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Author Topic: Bali Climate Change Conference ends in failure
M. Spector
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posted 17 December 2007 04:40 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Continuing from HERE.
----
We've been suckered again by the US, says George Monbiot (excerpt):
quote:
“After 11 days of negotiations, governments have come up with a compromise deal that could even lead to emission increases. The highly compromised political deal is largely attributable to the position of the United States, which was heavily influenced by fossil fuel and automobile industry interests. The failure to reach agreement led to the talks spilling over into an all-night session."

These are extracts from a press release by Friends of the Earth. So what? Well it was published on December 11 - I mean to say, December 11 1997. The US had just put a wrecking ball through the Kyoto protocol. George Bush was innocent; he was busy executing prisoners in Texas. Its climate negotiators were led by Albert Arnold Gore.



Another point of view:
quote:
How should we judge the outcome of the Bali Conference? The fact that the IPCC targets were not explicitly and directly included in the roadmap has led some to call it a pointless meeting, a victory for the USA, etc. This view was expressed by George Monbiot in his Guardian column on December 17 ("we have been suckered by the US, once again")

This analysis is questionable.


[ 24 December 2007: Message edited by: M. Spector ]


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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Babbler # 8273

posted 18 December 2007 08:57 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Text of a flyer distributed by Biofuelwatch at the UN climate talks in Bali.

quote:
“The biodiversity and livelihoods of Africans should not be considered expendable for the cause of climate change solutions.” African Biodiversity Network

“We have very serious concerns over nuclear energy, genetically modified trees, carbon capture and storage and biofuels for environmental and safety reasons. We consider that these are not ways out to combat global warming, but endangering environment and poor populations.” Indonesian NGO Forum

“The Earth will not give us the extra biomass needed to keep on existing as we do. For a while we might continue to rob this biomass from the poor tropics, but the results are already disastrous for all humanity.” Professor Tad Patzek, University of California Berkley


Today, biofuels provide about 1% of global transport fuel. Already, they are causing serious harm to the climate, to communities, food sovereignty and food security and to biodiversity. Most biofuels are agrofuels – made from crops and trees grown specifically for that purpose, such as sugar cane, palm oil, soya, jatropha or maize. Agrofuel expansion means more intensive agriculture and thus more agro-chemicals (including synthetic fertilisers).

It also means more destruction of natural ecosystems which play a vital role in regulating the climate, and the displacement of millions of small farmers, pastoralists and indigenous peoples. Figures for ‘life-cycle greenhouse gas reductions’ from biofuels tend to be based on non-systemic micro-studies, which look at individual fields or plantations but do not consider the wider impacts.

On a small scale, locally produced and used, biofuels can play a role in meeting the needs of low-energy communities – using, for example, intercropping, or biogas from manure or sewage. If we try to replace a significant proportion of our fossil fuel use with agrofuels the impacts which are already severe, will become irreversible.

Five reasons why agrofuel expansion will make global worming worse:

• Deforestation and peat destruction. The demand for biofuels is pushing up commodity prices worldwide. This is driving monoculture expansion, including palm oil, soya and sugar cane, crops already linked to the destruction of tropical forests and other vital ecosystems. Deforestation causes at least 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the destruction of peatlands causes even more emissions than deforestation.

• Climate system impact. Ecosystem destruction worsens climate change not just because it releases vast quantities of carbon: A recent Australian study found that, in southern Queensland, land clearance accounts for half of the regional warming and loss of rainfall in the worst affected areas. A similar warming and drying effect could soon lead to a failure in the rainfall cycle on which the Amazon forest depends. If this was to happen, then up to 120 billion tonnes of carbon could be released over a few years or decades, and rainfall systems on which much of Latin America and the southern US depend for farming could collapse, too.

• Biodiversity is essential for supporting the Earth’s carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, water cycle and soil fertility, on which we depend for our survival. Agrofuels mean a shift from biodiverse ecosystems and farming systems to more industrial monocultures. GM crops and trees used for agrofuels pose further unpredictable risks to biodiversity.

• Industrial agriculture is responsible for some 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and for most nitrous oxide emissions – a greenhouse gas nearly 300 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. More agrofuels means more nitrate fertiliser and thus more nitrous oxide.

• Second-generation agrofuels. If second-generation agrofuels become commercially available, this will greatly increase pressures on the world’s forests. Eucalyptus, poplars and other trees will probably become prime feedstocks. Industrial tree plantations are displacing ecosystems and communities, depleting freshwater supplies, increasing the use of agro­chemicals with serious health impacts on people, and wiping out biodiversity. Plantation growth could increase exponentially if it was to become a source of transport fuels – and much of this could be GE trees.

Five reasons why agrofuels undermine climate justice:

• The South fuels the North. Most agrofuel expansion is planned in the global South, but most of the demand comes from the global North. Tens and perhaps hundreds of millions of hectares in Asia, Latin America and Africa are to be converted to monocultures, largely to grow fuel for car drivers in the North.

• Harming food security and food sovereignty. The UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food has called biofuel production a ‘crime against humanity’ because it displaces food production, drives up food prices and threatens the food security of large numbers of poor people.

• Land grab and refugees. The Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has warned that up to 60 million indigenous peoples are at risk of becoming ‘biofuel refugees’.

• Policies imposed by Northern governments. The agrofuel market is being driven by government targets and obligations in the US, Europe and elsewhere, which have been imposed without taking account of the views of communities in the global South, including indigenous peoples, who are being directly affected by those decisions. Now, ‘standards’ and ‘certification’ are being discussed in a similar undemocratic and unrepresentative way.

• Ecological devastation. Large-scale agrofuels mean faster global warming, more deforestation, freshwater depletion, biodiversity losses and soil degradation. They also mean more poisoning from agro-chemicals. Communities in the global South and indigenous peoples are the first to bear the brunt of climate change and environmental destruction.

We need real and just solutions to climate change – deep cuts in fossil fuel burning and in the consumption of energy, forest products and agricultural commodities in the global North. Economies based on economic growth are unsustainable. We also need large-scale transfer of funding from unsustainable energy sources like fossil fuels and agrofuels to truly sustainable ones such as solar and wind power.

World Rainforest Movement, www.wrm.org.uy

Grupo de Reflexion Rural Argentina, www.grr.org.ar

Biofuelwatch, www.biofuelwatch.org.uk

Walhi Jambi (Friends of the Earth Jambi) http://www.walhi.or.id/ttgkami/ed/wjambi_prof

Watch Indonesia, http://www.watchindonesia.org/


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 22 December 2007 11:38 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Indeed, given the reality that, as Nicholas Stern acknowledged, climate change is the greatest market failure in history, we cannot leave the response to those same failed market forces. There must be far more public support for research and development in this area, for public transportation and energy efficient housing and other buildings, for public utilities including energy, water and waste management, (not nuclear energy or disastrous oil sands developments, but major investments in alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro and geothermal), energy conservation, and of course far more public resources for disaster avoidance and response. Instead, we see the destructive impact of the deification of the market, with policies of privatization, deregulation and selling off of public goods - still the failed mantra of agencies such as the World Bank, OECD, WTO, IMF and others....

Now of course the hard work starts, over the course of the next two years leading to Poznan in Poland next year and Copenhagen in 2009, to ensure that the Bali Road Map does not lead us to a dead end of another massive market failure in responding to the crisis of climate change. Hopefully people around the world will demand that their representatives – elected or otherwise – take the strong action mandated by scientists to confront the enormity of the climate change crisis now.


Svend Robinson

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 22 December 2007 12:07 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sven Robinson said:

quote:
Baird had invited delegates, including those from Canada, among them the largest youth delegation at the conference, to an evening meeting to hear about Canada's policies on tackling climate change. Instead, on the platform were three Canadian businessmen extolling the virtues of their companies. Baird left the room without a word, leaving it to an embarrassed Pierre-Marc Johnson to come up with the feeble excuse that the Minister had to attend negotiations. This was the only event scheduled for Canada, and Baird was a no-show. No wonder, given the obstructive role Canada played at the conference, siding consistently with the United States and Japan in blocking efforts to strengthen the Bali road map.

Baird's little more than a high-ranking yes man in the stoogeocracy.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 22 December 2007 12:33 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This sort of "bait and switch" or luring activists into controlled public events, bogus or not, has been done before by previous Canadian governments in similar situations. Activists who have delusions that "their" government wouldn't mislead them in this way get a rude awakening. Sometimes, if Canada has a less-than-friendly relationship with the host government, the Embassy will get involved and distract activists from better, local events with cheap bribes of pizza and beer, etc..
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 24 December 2007 04:51 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But the Bali “action plan” does almost nothing to ensure that the people most affected by the worst impacts of climate change will receive the resources needed to survive impending climate chaos. This transition plan for replacing the Kyoto Protocol, which is so far being called the “Bali mandate,” instead entrenches the power of big business, and the global financial institutions that work on its behalf, without committing any government to tangible emissions reductions.
Janet Redman

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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Babbler # 5594

posted 24 December 2007 05:22 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Global warming to worsen malnutrition: report

quote:
Ex­press­ing their “deep­est con­cern,” three U.N. agen­cies are warn­ing that cli­mate change will in­crease glob­al hun­ger and mal­nu­tri­tion un­less im­me­di­ate ac­tion is tak­en.

The alarm was sounded as sci­en­tists warned that glob­al warm­ing may have passed a tip­ping point, with the Arc­tic Ocean melt­ing much faster than pro­jected. “The Arc­tic is scream­ing,” Mark Ser­reze of the U.S. gov­ern­men­t’s snow and ice da­ta cen­ter in Boul­der, Col­o­rad­o, told news agen­cies this week; NASA cli­mate sci­ent­ist Jay Zwally added that the Arc­tic might be nearly ice-free in five years.

The three Rome-based agen­cies—the Food and Ag­ri­cul­ture Or­gan­iz­a­tion, the World Food Pro­gramme and the In­terna­t­ional Fund for Ag­ri­cul­tur­al De­vel­op­ment—raised the hun­ger alert at the U.N. Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence in Ba­li, In­do­ne­sia. Speak­ing on be­half of the three, the Food and Ag­ri­cul­ture Or­gan­iz­a­tion’s head said ex­treme weath­er is al­ready af­fect­ing “food se­cur­ity.”


Our stoogeocrats are willing participants to planned and enforced genocide.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
gram swaraj
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posted 29 December 2007 06:28 AM      Profile for gram swaraj   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An article by Walden Bello, post-Bali post-mortem, from Dec. 16

http://www.ifg.org/baliblog.htm#thedayafter

quote:
Perhaps the best indication on whether the conference was right to bend over backward almost 180 degrees to accommodate the US will come next month in Honolulu during the Major Economies Meeting, a Washington-initiated conference that was originally designed to subvert the United Nations process. The question on everyone's lips is: Will the Bush adminstration revert to form and use the conference to launch a separate process to derail the Bali Roadmap?

From: mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c'est la terre | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
bliter
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posted 29 December 2007 11:55 AM      Profile for bliter   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From previous link:

quote:
Would it have been better to have simply let the US walk out, allowing the rest of the world to forge a strong agreement containing deep mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions on the part of the developed countries? With a new US president with a new policy on climate change at the beginning of 2009, the US would have rejoined a process that would already be moving along with strong binding targets. As it is now, having been part of the Bali consensus, Bush administration negotiators, say skeptics, will be able to continue their obstructionist tactics to further water down global action throughout the negotiations in 2008.

Can't disagree with that. Would have probably even worked to assist Bush's ouster. Meantime there is nothing to stop the separate States attempting improved targets, as in California.


From: delta | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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Babbler # 8273

posted 29 December 2007 12:48 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't buy this business about waiting for another year till Bush is gone.

Apart from the fact that the world can't afford to wait, who is to say that the new Prez will be any more eco-friendly?


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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