you can do is to talk about it. That also works if what you just read made you hopeful or happy btw.
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