Copenhagen Failure

So the COP 15 meeting is over and we got… what exactly? It’s easier to point out the things we didn’t get. We didn’t get an agreement between the rich nations and the poor. We didn’t get a concrete plan to reduce emissions to an acceptable level and we din’t get political leadership.

Although there seems to be a majority in the US who don’t believe in AGW, most of the rest of the world is convinced. The failure of the UN meeting is blamed mainly on two nations, the two that contribute the most greenhouse gases, China and the US.

Obama arrived late and claimed he was there not to talk, but to act. It turned out to be an act. A lot of people, me included, thinks this is the most important issue of all and are somewhat dumbstruck to find that the world leaders managed to get pretty much nothing done. Now they talk about this being a first step. There’s been several first steps already, we don’t need another first step, we need a second and a third step already.

The international community still has a lot of goodwill for Obama, but the supply is dwindling fast. This was a chance to show real leadership and substance, but yet again the chance was missed. The honeymoon is over and the talks about hope and change starts sounding like just more rhetoric, from just another politician.

The Copenhagen conference was all about transferring wealth. It had little to do with the (bogus) science of global warming-that was far from the purpose of this conference, which is to set up a supra-national organization, to transfer wealth to third-world kleptocrat dictators.
I think we should just transfer the money direct, to the swiss bank accounts of the dictators. Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro would approve!

Good one. But please be serious.

Obama has to deal with people like ralph124c. I never thought Obama would be able to sway people like him, so don’t hold it against Obama’s political sincerity. I do share your sentiment and lamentation that a lot of innocent people are going to die or otherwise suffer greatly as a direct result of people like ralph124c.

Why emphasis Obama’s role so much? It seems he made serious attempts to reach an agreement, but that the Chinese didn’t want to play ball. In any case, as it seemed to be turning into a giant Nigerian money transfer scheme I’m happy it failed. I am all for steps to reduce CO2 here, but more money to corrupt leaders in Africa to squander away on expensive German luxury cars or support for an artificial continuation of unsupportable societies. Forget it. If they want my support again then they must separate the agenda to do with reducing co2 from the agenda to do with third world “aid”.

The reason I am emphasising Obamas role is because it is an American forum, when I discuss the issue in swedish forums I put the emphasis on the swedish prime minister (who perhaps was the biggest disappointment of all).

The blame game is bullshit. “It’s Chinas fault”. Jesus H Christ. Sweden says EU has to assume responsibility, the EU says USA is the biggest source of outlets and needs to assume responsibility, the US passes the ball to Chine who passes it back to the US. Maybe we actually deserve a cataclysmic event if this is what we can muster.

Ok. Nobody or everybody is to blame then. In any case the EU has taken responsibility by setting a co2 reduction emission target at -20% by 2020. I recon this will increase during the decade. I also think the USA has set some reduction targets if I’m not mistaken.

There are two pragmatic issues that need to be overcome to support this (this assumes you’re starting with at least an elementary school understanding of science).

First, the developing world can’t afford to follow a clean development path. (Can’t is a tricky word, but for brevity’s sake I mean that they do not have the finances to meet basic development needs along a sustainable low-carbon path.) So for good or ill, you have a bunch of states that are saying “look, either help us with our mitigation/adaptation efforts, or there’s no chance of us reducing.” Since the collective output will soon dwarf that of the larger producers, not taking steps to assist in their efforts will result in larger impacts and relatively wasted US efforts. Right or wrong, how do you get over this hump?

Second, and again, this requires a basic scientific understanding, since climate change is largely caused by the increase in GHGs, and the vast majority of anthropogenic sources of GHGs are Western, how do you address the developing world’s claim that since we (the general we) caused the harm, we are responsible for a non-trivial part of the cost? Other than mooning them, that is?

Note that there is substantial concern over making direct payments. Painting the entire scenario as a lump sum cash transfer is absurd. If the question is merely one of monitoring and evaluation, then the debate shifts to how to best do that, not whether or not developing countries’ mitigation/adaptation efforts should be subsidized.

Glad Copenhagen was a failure, I hope they may have similar success in Mexico in June.

I’d just like to point out the following, because this type of comment tends to annoy me.

In any kind of meeting, it is ALWAYS easier to point out things that were not accomplished, simply because there are always an infinite number of things that are not done, versus only a finite number of things that are done.

If anything is accomplished at all in a meeting, that is amazing. I’ve participated in many meetings in which nothing whatsoever is accomplished.

That’s the way progress happens in this world. Agonizingly slowly.

Reminds me of a “definition” of meeting I saw somewhere:

Only mass death, or an incredible Ludditism, could avoid continuing climate deterioration at this point. What would constitute a “cataclysm”? Problems for Polar bears, some island we never heard of? I’d rather imagine a more gradual development: storms and heat spells, water purity issues, dyke building in response to slow sea level rise. (Sea is now rising about 1 inch per decade; would it alarm business or most folk if this figure doubles or even triples?)

Eventually warming will get severe and pressure will build for man-made global cooling (some atmospheric impurities incl. dust and aerosols reflect incoming sunlight and promote lower temperature). These remedies have their own flaws, which are not being debated. I fully expect such remedies to be rush into sometime later this century.

Oh noes! The streets of Manhattan might be under water in 1000 years!

No need. Emerging technologies will make Carbon a more monetizable asset at which point everyone will sequester their carbon as an ancillary revenue stream.

As I stated in the other thread. Carbon is not rare. We do not need a new carbon source. Nobody will pay enough money to recover the expense paid in turning carbon dioxide into carbon. That process takes significant energy. It will always take significant energy, for the same reasons it will always take significant energy to get hydrogen from water.

No one ever said carbon was rare. I gave a poor cite in the other thread. The tech mentioned by Kurzweil was not the result of burning the coal but of separating the carbon and hydrogen. Burning it creates carbon dioxide. I’m not talking about burning it. As I said, I don’t know enough about it to credibly argue it. But I’ll keep an eye and let you know.


Ahh the old internet past-time.

Of course if you knew, you’d fill in the blanks and correct the errors, but you don’t either. :wink:

AFAIK All of the other processes that separate carbon from hydrogen make carbon dioxide as well. This includes the only process mentioned in that site you gave in the other thread.

I’m particularly interested in the process that gains energy from turning hydrocarbons to carbon and hydrogen. In terms of enthalpy, this is a complete loser, but not such a loser that entropy couldn’t be used in your favor. I just doubt.

What is particularly concerning is the use of the term nano as if it is some magic that cures everything. One of these days people are going to realize that nanotechnology is really just a new class of materials like plastic. In thirty years you will be watching infomercials about mattresses using nanotechnology developed by NASA, and you’ll be thinking, “That mattress doesn’t even look all that comfortable.” Granted, these materials have a diverse set of properties, but so does plastic. Nanobots only exist on some theoretical computer that has no worries about manufacturing.

Yes, I have been researching this for the past half hour or so, and I’m not finding anything related to what I was talking about.

I don’t know.

That’s a straw man. No one is saying that ‘nano’ will be magic that cures everything, but it is necessary to realize how much manufacturing will change over the next few years before you start implementing massive social controls on industry. There’s not really such a thing as ‘these materials’. You’re kind of using a crude definition of nanotechnlogy. All it means is materials made at the nanoscale (molecular level). It’s definitely the next step in miniaturization, but the changes will be revolutionary, and the idea that a bunch of bureaucrats from various self-interested nations around the world with all of their piques and grudges will implement some sort of wise Earth-saving policy is Utopianism pure and simple.

You couldn’t get onto the internet without nanoscale hardware. Your CPU is a nanomachine.

I didn’t say anything about nanoscale robotics. I was just wrong about being able to separate carbon out from hydrocarbons.

Burying our trash would seem to be a good way to sequester carbon. So, would it be efficient to farm trees and then bury them? The wood will eventually break down (anaerobic bacteria would convert the wood to methane)-but this is a very slow process.
Is the solution to the CO2 problem reviving landfills/dumps?