Geoff Sherrington analyzes the words in the Durban agreement, and finds a telling tale of politics, money and influence, but not one of probability, maths, food, shelter or freedom (which do not appear at all). The word science appears 6 times in 21,313 words. It’s the mere token excuse that underlies everything else. This is a legal style document, so it is to be expected that it’s dominated by “parties” and “reports” but given the uncertainties involved in predicting the climate, a rational document, designed to serve the people, would surely include statistics, cost benefits, and mentions of probabilities. But then, we always knew that the big greenhouse scare was not about the emissions or the atmosphere, but about status, power and money. — Jo
By guest author Geoff Sherrington.
The killing fields of Durban have produced agreement by many countries to one of the more extraordinary and preposterous documents one could read. It is so contrived by the UN that it is hard to know if it is the correct document, or maybe an unadopted working draft in progress.
The winners and losers at Durban were? The losers were the John and Joan Citizens of the World, who became poorer as the curtain fell on Durban.The winners, a group of wealthy, heartless individuals, many with (shall we say, to avoid libel) interesting backgrounds.The political war was won by the early placement of key people in positions where, after 2 decades of promotion, many became influential enough to dominate the political numbers. Of course, this tactic took money, because the common driver was money. The wealthy seek to drive change because more money can be made during change than in the quiet periods between.
Alas, at Durban, the science was not discussed in this document. Discussion was overtly political and the outcome overtly communist in the worst sense of that word. The word ‘science’ appears 6 times in this document of 300KB and 56 pages with a count of 21,313 words.
Here is one of the paragraphs about Science from the Durban document, with 2 of the 6 uses of the word ‘science’ from a total count of 21,313 words:
“(Previous work) recognizes that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet, and thus requires to be urgently addressed by all Parties, Recognizing that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required according to science, and as documented in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C above preindustrial levels, and that Parties should take urgent action to meet this long-term goal, consistent with science and on the basis of equity;……”
In the meantime, here is a simple word analysis of the content of the Durban document. For comparison, the word count use gives ‘and’ 175 times and ‘the’ 381 times.
Words that miss out completely.
- Food, Clothing, Shelter, Security, Freedom
- Law, Legislation, Justice
- Punishment, Penalty
- Excuse, Reason
- Wrong, Dissent, Doubt, Refund, Rebate, ReversalKeep reading →
Before Durban, however, depression was setting in:
climate change disciples…becoming depressed
An Island Adviser Sees Promise in Durban Climate TalksBy ANDREW C. REVKIN (NYTimes)
It feels like a bit of a stretch. But Mark Lynas, the author of “The God Species” and an adviser to the leadership of the low-lying Indian Ocean nation of Maldives, swears there could be meaningful outcomes when the annual climate-treaty talks, after a bland performance in Cancún, Mexico, open in Durban, South Africa, at the end of the month.
To get a sense of the man, here’s a talk he gave at the Slow Life Symposium in Maldives not long ago, followed by Lynas’s “Your Dot” take for Dot Earth on the role of small developing countries in addressing the greenhouse challenge:
From Mark Lynas:
Here’s a depressing suggestion: that the upwards spiral in global carbon emissions seems to be matched only by the speed with which the international negotiations to deal with the resulting climate change are unravelling. Gloom abounds. No one thinks that the ‘global treaty’ on climate that was heralded amidst much hype back in Copenhagen two years ago can be achieved this year in Durban….
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