“We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut survived the WWII Allied firebombing of Dresden, Germany, when he was a prisoner of war. (Caption and photo Los Angeles Times)
U.N. Climate Talks Near End, With Money at Issue
By David Jolly
Published: November 22, 2013
WARSAW — The United Nations climate conference ambled toward a conclusion on Friday, with delegates
saying that the meeting would produce no more than a modest set of measures toward a new international
agreement two years from now. As usual, the biggest dispute was over money. (Entire article here.)
In this case the trees are dollars and the forest is the future of our children.
I live in town where Helen Keller once lived. The middle school is named for her and there are reminders of her peppered throughout the school and the town. I think of her often. It’s difficult to imagine the challenges she faced. We all know her story. She was both deaf and blind but that did not stop her from being able to see or from being able to hear. Or from being able to speak her wisdom.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
All of you folks at the UN climate talks (that includes you, Australia, and you, America and Japan and Canada and the list goes on)… listen up. Here is the latest report card on your progress (or lack thereof).
It’s not good enough. Not even close.
From the Voice of America
FINANCIAL DISPUTES HAMPER UN CLIMATE TALKS
November 21, 2013
WASHINGTON — Disputes over finances have hampered progress at U.N. climate talks in Poland as delegates debate how to best provide aid to help developing countries fight global warming.
Meanwhile, a small group of protesters outside the talks expressed displeasure over how financial issues have bogged down efforts to prevent climate change.
Developing countries are challenging wealthy nations to follow through on a pledge to allocate $100 billion a year to help them deal with climate change. The commitment is supposed to be in place by 2020, yet there is concern that industrialized nations are not living up to that promise, according to Simon Bradshaw, a climate change spokesman at Oxfam.
“The worry is that developed countries just have not delivered fast enough on the finance commitments that were made right back in 2009. We have seen very little new money on the table this year and we have not seen strong, credible plans from any country on how they are going to scale up their contributions,” said Bradshaw.
The talks on climate change are taking place as the Philippines continues to reel after being devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
The World Bank estimated that global economic losses causes by extreme weather — such as this storm — have risen to nearly $200 billion annually and could continue to rise as climate change worsens.
However, the talks have come at a time when many industrialized nations are trying to spur growth in their stagnant economies.
“We cannot have a system where there will be automatic compensation whenever severe weather events are happening in one place or other around the planet. You can understand why this is not feasible,” said Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Action.
Mary Sering, the Philippine representative at the talks, criticized the lack of an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.
“If we are to review our progress, would it be right for me to conclude that we failed miserably? Looking at science and how it manifested itself, not only at Typhoon Haiyan but also other events, like Katrina in the United States, the heat wave in France, the wildfires in Australia, and other extreme events occurring after observed increased warming, should we not be all ashamed being here?” asked Sering.
The conference continues through Friday. The group hopes to lay the groundwork for a 2015 climate agreement.