Why Climate Change Trumps Terrorism In Paris
The Paris climate summit begins today with as many as 40,000 are expected for the 21st session of the Conference of Parties to the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will run through Dec. 11. There will be more than 190 nations represented, and at least 140 national leaders will attend
140 countries have signed a treaty acknowleding that any warming beyond 2 degrees Celsius, measured since the Industrial Revolution, is unacceptable. Otherwise, we can expect supercharged droughts, higher intensity storms, and drowning of islands amidst rising seas. These events would conceivably push millions more into poverty, making them more susceptible to terrorist indoctrination, and put many plants and animals at risk of extinction. The number is more political than exact, but 1.9 degrees of warming is monumentally less catastrophic than 2.1 degrees.
2015 is on course for being the warmest year on record. The current average global temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius, 1 degree celsius warmer than before the industrial revolution. We’re essentially locked into 1.5 degrees of warming based on all of the pollution we’ve pumped into the atmosphere, primarily by burning fossil fuels for heat and electricity. Over the same time period, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million. Pollution-reduction pledges logged by countries in advance of the Paris talks promise to slow warming only to an estimated 2.7 degrees by the end of the century.
What was a few tenths of a degree is now a whole degree across the entire planet. It can’t be explained by fluctuations in the energy balance of the climate or by changes in solar radiation (they’re decreasing since 1950). Insurance claims due to climate-related events are rising rapidly, while geophysical claims are not.
The “farms” in Greenland were only in protected glacial valleys. Now we are seeing areas exposed in Greenland that have not seen light in 200000 years. A lie is true only if you believe it, whereas facts are true regardless.
The UN is not the forum for an anti-terrorism conference. It would not be fruitful. For global warming, the solution has to be global. The consequences of any terrorist attack are local. The latest attack hasn’t even adversely affected the global economy. In fact, the responses to terrorism (e.g. Iraq and Afghanistan wars) have had a much more severe effect on the global economy than the terrorist acts themselves.
It must be so frustrating for ISIS. They do so much hard work planning these attacks and so forth, and what do they get? World leaders obsessed with climate change. It’s got to be a little disappointing to spend your time blowing up an enemy and essentially being viewed as an effect of a larger cause. You could almost say it’s deflating.