## COP26 in Glasgow

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As we all know (I hope), there is a huge conference coming up in Glasgow starting October 31st. This is the most important climate conference since Paris in 2015.

Interested in where we stand on the Forum. (By "concrete," below, I mean commitments that align with what scientists are recommending -- and that are binding.)
1. Will anything concrete come out of these talks? (30 votes)
Very likely
7%
Somewhat likely
17%
Neither likely or unlikely
0%
Somewhat unlikely
20%
Very unlikely
40%
Don't know
10%
Don't care
7%
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Virtually nothing would've been my response.

We'll get some nice slogans, some nice pseudo-commitments, which always get pushed back anyway. Almost certainly nothing legally enforceable, which is what should matter in these things.

We're running out of time. It would be nice if the 2030 date got pushed back, but nature is speaking. It will be interesting/horrifying to see (if one is alive) what these countries and companies will be spewing out circa 2025 or so.
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I would imagine they want to be seen to be doing something, so some tokenistic outcomes will probably be initiated.
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Something, yes. And no doubt starting a long line of somethings. The trick is going to be changing gears without at the same time stripping them. And given some of the expected changes, that will be no small trick. For example, I think the rich countries are simply going to have to open their borders for displaced persons and use their wealth to accommodate them. That is, no status quo anywhere is safe or untouchable.
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It doesn't matter what governments decide that much because they have limited power and I don't see people anywhere that people are willing to give up their freedom today for something they cannot fathom happening tomorrow.

If there is a focus on agriculture, the oceans, greater energy efficiency and on research & innovation in new tech. I think those combined would be a positive step.

A lot will rely on China, Russia and Germany I think. Given the current change in Germany we could see something more concrete established between Russia and Germany. I'm pretty sure Russian tensions are high because of the change in Germany and this could lead to some steps in the right direction.

I don't have any faith in the US government but from the US the billionaires who are actually humanitarian may be enough to counterbalance the stulted nature of the government in this area.

There has to be some serious technological advancements soon that can be exported to developing countries. Maybe solar and wind will help a bit more but the crux seems to be energy storage or just simply efficient use of energy. An agricultural revolution that can be exported to poorer nations would be ideal so anything in that area would be a useful focus imo.

The decent thing the US government could try and do is ban gas guzzling cars ... but I don't see that happening because it would require a more authoritarian rule (something that would be opposed with violence in the US by the citizens).

I certainly don't think the world should be looking to the US to do anything significant or view that nation as leading the way.

One thing is for certain. I DO NOT think anyone should be bullying countries like India. They have problems of their own and it is delusional to expect them to starve their people to death (more than they are already).
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Comment by Professor Donald Clark:

COP coming to Glasgow. Leaders staying at Gleneagles Hotel & 20 Tesla cars (£100K each) bought to ferry them 75km back & forth. Gleneagles has 1 Tesla charging station, so Malcolm Plant Hire contracted to supply Diesel Generators to recharge Tesla’s overnight. Couldn't make it up.
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On the fiddle while the world burns.

I don't see people anywhere that people are willing to give up their freedom today for something they cannot fathom happening tomorrow.

That is the problem, and that is why we have fantasists in government talking nonsense and making no decisions. It's past time to make some sacrifices or become the sacrifice. So far, emissions are still increasing, even through Covid lockdowns. We haven't even begun to reduce.

Cut out the beef, and reduce the demand for more rainforest to become pasture and reduce the methane.
Cut out the car, and use public transport sparingly. There is not enough old cooking oil to power mass tourism, whatever the New Scientist says.
Insulate.
Plant trees and re-wild.
Expect to become poorer and learn to live simple and consume little.
Vote green.
And HURRY UP. If you don't change your lifestyle, you won't have a life of any style.

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An agricultural revolution that can be exported to poorer nations would be ideal so anything in that area would be a useful focus imo.
Nice way to say this very important aspect. Yet do notice the huge political implications: modern agriculture is simply industrialized agriculture. It doesn't create jobs, the vast majority of those farmers and peasants (and their children) have to find work in other sectors. Subsistence farming has to go, it only extends povetry as in a prosperous country a subsistence farmer is the poorest of the poor.

Not an easy issue to handle, that's for sure.

One thing is for certain. I DO NOT think anyone should be bullying countries like India. They have problems of their own and it is delusional to expect them to starve their people to death (more than they are already).

So would bullying China then help more? I doubt it, especially when the country is suffering from blackouts. In fact, bullying Americans and Europeans hardly improves anything. Some like that some Greta Thunberg climbs on the podium to chasten the grown ups for not doing much doesn't help (ohhh...we are so bad). As explained well, a lot of the summit will be one huge theater piece.

And HURRY UP. If you don't change your lifestyle, you won't have a life of any style.
What I think the most important is to hurry up technological change and simply make renewable energy simply cheaper than fossil fuels. That's the real change.

You see, the problem is that poor countries cannot implement technological change, but prosperous countries can. They can invest in research & development of new eco-friendly tech and make the leap from the fossil fuel economy. Hence you have to have more prosperous countries, not less of them. And since at least for a while the global population is growing, or economies should grow (or we will have huge tragedies in the future). Unfortunately this thinking goes against the moral vision that prosperity is bad, globalization is bad, we should repent at our sin of consumerism...
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So would bullying China then help more? I doubt it, especially when the country is suffering from blackouts.ssu

I think you'll find in terms of poverty China and India are miles apart. The US, Europe, China and Australia cannot be 'bullied' as they are doing pretty damn well. China, US and Australia have to step up, and Europe needs to push harder too.

In India 1 million die a year of starvation related causes (prior to pandemic). MANY more are in extreme poverty now than before. Per capita India is nothing. Per Capita the US is WAY ahead of China.

These may be old but hey paint a picture: https://www.statista.com/statistics/270508/co2-emissions-per-capita-by-country/

Canada and Russia is understandable to a degree due to weather. Other high output have tiny populations, but can do much more.
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I'd expect something somewhat concrete to come out of it because at this point it would seem very hard to defend not doing anything concrete, but who knows... Whatever does come out of it, it probably won't be enough by a long shot though.
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I think you'll find in terms of poverty China and India are miles apart.

And what has been the reason why people aren't dying of famines in China anymore and why they are miles apart?

Economic growth.

Per capita India is nothing.
I wouldn't say that. India has finally started to grow. Thanks goes to abandoning socialist policies and embracing globalization.

(one statistics, with rosy forecasts. But notice that it's per Capita, so population growth is noted here)

A smart thing would be to give aid for India to use renewables and non fossil fuel alternatives in it's buildup of energy production and veer off from coal. A good way to understand just where the problem lies in the use of coal power can be seen from this interactive map "Carbon Brief".
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Carbon Footprint per capita (I wasn't talking money).
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Well, a bit of good news at least:

Dutch pension giant spurns fossil fuels as funds shift before COP26

Much more of this, would be of some importance.
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I hope LENR finally becomes a reality. I also know fusion is making progress on becoming a reality.
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Carbon Footprint per capita (I wasn't talking money).

Ah! Well, with more prosperity, India could truly modernize it's infrastructure. India is the third largest consumer of electricity and about 80% of it's electricity production comes from fossil fuels. As being so big as it is and having such potential, the climate change fights front line is in India. For 1 million not to die of starvation annually, I think it would be a good thing.
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We're running out of time. It would be nice if the 2030 date got pushed back, but nature is speaking. It will be interesting/horrifying to see (if one is alive) what these countries and companies will be spewing out circa 2025 or so.

They'll hang on to the bitter end. Look at where we are in the US congress. After this year (and many others before it) of wildfires, draughts, flooding, hurricanes, and billions of dollars spent on these disasters, over 99% of climate scientists saying time is running out, the IPCC saying we've already wasted so much time that much climate change is already locked in, the Lancet saying climate change is the biggest health threat to the world, the defense department saying it's the greatest security risk, oil companies admitting it's a huge threat, documents showing Exxon's own researchers knew what was happening back in the 80s, etc. etc. etc. -- what is the result?

The result is that the meager efforts to slash emissions -- the clean electricity program -- gets cut because of one senator who makes $500 thousand a year in dividends from a coal company. So they propose a carbon tax -- that gets cuts. And this is from a guy who claims he "listens to the science" and wants to "do something" to lower emissions. It's something you would expect in 1991, and it would have been ridiculous then. 30 years later, with the signs all around us and nearly everyone in the world in agreement that time is running out, and this is still where we're at. So clearly it's going to come down to the people, as always. If we don't wake up and organize, and either violently overthrow the government (which won't happen) or vote these people out while focusing on our local situations, we'll waste even more time. I see younger people getting off their asses, which is good -- but the fact that the Republican party, still a party of climate denial, has even the possibility of being elected anywhere in the US is probably the death knell. Who knows. I would imagine they want to be seen to be doing something, so some tokenistic outcomes will probably be initiated. Yeah -- see above. There'll be nothing done -- just words. It doesn't matter what governments decide that much because they have limited power and I don't see people anywhere that people are willing to give up their freedom today for something they cannot fathom happening tomorrow. People not only are bad at planning for the future, especially when it makes the present more inconvenient, but they're also inundated with climate denial and misinformation, and have been for years. True, over 60% or so of the US thinks climate change is a serious issue, but they've not prioritized it enough -- and that number is already much too low. And that's because of the Republican party and their media, especially the Koch brothers big push in the late 2000s. I don't have any faith in the US government but from the US the billionaires who are actually humanitarian may be enough to counterbalance the stulted nature of the government in this area. Maybe. We have Bill Gates and Larry Fink and maybe a handful of others. But I'm not sure that'll be enough. We need the Fed involved in all this as well, and thus monetary policy, since the American populace have been made too confused to vote their interests -- so fiscal policy is out (as we're currently seeing). Biden has a chance to appoint a new chair in the upcoming months -- there should be heavy pressure to get rid of Powell. COP coming to Glasgow. Leaders staying at Gleneagles Hotel & 20 Tesla cars (£100K each) bought to ferry them 75km back & forth. Gleneagles has 1 Tesla charging station, so Malcolm Plant Hire contracted to supply Diesel Generators to recharge Tesla’s overnight. Couldn't make it up. I think way too much is made of stuff like this. It's all you hear on Fox News. It's all you hear on the Internet generally. Who gives a shit. In the scheme of things, it's negligible. Good for headlines, but really a distraction. Whatever does come out of it, it probably won't be enough by a long shot though. Agreed. Well, a bit of good news at least: Dutch pension giant spurns fossil fuels as funds shift before COP26 Bill McKibben has good articles about this. The divestment movement is definitely a bright spot -- more and more places are divesting. However, others are coming in like vultures to pick up the slack. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/15/climate-crisis-cop26-bill-mckibben https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/26/opinion/climate-change-divestment-fossil-fuels.html On Tuesday, a little less than a week before the start of the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, activists announced that the fossil fuel divestment campaign has reached new heights. Endowments, portfolios and pension funds worth just shy of$40 trillion have now committed to full or partial abstinence from coal, gas and oil stocks. For comparison’s sake, that’s larger than the gross domestic product of the United States and China combined.

It’s gone far beyond Unity College. Institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge (and more than half the public universities in the United Kingdom) have committed to divest; so have the University of California and the University of Michigan. Most of the Ivies are on board now, as are Catholic powerhouses like Georgetown; in the last couple of months, places as diverse as Harvard, Loyola University Chicago and Oregon’s Reed College have joined in.

And by this point, divestment has spread way beyond colleges and universities. Enormous pension funds serving New York City and state employees have announced that they will sell stocks; earlier this year, the Maine legislature ordered the state’s retirement fund to divest; and just last month, Quebec’s big pension fund joined the tide. We’ve seen entire religious groups — the Episcopalians, the Unitarian Universalists, the U.S. Lutherans — join in the call; the Pope has become an outspoken proponent (and many high-profile Catholic institutions have announced they will divest). Mayors of big cities have pledged their support, including Los Angeles, New York, Berlin and London. And an entire country, even: Ireland has announced it will divest its public funds.

And some of the most historically important investors in the world have joined in too: A Rockefeller charity, the heirs to the first great oil fortune, divested early. Just last week, the Ford Foundation got in on the action, adding a great automotive fortune to the tally. This month also saw the first big bank — France’s Banque Postale — announce that it would stop lending to fossil fuel companies before the decade was out.

The battle to wind down the fossil fuel industry proceeds on two tracks: the political (where this week may or may not see action on big climate legislation from Congress) and the financial. Those tracks cross regularly — the influence of money in politics is clear on energy legislation — and when we can weaken the biggest opponents of climate action, everything gets easier. Divestment has helped rub much of the shine off what was once the planet’s dominant industry. If money talks, \$40 trillion makes a lot of noise.
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The poll results are not very encouraging. Countries will have to come up with plans for climate change mitigation/reversal and give assurances that these will be implemented complete with deadlines on certain agreed-upon targets. That the global economy is almost entirely carbon-based (oil, coal, gas) is going to be a major stumbling block.

That said, nothing motivates like a do-or-die situation. Climate change is a global emergency and we've all got a taste of what horrors lie in wait for us just 2 or so decades down the line if we fail to act and act now. Well, I'm feeling quite optimistic now.
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They'll hang on to the bitter end. Look at where we are in the US congress.

Yes. Agreed. Maybe it is using a term too broadly, but I think this is tightly connected to the neoliberal agenda, which, during this Pandemic at least, has shown some signs of weakening a little. Not nearly enough, but it's something. As long as people keep getting diverted by cultural issues of little survival significance, then money will do as it pleases.

I mean people are screaming about AOC, about as milk toast "left" as you could be in a European country, at least until not so long ago. If that's how they behave with like 5 or 6 members of congress, what on Earth would they do if the left of the Dems actually had, say, 30 representatives or more? I shudder to think.

but the fact that the Republican party, still a party of climate denial, has even the possibility of being elected anywhere in the US is probably the death knell. Who knows.

Herein lies the key. These people are just the embodiment of ruthless "bottom line-ism", all cleverly cloaked under nice sounding, meaningless names. The only way I can think of moving Republicans a little to the center, is to make Democrats actually come to the center-left.

With so much propaganda and misinformation and everything else, the task looks galactic in scale. I know that it can't be that hard in real life, but, these mega-corporations have to lose some power or it's over. It won't be gifted, that's clear, but how to take it away, when leftists fight each other is... perplexing.
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The poll results are not very encouraging.

Not that they mean anything but alot of people are, for good reason, pessimistic about climate change. I try to be hopeful about it all because I feel like I have to be, but I also have a "believe it when I see it approach" as well. In particular with respect to COP26 I'll be watching what the US is doing with regards to their infrastructure plans and how that will be received by other countries next month. At the very least it can't be any worse than the Trump years, where he was an easy scapegoat for other countries' inaction so there's that at least.
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:flower:
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I’m hoping that something good comes from it. If the attitude is, we’re lost and the governments can’t do anything, then we’re lost. It’s really depressing that Joe Manchin - one US politician - has more or less torpedoed the US’s best shot at really creating major change. He is a coal-miner owner and fossil fuel lobbyist. It's like the plot of some crummy movie, except that it's real.

Here's hoping. At least the conservative government in Australia, ten years too late, and without much conviction, is mouthing support. A year ago they would have denigrated the whole thing.
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India are not major contributors to the problem yet.
?

In reality total emissions matter, not per capita emissions. In fact having lower per capita missions means basically that these countries are even more important: they can easily increase their emission if and when the economy grows. It's the US and Europe where per capita emissions can fall.

The 20 countries that emitted the most carbon dioxide in 2018 (total)

1 China 10.06GT
2 United States 5.41GT
3 India 2.65GT
4 Russian Federation 1.71GT

And here's the US per capita carbon dioxide emissions. It's already happening in the US and Europe, the decrease of per capita emissions. India and China are really what we the World should focus on.

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The poll results are not very encouraging.

Think of the encouraging aspect of the poll. Nobody has answered "Don't care".
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I'm very pessimistic. The only way out would be a president who orders the placing of solar panels on every rooftop within a week, closes all carbon-exhausting devices, orders the construction of hydrogen production units, the construction of a distribution system thereof,
the replacement of all fossil-fuel-based engines by hydrogen ones (although an exception can be made for classical cars and boats), and the order to income-tax the 10 richest people of the Earth with 90%, mister Tesla with 99, for the financing. They will be left with enough material wealth. 90% of 100 000 000 000 is still 10 billion, for which I would settle) Huge fresh water from the sea extractors should be built in the dessert. To prevent the so feared water wars. t's as simple as that.
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Think of the encouraging aspect of the poll. Nobody has answered "Don't care".ssu

Indeed, at least people have figured out it's a do-or-die scenario. :up:
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An optimistic look at China ?

China will honour its climate pledges – look at the changes we have already made.

In the run-up to the climate conference in Glasgow, there are suggestions that without real participation and greater contribution from China, neither the conference nor the global response to climate change will get anywhere. The unstated worry is this: will China honour its pledges to reduce emissions?

This anxiety is unnecessary. Anyone who knows China well is sure that my country is serious about reducing carbon emissions and pursuing green development, and that we mean what we say.

In China, it is already a national consensus that “lucid waters and lush mountains are mountains of gold and silver” – an idea proposed by our president, Xi Jinping. Ecological conservation has been one of the “five prongs” of the overall plan for the country’s development since the 18th congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, the other four being economic, political, social and cultural development. This means preserving the environment is written into the guidelines of China’s governing party.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/27/china-climate-pledges-cop26-emissions
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Poorer countries spend five times more on debt than climate crisis – report
Charity says lower income countries handing over billions of dollars in debt is impeding their ability to tackle crisis.

Heidi Chow, executive director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, said lower income countries will be raising the impact of debt on their ability to tackle climate change at Cop26 meeting in Glasgow this weekend.

“Lower income countries are handing over billions of dollars in debt repayments to rich countries, banks and international financial institutions at a time when resources are desperately needed to fight the climate crisis,” she said.

In Glasgow, wealthy polluting nations need to stop shirking their responsibilities and provide climate finance through grants, as well as cancel debts.”

Over the last 20 years international bodies including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have encouraged developing world countries to fund development projects using bank loans and bonds.

Borrowers expected interest rates to fall over time as they became trusted to make regular repayments. But low income countries still regularly pay more than 10% interest on loans compared to an average 1.5 to 2.5% paid by rich countries.

During the pandemic, the IMF has provided insurance to lower a proportion of the debt interest paid by low income countries, though the scheme does not cover funds owed to China.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/27/poorer-countries-spend-five-times-more-on-debt-than-climate-crisis-report
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Interested in where we stand on the Forum. (By "concrete," below, I mean commitments that align with what scientists are recommending -- and that are binding.)

Before voting, do we have all the information about binding scientific recommendations ?

Will anything concrete come out of these talks?

There has always been a bit of a gap between talking and acting.
Don't have to look far in the UK for that. Think Tory Shit Flow... :rage:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/26/downing-street-to-oppose-raw-sewage-amendment-in-stand-off-with-lords

However, if lack of political will/action continues...then at least we have become more aware.
Differences can be made, if there's a will, there's a way. Or so they say....
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As we all know (I hope), there is a huge conference coming up in Glasgow starting October 31st. This is the most important climate conference since Paris in 2015.

Not all of us do know.

A go-to guide to see you through COP26, and get you up to speed on what it’s all about and why it’s so important.

https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/cop26-explained/
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