Paris, climate change talks, and terrorists/tyrants

I was writing an ieBLOG posting on the current conditions of the climate talks in Paris and two things happened. First, I began to feel that enough has already been written about the issue and I had nothing new to say, having written about it last month. Second, the terrorist attacks in Paris had bloodied the city and the talks, and the civic societies’ public marches and protests had been banned.

So I decided that the only thing that can be said about the outcome of the talks is that everyone will agree to “take concrete steps to cut emissions,” and that it is quite clear that not many leaders, if any, will speak the words “carbon budget.” And the next step after COP 21 will be waiting for some sort of global, climate catastrophe that might change things in a more substantive way.

What you will not hear about in the talks is a critique from India’s leading environmentalists of the inadequacy of the US commitment and of the American lifestyle of consumption and guzzling at all costs that if not curtailed will doom us all. This critique is mirrored in a Blog posting by the leading US environmental writer, Joe Romm, where he attacks the “orgiastic celebration of unbridled consumerism,” and argues that when it comes to dealing with climate change, the global economy acts like a Ponzi scheme. Add to these voices the Papal encyclical, LAUDATO SI’, and Naomi Klein’s work.

I’ll leave it to you to read them.

In the meantime, the best that can be said about climate change and terrorism/tyrants and the voice of the public is this photograph:

 120115-shoes on the marche copy 4

 Photo credit: Laurent Cipriani/AP (in Grimson)




Sunita Narain and Chandra Bhushan, CAPITAN AMERICA US climate goals: a reckoning, Centre for Science and Environment (India) (2015).

Joe Romm, “The Global Economy Is A Ponzi Scheme: Black Friday, The Pope And The Paris Climate Talks,” think progress (27 Nov 2015).

Matthew Grimson, “Global Climate March: Record Numbers Turn Out for Climate Protests,” NBC News (29 Nov 2015).  with photo credit

The Pope, the Planet and Passion: LAUDATO SI’ and Getting the Tone Right

Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate – the book and the documentary See










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