Diary

Our Betters will tell us what to do concerning climate change

From The Wall Street Journal:

World Leaders Meet in Paris to Overcome Divisions on Climate Change

Tough negotiations lie ahead between rich and poor economies, high polluters and countries already suffering from rising temperatures

By William Horobin and William Mauldin | Updated Nov. 30, 2015 6:48 a.m. ET

PARIS—World leaders converged on Paris on Monday for international climate talks amid an unprecedented security lockdown, two weeks after gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in a string of terror attacks.

Heads of state and government from some 150 countries will speak in turn at a highly secure airport complex north of the city over the next two weeks in an effort to reach a global agreement on limiting emissions.

To get a deal by mid-December, negotiators must overcome differences between rich and poor economies, high polluters and countries already suffering from rising temperatures.

“Never, and I say never, have the stakes of an international meeting been so high, since what is at stake is the future of the planet, the future of life,” said French President François Hollande. “Yet two weeks ago here in Paris, a group of fanatics sowed death in the streets.”

One emerging sore spot in the talks is the level of funding that richer countries will provide both to aid the transition of poorer countries to cleaner energy and to finance efforts to stave off the early effects of a changing climate.

There’s a lot more at the link, but the really important point comes from William Teach at The Pirate’s Cove:

Bummer: Declining Support For A Tough Climate Deal

By William Teach | November 29, 2015 – 4:29 pm

Perhaps the “spreading awareness” and scaremongering have backfired:

From the link

Public support for a strong global deal on climate change has declined, according to a poll carried out in 20 countries.

Only four now have majorities in favour of their governments setting ambitious targets at a global conference in Paris.

In a similar poll before the Copenhagen meeting in 2009, eight countries had majorities favouring tough action.

The poll has been provided to the BBC by research group GlobeScan.

Just under half of all those surveyed viewed climate change as a “very serious” problem this year, compared with 63% in 2009. (snip)

Canada, France, Spain and the UK are the only four with majorities in favour of their governments taking a leading role.

Spain, Russia, and India (the report calls them stable, though it shows a 5 point increase), Turkey are the only countries which saw increases. Eight countries saw significant decreases. Even those they call “stable”, saw decreases (except for the aforementioned India).

There’s more at Mr Teach’s original, but the point is simple: while the Patricians know what’s best for us, we Plebeians tend to be more concerned with putting food on the table and paying our bills, and we know that whatever plan emerges from the Climate Change Conference will take more of our hard-earned money away from our families, for no tangible benefit.

Fortunately, the United States has been blessed with Republican control of both Houses of Congress, so whatever agreement President Obama signs will be rejected by the Congress, if he even bothers to submit it. He’ll try to impose as much as he can through executive orders, but President Fiorina — from my keyboard to God’s monitor screen! — will cancel those out on January 20, 2017.

Think back to 1998, when the Senate passed, unanimously, a “sense of the Senate” resolution, asking President Clinton not to sign the Kyoto Accords in anything like their then-present form, because Kyoto, if put into effect, would have cost real Americans real jobs, and made life more expensive for those who kept their jobs.

Think about it: 95 to zero, zilch, nada, nought. That’s because the distinguished Senators, Republican and Democrat alike, recognized that real people would have real concerns, and were far more concerned with putting food on the table and paying their bills and keeping their jobs than they were about a change in the climate that might occur, and if it were to occur, might not be preventable by any actions we could take.

If “public support for a strong global deal on climate change has declined,” it is because people are starting to realize that “a strong global deal” would mean that they would become poorer in real terms. It’s easy to support “a strong global deal” if you are wealthy or it isn’t going to effect you, personally; it becomes a little more difficult to support such if it means a hardship for your family and you.

Fortunately, our government leaders are subject to the will of the voters, and while President Obama doesn’t have to worry about re-election, the members of Congress do.
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