“…the world’s only structure for curbing greenhouse gas emissions appears about to crumble”

Habour of Durban

Durban, South Africa - Image via Wikipedia

Uh oh. From the NYT, a harbinger of failure. But then again looking at Copenhagen and Cancun, why should this meeting in Durban be any different?
Nations Heading to Durban Climate Talks Remain Deeply Divided – NYTimes.com

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres lauded a climate change meeting in Panama as “good progress” this weekend, even as environmental activists warned that the world’s only structure for curbing greenhouse gas emissions appears about to crumble.

“South Africa is the tipping point in terms of the future of the climate regime,” said Tasneem Essop, international climate policy advocate for the World Wildlife Fund in South Africa.

Figueres on Friday lauded the European Union for helping to launch “constructive discussions” and said “governments are exploring those middle-ground solutions that would allow them to go forward with a second commitment period.”

Yet the United States, which is not a party to Kyoto but as the world’s largest historic carbon emitter is central to the future of the climate regime, appears to be putting the kibosh on such a compromise.

Speaking at a wrap-up press conference in Panama, U.S. Deputy Envoy Jonathan Pershing acknowledged that “the uncertainty over a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is a source of anxiety for many parties.” But in describing the E.U. proposal, Pershing said, “We do not believe that conditions are ripe in Durban for a legally binding agreement.”

Maybe it has to do with trust?

From ClickGreen: Carbon markets still a “fraudster’s playground”, report claims

h/t to Tom Nelson

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62 Responses to “…the world’s only structure for curbing greenhouse gas emissions appears about to crumble”

  1. Joel Haq says:

    I like how the U.S. is listed as the world’s “largest historic carbon emitter”. I guess it would be unthinkable to point out that we aren’t currently the largest and that we have actually reduced our carbon emissions.

  2. DocWat says:

    Binding agreement?? Trust?? Were those guys born yesterday?

  3. Bruce says:

    “largest historic carbon emitter”

    But not the largest. China does 23.3% or world carbon emissions. The USA 18.11%.

    REPLY: It’s the “new guilt” we’ll have to buy carbon reparation certificates next for our past sins – Anthony

  4. More Soylent Green! says:

    The problem isn’t whether our emissions are going up or down, or whether China’s and India’s are going up, it’s that we didn’t sign the agreement. Appearing to be doing something is more important than actually doing something. The symbolism is more important than the substance.

    BTW: Did they blame Bush (again) for not signing Kyoto? How about Obama? He didn’t sign Kyoto, either.

  5. Stephen Brown says:

    The pro-AGW crowd about to descend on Durban is going to have to work pretty hard to persuade the locals that they are, in fact, getting warmer when the YouTube linked below shows just what this year’s winter was like!

  6. DirkH says:

    The local natives greeted them with dances.

  7. suyts says:

    lol, maybe it’ll be better in a couple of years……..haahahahahhahahahhahahahhaa!!!!

  8. What a curious coincidence. Today the Wall Street Journal, Oct. 10, 2011 has a big news special section insert (16 full pages) on:
    Innovations in Finance

    http://online.wsj.com/public/page/innovations-in-finance-10102011.html?mod=quicklinks_innovations

    I looked through the print edition. I am searching the online edition.
    The word “carbon” seems to be absent.
    It is certainly not prominent.

  9. PJB says:

    DocWat says:
    October 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm
    Binding agreement?? Trust?? Were those guys born yesterday?

    They weren’t, but they got used to thinking that we were….

  10. kim says:

    What neo-colonial trick will Obama try to play this time?
    ============

  11. ShrNfr says:

    No, but they think the average sucker on the street was.

  12. Mick Langan says:

    Ho hum, another tipping point.

  13. Stephen Brown says:

    Viner. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”
    Oh, really?

  14. Peter Miller says:

    The bottom line about carbon trading is that it is like being a hooker.

    You have something, you sell it, but amazingly you still have it, so you sell it again, and again, and again and…………………

    So in both instances, the seller keeps taking the cash for something intangible, while the buyer has a fleeting good feeling – not surprisingly, organised crime syndicates have come to dominate both these business sectors.

  15. Wendy says:

    I’d rather see it implode and fall in on itself. “Pull up a chair and bring your popcorn” kind of event even! ;)

  16. @Joel If you consume goods in country A, but outsource their production to country B, which country is responsible for the waste created?

  17. Of course, you can force people to buy carbon permits if they want to visit.
    Court Backs EU Plan to Regulate Jet Emissions WSJ Oct.7,2011

    The Court of Justice issued Thursday a preliminary opinion supporting an EU law forcing any airline landing at or departing from an European Union airport to hold permits to emit greenhouse gases.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203388804576614263383888984.html

  18. DT says:

    Joel Haq – good observation. I also love how our “historic” carbon emissions makes us “central” to the process. What can we do about the past? Aren’t China and India now the “central” parties in reducing the only emissions that can be reduced, future emissions?

  19. @Stephen Brown

    Yet another instance of the Al Gore Effect in action.

  20. Baa Humbug says:

    Peter Miller says:
    October 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm
    Brilliant. Do you mind if I pass it on?

  21. Bob the swiss says:

    European countries put all their money in the banks few years ago. They have so much debts that now they are looking for additional money … some more taxes … from us !!!
    There are so many taxes that the only way the people will accept few more is to afraid him and pay to save the planet.
    Every day one can found in newspapers wrong arguments justifying climate warming … yes newspapers continue to talk about warming !!! INCREDIBLE !!!
    In Durban E.U. will continue to push in the way to continue Kyoto protocol to justify additional taxes. They will have problems because Canada, Japan don’t want to continue and China + USA will not sign. Only EU (and Australia) will continue this agenda without meaning …

    Wait and see …

  22. Peter says:

    As far as I’m aware, it’s never, ever snowed in Durban – but there’s always a first time…

  23. TomRude says:

    Durban is a side show, just as is science since Copenhagen and climategate. The real battle is on 1) subversion through environmental action -Tides canada comes to mind-, anti capitalist actions 2) imposing policies such as in Australia or smart grid utilities.
    Eco totalitarians are past science as their tooll for coercion.

  24. Curiousgeorge says:

    These are diplomatic meetings. When diplomacy ultimately fails to achieve the stated objective after many attempts, there is only a single step left to try. Coercion. That also may fail rather spectacularly, as has happened in the past.

  25. Al Gored says:

    The Climatutes and their cheerleaders get yet another lively expense account holiday, so this could go on for years – no matter what.

  26. Jim Cole says:

    If only someone at these never-ending gabfests would have the courage to stand up and say
    “If climate change is the issue, CARBON DIOXIDE JUST DOESN’T MATTER!!”

    Now, that would be a catfight to watch1

    [but, of course, "global warming/climate change/climate disruption" is most certainly NOT the issue for these world gummint types]

  27. Let’s hope it comes apart at the seems. The unholy mix of politics and science needs to collapse upon itself.

  28. Athelstan. says:

    Son of Kyoto? Dear God, I hope not?!

    Kyoto, was a UN ‘land grab’ and, our incredibly idiot governments in Western Europe fell for it, hook line and sinker – I mean how stupid does it get? = the EU.

    In the UK, we’re stuck with a claque, comprising the dumbass alarmist [they all lurve AL Gore!] political elite and some of the most fanatical and ill-informed global warming loonies in the firmament.
    It has been their fervent desire to close what little remains of our industry and manufacturing base, for reasons which remain unclear, other than some bonkers rose tinted vision, of returning the nation to an agrarian backward Utopia.
    Indeed, the British government is planning to set a minimum carbon price of £16/tonne – it is an insane unilateral [bloody] suicide note.
    With luck, Japan, Russia and the USA will stick to their guns and torpedo any nascent emissions treaty – for the good of the whole world, let us hope that Kyoto currently [whoopee!!] at termination status and soon [2012 in Durban] – it will be interred – a disused coal mine would be most apt but maybe not deep enough!

  29. John from CA says:

    Amazing, so they created a carbon exchange that is closed to all but corporations and corporations found a work around. Go figure /sarc

  30. Thomas says:

    Note that this isn’t original reporting by the NYT — instead, the Times displays content from ClimateWire, which is part of E&E Publishing. The Times describes them as a “news organization covering environmental and energy policy”. http://www.eenews.net/cw/

  31. KnR says:

    There are still chances to make some very good money indeed out of selling ‘hot air’

  32. Oso Politico says:

    REPLY: It’s the “new guilt” we’ll have to buy carbon reparation certificates next for our past sins – Anthony

    I read this at first as ‘carbon repatriation certificates’.

  33. JeffT says:

    Information missing here is that Karen ‘Christiana Figueres’ Olsen, Executive Secretary to the UNFCCC is also an Al Gore ‘The Climate Project’ connector.
    From Wikipedia –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christiana_Figueres

    Paragraph headed ‘Lectures’, last sentence –
    “She has been trained and authorized by Al Gore to deliver his presentation An Inconvenient Truth.”
    Just love the connection !
    If Australia’s carbon tax bills (19 bills) that are being introduced at the moment, become law before December 2011, the Australian government representatives will take that to Durban COP17 and will ratify the Green Climate Fund and anything else they can get their signatures on.
    They did do business in Cancun COP16, only with less fanfare.

  34. Interstellar Bill says:

    The black-body law says that to raise T from 290 to 291K,
    an extra 5.5W/m^2 of heat must be supplied.
    IPPC says CO2 doubling reduces emission by 3.7W/m ^2,
    which only needs a 2/3 deg K temp rise to balance.
    The reality is that a negative feed back of 1.9W/m^2
    will reduce the actual temp rise to 1/3 deg K, essentially unmeasurable,
    easily swamped by the next Grand Minimum.

    That is why the IPCC has to posit a phantom 10+ W/m^2 per deg C
    of totally fictitious positive feedback,
    a value so high that the Earth through the geological ages
    could never have avoided a Venus-fate.

    The Warmistas slyly avoid any mention of this massive ‘deal-killer’.
    (Chanting ‘Higher temp means higher humidity means stronger greenhouse’,
    as if reality conformed to their wishes.)
    They’ll blather on at their forlorn Durban meeting,
    not realising that they’re as obsolete as the USSR in 1989.

  35. Gail Combs says:

    Stephen Rasey says:
    October 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Of course, you can force people to buy carbon permits if they want to visit.
    Court Backs EU Plan to Regulate Jet Emissions WSJ Oct.7,2011

    The Court of Justice issued Thursday a preliminary opinion supporting an EU law forcing any airline landing at or departing from an European Union airport to hold permits to emit greenhouse gases.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203388804576614263383888984.html

    ____________________________________________
    Sounds like a real good reason to remove the EU as a destination.
    I suggest Turkey and Norway beef up their airports and ground transport….. Of course with the EU economy going down the tubes who will be going there anyway.

  36. Gail Combs says:

    A friend of my hubby’s family visited Africa came home and died.

    Here is the partial list of diseases for South Africa:
    Diseases Found in Southern Africa
    Malaria….
    Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), African tick bite fever, a rickettsial infection, and African trypanosomiasis (African sleeping sickness)….Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, is found in fresh water……and high incidence rates of tuberculosis and high HIV prevalence rates.
    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/south-africa.htm

    I will be nice and not say anything more except Mother Nature has already shown she has a warped sense of humor at Copenhagen.

  37. Yes, yet another in the interminable series of tipping points. “Hey ma. Have we tipped yet.”
    “No but we’re not ‘sustainable’ yet either.” And so the ‘tipping point’ mantra competes with ‘sustainable’ for the most mentions per page or per press release. Glazed eyes notwithstanding, please come up with some new buzzwords. (Bored; yawn)

  38. RoHa says:

    Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban…

    Why don’t they have these beanfeasts in places like Detroit, Sunderland, Oodnadatta, Dzerzhinsk, or Mogadishu? It’d give them a chance to find out what the world is really like.

  39. More Soylent Green! says:

    Bruce says:
    October 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm
    “largest historic carbon emitter”

    But not the largest. China does 23.3% of world carbon emissions. The USA 18.11%.

    REPLY: It’s the “new guilt” we’ll have to buy carbon reparation certificates next for our past sins – Anthony

    BTW: They moved the goal posts again, since our emissions are down. It’s now emissions per capita.

  40. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    “South Africa is the tipping point in terms of the future of the climate regime,” said Tasneem Essop, international climate policy advocate for the World Wildlife Fund in South Africa.

    ….uh…what’s with the fascination of these folks for “tipping points”? Nature rarely seems to have absolute tipping points.

    If there WERE a tipping point in terms of the future of the “climate regime,” the signal event was Climategate. However, I don’t think these folks will go quietly into the night….

  41. davidmhoffer says:

    South Africa is the tipping point?

    1. I thought it was GUAM that was tipping?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/01/congressional-tipping-point-not-an-april-fools-joke/

    2. If South Africa tips over, doesn’t the rest of Africa hold it in place? Or are they so ticked off with Mugabe that they are going to cast South Africa loose?

    3. What do you use to attach a country the size of South Africa to the continent? Do they make zippers that big? Or is it velcro?

    4. If it actually tips, do they know if it will be from north to south or east to west? I’m thinking that with Dorothy having dropped a house on the wicked witch of the east, and thrown a bucket of water on the wicked witch of the west, that leaves a north south axis. But I thought it was a good witch axis. Who knew?

    5. Have they tried tipping Mugabe instead? Ever since he got on board they’ve been listing heavily to one side or the other in South Africa…. I hear some people were plotting to vote him off, but someone tipped him off and he tip toed over their voting rights steel tipped jack boots.

  42. davidmhoffer says:

    Oh wait. Mugabe is Zimbabwe not SA.
    He’s demanded money for climate change at the UN so many times…that it has made me stupid.

  43. chip says:

    Maybe it has to do with our money and trusting others with it.

  44. Don Wagner says:

    If those so called experts, politicians and hangers on, not to mention the usual dull-witted protestors stayed home, I’m sure the reduction in air travel alone would look after any carbon imbalance and the annoying background whine from the everpresent, self proclaimed morally superior “Green” movement would slowly die away as well.

  45. RossP says:

    Ban-ki Moon visited Australia & NZ recently. He was reported as saying the chances of a global agreement coming out of Durban were very small and he thought only way forward was with “regional initiatives” –whatever they are.

  46. Ian E says:

    ‘Bruce says:

    October 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    “largest historic carbon emitter”

    But not the largest. China does 23.3% or world carbon emissions. The USA 18.11%.

    REPLY: It’s the “new guilt” we’ll have to buy carbon reparation certificates next for our past sins – Anthony’

    Perhaps the Great O could show his credentials by making a full-and-frank apology to all developing nations for the carbon-evils conducted by former US presidents [ Would that be a Tea Culpa ? ]

  47. LJHills says:

    Durban has had a sub-tropical climate until now. The Gore effect is really going to tick off the locals.

  48. John Marshall says:

    Every climate conference proclaims a tipping point in the days before only to find that the prediction is wrong in the days after.

  49. Pascvaks says:

    The Chinese invented and perfected Water Torture millions of years ago; then they invented and perfected Addictive Dependency hundreds of thousands of years ago — first with rice, then opium, and now money. The beauty of the last one (for them, not their ‘enemy’) is that the more dependent you are, the more stupid you become, and the easier it is to lead you around by the nose. Why they can blow in your ear and whisper anything, and you’ll believe it because you think it was your very own idea. Who invented communism? Yep! Who invented Viet Nam? Yep! Who invented ‘Green’? Yep! Who invented the Muslim Spring? Yep! These guys are ‘smart’. They make you think you just gotta’ do something like invade Afganistan or Iraq and save the world, or get a new telephone every 5 minutes or camp out on wall street for no apparent reason at all. I’m telling you, we’re toast. This new UN Conference is not going to fail to produce the worst treaty ever, if that’s what those Chinese want. Mark my words! Pass the opium, will ya? I need to recharge my batteries. What? $10Trillion a hit? Give me a break, I’m a little short today, can I have another loan? Thanks Mao! You’re the best!(SarcOff)

  50. Scott says:

    At least currently these people are only taking millions instead of billions, how many climate conferences do you attend before you become bored even if its in exotic locations.

    They have also learned not to believe their press and go to Copenhagen during the winter.

  51. DD More says:

    Wealthy countries must agree unilaterally to cut steeper emissions, and poorer ones would cut carbon voluntarily after financial assistance from the rich.

    Since ‘Wealth’ equals Assets minus Liabilities, wonder who they are talking about.

    http://usdebtclock.org/

    At the bottom it shows total Assets at $78,352 Billion and Liabilities of $115,912 Billion
    We are not wealthy anymore.

  52. rbateman says:

    Aw, give ‘em a break. Right now, they’re mulling over the decision to switch to a new Kyoto Treaty, and this one will require Carbon Emitting shares. You get credits for helping to stop Global Cooling by how much CO2 you belch out, and debits if your factory does not meet it’s quota.
    You must act quicky, though, because as soon as the Climate shifts out of neutral, Carbon Belching shares are expected to surge through the roof.

  53. Walter Sobchak says:

    Why the Debate Over Global Warming is Academic
    Posted by Robert Rapier on Monday, October 10, 2011

    http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/2011/10/10/why-the-debate-over-global-warming-is-academic/

    “The U.S. and EU have reduced their global share of carbon emissions as well as their overall amount of carbon emissions over the past decade. There are several reasons for that, but the demand drop due to rising oil prices played a big role. However, the reductions have been totally swamped by increases in the Asia Pacific region. That same trend holds true for Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America (and I have created a graphic that details the carbon dioxide emission growth for each region). The Western world can debate and discuss all we want, but carbon dioxide emissions are going to be dictated by the developing world. In fact, all carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. and EU could go to zero, and it would only take us back to where emissions were in 1994 — and they would still be rapidly increasing.

    “Carbon emissions are declining across the developed world, but most of the world’s population resides in the developing world. Overall carbon dioxide emissions in developing countries are already higher than in the developed world, but per capita energy usage is very low. Thus, it is extremely hard to imagine any scenario other than carbon dioxide emissions that continue to increase at least until fossil fuels simply become scarce/unaffordable. This will largely be driven by countries like China and India that have huge populations who crave better living standards. Try to convince India that they have to reduce their carbon emissions when the average Indian consumes a fraction of the energy of the average Westerner, and they will probably laugh at you.

  54. TomB says:

    Athelstan. says:
    October 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2046961/Climate-change-zealots-wrecking-industry-Britain-possesses.html

    Along with your suicide note prediction, those in the UK impoverished by energy costs are now cutting back on food to make ends meet: http://news.yahoo.com/stores-see-no-relief-britons-cut-back-food-132336184.html
    “Sometimes you have to put aside just the pursuit of profit in the market in order to get back in tune with the nation,” Tesco chief executive Phil Clarke told the conference..
    Not that I want people to starve, but if you owned Tesco stock how would that statement make you feel? Would bankrupting Tesco best serve the long-term welfare of their customers? And this does nothing to address the underlying cause of the problem. Why do I feel like I’m reading Ayn Rand?

  55. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    They’re holding the next big climate conference in Durban, South Africa?

    Does Durban have enough drugs and hookers to host a UN climate conference?

    Don’t forget about possible STD’s. Will they have enough condoms? Are they carbon neutral? If made from natural latex obtained from rubber trees, is it Fair Trade?

    Are there any recommendations for how many carbon offsets to purchase if you smoke pot (or other drugs) at the conference? I’m waiting for California to lead the way in requiring them for medical marijuana users, but being as the pot is for medical uses it’s only proper the state pays for them, with the California state government pocketing the fees for the credits they issued that they themselves bought for the users. They should expect some good profits which should help their struggling state finances. However, carbon credits for a region should only be good for that region, California paper would be no good in Durban. So which credits do the attendees purchase to show they’re not insensitive callous Gaia-rapers?

  56. Duifka says:

    Christina Figueres…. isn’t she the daughter of a Central American president, or something like that?
    Born and fed on UN privilege and hubris.
    Isn’t she the lady that opened the Cancun shiver-fest with a prayer to the Mayan Earth goddess?
    And speaking of that, what would have been the delegates and MSM reaction had she invoked a Christian prayer? She would have been deposed for sure!
    Which tells me the attitude of all these elites: “native” is sooo cute! We use “native” to show how liberal and accepting we are of these little people, while guiding them with our superior intellect!
    Maybe she should invoke the Gore Effect at Durban this year! Spring snow in SA.

  57. Gail Combs says:

    RoHa says:
    October 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban…

    Why don’t they have these beanfeasts in places like Detroit, Sunderland, Oodnadatta, Dzerzhinsk, or Mogadishu? It’d give them a chance to find out what the world is really like.
    ___________________________________________
    Why not the picturesque town of Tomsk in Siberia. It is one of the oldest towns in the area and a recommended “destination” in Russia. I would think January would be a nice time to visit with transportation by Troika instead of limousine. Politicians after all should set an example.

  58. Brian H says:

    If the US has to pay reparations for past sins, how about billing China for future sins? Much more money involved, I’d warrant!

  59. ferd berple says:

    TomRude says:
    The real battle is on 1) subversion through environmental action -Tides canada comes to mind

    Funded by US money taking direct aim at Canadian economic interests. The same looney formula that has the US economy on the skids directed at Canada.

    http://209.205.95.211/joomla/green/index.php/trends/260-podium-vivian-krause-canadian-charities-funding-anti-oilsands-campaigns-

  60. More Soylent Green! says:

    Gail Combs says:
    October 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    RoHa says:
    October 10, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban…

    Why don’t they have these beanfeasts in places like Detroit, Sunderland, Oodnadatta, Dzerzhinsk, or Mogadishu? It’d give them a chance to find out what the world is really like.
    ___________________________________________
    Why not the picturesque town of Tomsk in Siberia. It is one of the oldest towns in the area and a recommended “destination” in Russia. I would think January would be a nice time to visit with transportation by Troika instead of limousine. Politicians after all should set an example.

    Why not video conference? Share documents over the Internet?

  61. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From More Soylent Green! on October 12, 2011 at 6:33 am:

    Why not video conference? Share documents over the Internet?

    Because you can’t teleconference the drugs and hookers. These conferences are about the perks, and the show. Who in the MSM would care about “snapping shots” for publication that they grab off a video stream?

    Gee, why do you think they’re even having these extravagant exotic shindigs anyway, to save the planet or something?

  62. YukonJack says:

    More Soylent Green! says:
    October 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    The problem isn’t whether our emissions are going up or down, or whether China’s and India’s are going up, it’s that we didn’t sign the agreement. Appearing to be doing something is more important than actually doing something. The symbolism is more important than the substance.

    BTW: Did they blame Bush (again) for not signing Kyoto? How about Obama? He didn’t sign Kyoto, either.

    I don’t think that either Bush or Obama could possibly sign the Kyoto Treaty, it was signed by the US government under Clinton’s authority. Clinton didn’t actually put pen to paper, someone else did, but the US is a signatory. The treaty was never ratified by Senate because Clinton didn’t send it to that body for consideration. So it sits there signed but not ratified. The Senate could have ratified it if they really wanted to any time in the past dozen years or so.

    Your point is still stand regardless, appearances are more important than substance. The other signatory countries have done nothing with more style so they look better.

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