COP20 Climate Conference in Lima Calls for a Declaration of War on the Fossil Fuel Industry

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by Des Pensable 2014

There was a spectacular change in tactics at the COP20 climate conference last week which is likely to substantially ramp up the propaganda in the Global Warming War next year. The conference attended by 192 countries representing more than 90% of the world’s carbon emitters has changed its emphasis reflecting the seriousness of the situation and are calling for all countries to adopt a plan for Zero Carbon emissions by 2050.

“This isn’t a target that’s been dreamt up in Lima. All over the world, millions of people have backed the call for 100% clean energy, with grassroots campaigns rolling out in towns and cities everywhere to get emissions to zero. The world is waking up to the fact that a renewables revolution isn’t just possible, it’s inevitable.” says the international protest organisation Avaaz.

It’s also a clear declaration that the fossil fuel industry is the enemy of mankind and is effectively a declaration of war on the fossil fuel industry.

As Bill McKibben stated in 2013, “…the planet does indeed have an enemy – one far more committed to action than governments or individuals. Given this hard math, we need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization.”

The Lima conference was called by the UN as a matter of urgency as recent scientific data is showing that Global warming is proceeding faster than earlier models expected. It was meant to be a prelude to the 2015 Paris conference where it is expected that all the world will sign up to an action plan to mitigate Global Warming to keep the average world temperature from rising above the internationally agreed 2 degrees Celsius to avoid catastrophic climate change.

COP20 was not expected to make decisions on Global Warming but to create the agenda and choose the key areas for discussion and agreement at the Paris meeting. All the countries of the world have been asked to submit their country’s proposals by the end of March next year on what steps they are intending to take to help the world mitigate Global Warming and move the world towards the target of zero carbon emissions in 2050.

The announcement will likely cause shockwaves throughout the Fossil Fuel industry, as many like Exxon and BP have consistently maintained that it will be business as usual until the end of the century because they believe the politicians do not have the courage to bring in serious international Global Warming mitigation strategies.

On the other hand the scientific models show that if it is business as usual then the world average temperature is likely to rise by more than 4C which will likely cause a world catastrophe leading to the demise of our human civilisation.

The move towards a zero carbon emissions target for 2050 was strongly supported by the scientists and the governments of more 100 of the countries present but was obviously not greeted warmly by the fossil fuel producing countries including Australia. Even though the world’s biggest polluters, China and the USA did not want the zero emissions target included in the final draft of the Lima meeting the rest of the world demanded it be there for discussion in Paris and they succeeded.

Caring Australians will be ashamed of our contribution at the Lima conference. The delegation sent by the Abbot government included Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Andrew Robb, the Minister for Trade and Investment who is known to be a vocal Global Warming denier but not the Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt as Global Warming mitigation is seen by the Abbot conservative government as of a minor concern but a major danger to our fossil fuel export industry.

Australia was present as a prominent campaigner AGAINST action to mitigate Global Warming. In fact, it was argued that the express purpose of the Australian delegation appeared to be to disrupt the conference and attempt to block it from reaching any consensus.

It failed miserably as the world opinion of Australia has been trashed by the Abbot government following its hostile refusal to discuss Global Warming at the recent G20 meeting in Brisbane, its refusal to donate to President Obama’s Global Warming defence fund and its savage rebuke of the US President Obama’s mentioning Global Warming at a lecture while in Australia.

Further evidence of Australia’s denial and antipathy towards Global Warming action was presented at the meeting in Lima where the latest Climate Change Performance Index was released (see table below). It showed that Australia had the worst performance of all OECD countries and was the second worst of 61 countries being only slightly ahead of Saudi Arabia at preparing for the adverse effects of Global Warming- we should be ashamed.

Climate performance

Australia is the only country to get rid of a successful carbon trading strategy and go backwards on every strategy used to combat Global Warming. It has defunded most research on Climate Change and eliminated all government advisory bodies.   In short, the Abbot government is setting Australia up for a massive economic disaster and taken away its ability to adapt. No hostile foreign government could have done as much damage to the country’s ability to survive Global Warming as the Abbot government has done.

Australian Government Ministers Andrew Rob and Julie Bishop stated categorically that Australia will NOT sign up to a zero carbon emissions agreement.

Australian Greens leader Christine Milne said “Phasing out fossil fuels will be the global conversation in 2015 whether Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop like it or not.”

So why is Australia so against action on Climate Change? It’s all about money not about Australia, not about Australian people’s health or well being. It’s about foreign investor’s money. The Abbot government has been persuaded by the mainly foreign owned mining industry that Australia’s survival in the future depends on them alone.

This of course is absolute rubbish as they mining industry as a whole only employs about 2% of Aussies and adds about 5% to our income. While that is significant to our income, the damage caused by Global Warming is likely to be much greater.

Unless Australians can reverse the extreme denier attitude of the Australian government next year, Australia may well be considered one of the enemies of humanity after the Paris meeting. If this is the case we can eventually expect world economic sanctions and even hostility by our neighbours and allies and who would blame them?

The polls in Australia have found that the majority of Aussies believe that Global Warming is a real man made threat to Australia and its people. Two thirds believe Australia should take a leadership role in Climate Change mitigation.  A poll taken last week showed that the majority of Australians think that Australia is doing too little to combat Global Warming.

Soon Aussies will need to decide whether we follow the world and do our part to help mitigate Global Warming now considered the most serious problem in the world or become an irrelevant backwater of yokels clinging to anachronistic ideas spruiked by a delusional group of fossil fuel fools which we call a government.

 

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Des Pensable

Des is a native of Sydney where he currently lives with his partner Joanne. He has a PhD in neuroscience and worked as a biomedical scientist where he published widely in several areas of science. Since retiring, he’s been a keen writer of poetry, stories and philosophy which appear on his web, blog site and on line literary publications. He is also a performance poet that appears regularly in venues around Sydney.

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