Saturday, August 22, 2015

100 Days to Paris

As of today (Saturday), there are 100 days to go before representatives from around the world get together in Paris for the latest round of climate change negotiations. Known as COP21, you would think there would be no news here. After all, the 21 in COP21 means this is the 21st time we've done this. But, I think things might be different this time. There is more of a public demand for action now than in the past and you can see it in the way the various nations are acting. But, most importantly, countries are announcing in advance the steps to which they are committing. Instead of showing up and negotiating, the cards will be on the table long before anyone heads to Paris. I am not as optimistic as John D. Sutter at CNN (read his excellent article here), but I am guardedly hopeful.

One thing I think will be different this time is I believe this transparency in advance of the conference will undermine the efforts of deniers to sabotage the conference. In the past, they have pulled some criminal stunts to blow up the efforts (Climate Gate) and did so successfully. You have to assume they are working as hard as the fossil fuel money can drive them to come up with something new. This time, with the base work being done over a long period of time well in advance of the conference, the deniers will be faced with a much more difficult task. Plus, I believe the efforts in the past have backfired on them. There are the cult followers who still insist ClimateGate exposed a conspiracy, but nearly everyone not wearing a tin hat understands the deniers really demonstrated their true nature.

In any event, the next three months will interesting.

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