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The gap between what is said at COP26 and what is done (Analysis)


On paper, the problem that COP26 delegates must tackle is so simple it can be understood by a young child. What happens in practice?

Abdalah Mokssit: There are climatic events that have no turning back 8:53

CNN's chief climate correspondent Bill Weir attended COP26 last week, an international climate summit in which world leaders seek to limit future global warming.

Glasgow, Scotland (CNN) -

Alongside the gigantic model of the Earth spinning slowly in the air, meanders a maze of stalls and exhibitors that compete for the eyes of visitors. Around him socialize world leaders and delegates, each sent to Scotland to negotiate climate action on behalf of their nations.

On paper, your challenge is simple enough for a fourth grader to understand: the same fossil fuels that built the modern world are destroying it. The same energy sources that fueled the innovation that lengthened human life are shortening the lives of the most vulnerable. We have to do something. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

  • Fossil fuel companies have sent more than 500 people to COP26, more than any other country

But in practice, that "something" will be the hardest problem for humans to solve, and the sensory riot at Glasgow's OVO Hydro stadium, named after a natural gas company, is the proof.

For example in the case of Australia.

The Australia booth was said to have the best coffee, and although I couldn't investigate, I can confirm that the nation's booth run by formerly climate change skeptic Scott Morrison bears the logo of Santos, an Australian oil and gas company.

While the leaders of China and Russia were conspicuous by their absence, there is a faux birch grove on the Swedish booth, and on the French booth, the #MakeOurPlanetGreatAgain signage feels like a holdover from 2020, when Donald Trump retired States. United from their promises of the Paris Agreement in one of the most heinous escapes in human history.

  • 5 conclusions of day 8 of COP26: Obama attacks Trump, large fossil fuel producers block progress

Much of the COP props are illustrated with nature scenes or the gaze of disappointed children, but few will stop you in your tracks like the small Pacific island nation Tuvalu exhibit, which features a large cartoon sculpture by eco-artist Vincent. Huang with scared polar bears huddled in orange life jackets and a penguin hanging from a rope.

It is up to the viewer to decide whether the poor creature was executed or committed suicide.


The Tuvalu booth at COP26 includes a sculpture by eco-artist Vincent Huang showing polar bears in life jackets and a penguin hanging from a rope.

"A combination of diplomacy, trade fair and circus," is how science fiction novelist Kim Stanley Robinson described the ritual of the Conference of the Parties after receiving his invitation.

His latest dystopian novel, "The Ministry for the Future," is named after an imaginary United Nations task force that formed after a heat wave in India killed 20 million people in one week.

Against a backdrop of industrial sabotage, bioterrorism, and bitcoin bankruptcies, the book's leading bureaucrats are rushing to unleash feats of geoengineering like jetliners equipped to spray forms of sunscreen across the sky in a desperate effort to shade the sky. planet, reduce the heat and buy some time for our self-destructive species.

This idea is no longer the product of fiction.

We've reached a point where the climate models are so bleak that brilliant minds, from Harvard to Cambridge, are actively working on ideas in an emergency, just in case this COP ends as the first 25, with increased pollution. that cooks the planet.

Global warming has only gotten worse since the first major climate summit

Since the first World Climate Conference in 1979, several international meetings have been held to address global warming.

Despite numerous promises about the climate, significant political changes have been rare, while temperatures have continued to rise.

But no one came to Glasgow to discuss the best sunscreen for the sky.

They came looking for signs of hope, and after a summer witnessing the reality of the climate crisis, I hit the River Clyde desperate to find something, whatever it was, that would silence the inner pessimist who lives in the head of all who cover these topics.

While filming the next reports in Montana, I traveled through rivers too hot for fly fishing and watched wildfires in the west turn the famous "Going to the Sun" road in Glacier National Park into "Going to the Smoke. ".

I ventured into Greenland, where the ashes from those same fires darken the ice sheet and hasten its demise.

We float alongside chunks of what specialists call "Jesus ice," formed by snow that fell 2,000 years ago but is now melting thanks to 150 years of burning fossil fuels.

And in Charleston, South Carolina, I learned that the city and the Army Corps of Engineers are planning a $ 1 billion sea wall to protect the historic resort town from all that melting ice, and that the Affordable homeowners are raising their 200-year-old mansions to accommodate the shocking increase in flooding on sunny days.

Guterres speaks at COP26: We are digging our own graves 4:00

I remember these examples in Glasgow, watching the thousands of people queuing every morning, some adapting their African dashikis or their Amazonian headdresses with scarves and gloves against the Scottish cold, and it comforts me to imagine that humanity is able to cooperate well. scientifically funded to save lives.

But then I check Twitter and see West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin backing up in his silver Maserati to a blockade of youth in Washington, all screaming mad at his refusal to support hard-hitting climate legislation.

The continuation of the catastrophe leads us to realize that even the most miraculous technological advances require acceptance from people who would rather punch a flight attendant than don a mask.

An investigation by The Washington Post found that many countries are underestimating their levels of global warming pollution, while a review of the COP26 list shows that the largest contingent in the summit morning ranks represents business. of fossil fuels, including those accused of hiding science and fueling disinformation in public discourse for decades.

  • A minister from Tuvalu goes into the water to film his speech to COP26 and show the impacts of climate change

So far, not a single promise from COP26 involves the closure of an oil well or active coal mine in this vital decade. Even the greenest and most progressive nations like Denmark won't put an end date on fossil fuel production until the middle of the century, and all votes include the "net zero" warning. This is a huge loophole that allows countries to burn as much fossil fuel as they want, as long as they remove the same amount from the atmosphere. It's a promise based on incredibly expensive technology that has yet to be tested on a large scale.

"I am pleased to announce that I have decided to move to net zero when it comes to swearing and profanity," tweeted Greta Thunberg, punching a hole in the net zero logic with her trademark blunt style. "In the event that I say something inappropriate, I promise to make it up to you by saying something nice."

"How do we close the gap between what is necessary for our survival and what seems politically possible at this time?" Asked former US President Barack Obama during his speech on Monday, in a day dedicated to Loss, Damage and Adaptation.

"There are times when I doubt that humanity can agree before it is too late. And then the images of dystopia begin to creep into my dreams. And yet every time I feel that discouragement, I remind myself that cynicism is the resource of cowards. "

  • Obama launches attack on Trump at COP26 for "four years of hostility" towards climate science

It is impossible to come to Glasgow and not waver between hope and despair.

Sometimes it seems like a worldwide convention of anonymous gamblers held in a casino.

But then you see the sustainable light in the eyes of a sincere soul as they describe all the things that deserve to be saved.

You remember Mr. Rodger's advice to "look for the helpers", you stop dystopian fiction and read a poem like Clarissa Pinkola Estés's favorite:

"Our task is not to fix the whole world at once, but to stretch ourselves, and order that part of the world that is within our reach."

Obama says action is lacking to control climate change 0:45

Then you have a coffee, nod your head to the swinging penguin, and keep reaching out.

Climate change

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-11-10

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