For this enviro, Christmas is shaping up pretty nicely this year. Today, as post-Kyoto discussions commence in Bali, Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, sweeping aside decades of Howard's curmudgeonly climate skepticism. Another unexpected gift came last month, when a group of 80 experts convened in France to mull over the future of biodiversity. Their consensus? That we need to establish a new intergovernmental panel -- akin to the IPCC -- to begin aggressively addressing the biodiversity crisis. In words that would surely make E.O. Wilson proud, the committee said: "It is not enough to draw up a list of threatened or extinct species. Biodiversity needs to be seen as a whole, in terms of management but also of environmental services rendered, for instance from the point of view of adaptation to climate change." They hope to have a structure in place by 2008. Keep 'em rollin' in, Santa!
Since COP13 / MOP3 -- hereafter "Bali" -- has begun, I thought I'd send a brief note on expectations and strategy. Brief because there's too much to say, so I shouldn't try. Besides, I'll try to post again in a few days. Here's the thing: Bali is freighted with terrific expectations, which are entirely appropriate given the state of the science. We now "know," insofar as we can know these things, that we've got to do everything to hold total temperature increase from global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, and that to have a good chance of doing so global emissions are going to peak by 2015. In other words, we now know this is an emergency situation. So why would we demand anything except emergency action? No reason at all. Which is why EcoEquity signed the "Call for Climate Talks to Accelerate Global Economic and Energy Transitions: What Bali Must Achieve" (PDF), now being circulated by the Institute for Policy Studies and the International Forum on Globalization. The Call urges negotiators to pursue three paths:
This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project. A few weeks ago, one of the presidential candidates' advisors challenged a group of climate leaders to describe America's future. His challenge triggered a flurry of e-mails as we attempted to articulate a vision. We talked about carbon caps and price signals and new investments in R&D. That's fine, the advisor responded, but what it the vision? What is America's perfect future? I'm not sure we ever satisfactorily answered this very good question, but I found myself trying to describe what America might look like 10, 20, and 40 years from now.
When I visited Bali 20 years ago, the beaches teemed with people offering any manner of products and services, and the most abundant seemed to be blowguns. Lying in the sand with your eyes closed, …
The White House just sent this letter (PDF) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, renewing its threat to veto any bill that doesn’t follow exactly the (absurd) guidelines it laid out in its last letter.
In about three hours, at 1pm PST, I’ll be chatting with Andrew Rice, the 34-year-old Okla. state senator and Democratic candidate for Senate in Oklahoma. Yes, that’s the guy running against the 74-year-old Inhofe. You …
So while the U.S. Farm Bill is out to pasture until 2008, it looks like most commodity subsidies will remain untouched. Agricultural price supports may be the law of the land here, but it's certainly not what we've been advocating abroad. A bittersweet story on page one of today's NY Times documents how Malawians are pulling back from the brink, largely because -- going against the wishes of the World Bank -- they've begun to reinstitute government crop subsidies:
Just saw this great ad on TV: The background:
UPDATE: Australia’s new government has ratified Kyoto. Wow. That was fast. Though we’ve mentioned them a couple of times in our news stream, I’m not sure I’ve fully appreciated just how seismic recent political changes …
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