The lips will be moving starting tomorrow at the climate talks in Doha, Qatar. There will be actual words spoken. But it is really just a ruse. Anybody with half a brain who thinks about CO2 emissions and climate change knows something for absolute certain. Nothing short of massive reductions in burning fossil fuels will have any effect whatsoever on CO2 emissions. And any such reduction will kill economic activity. It isn't even a question of stalling economic growth. We are talking about shutting down most economic activity period. Over 80% of global economic work comes from burning fossil fuels. Anything short of massive shut down is just pretending that there are things we can do to avoid catastrophic climate change like "reducing" our emissions by 10% by 2020.Given the rate at which we are seeing changes already, indeed the acceleration of such changes, it is clear that the greenhouse gasses we have already pumped into the atmosphere and oceans is enough to guarantee catastrophe.
The people involved know this is true. But they need to go through the motions in an attempt to keep the rest of the citizenry (or should I say consumers) from panicking. They will engage in "serious" talks about the needs for rich countries to help out poor countries adapt to things like sea level rise. They will make pledges to do better next time, but right now with the world economy in such poor shape, not even rich countries have the wherewithal to help themselves, let alone poor ones. They will work really hard to form a framework for the next round of talks, once again putting off the inevitable reality. They will kick the can down the road yet again.
They can get by with this simply because as yet nothing so brutally catastrophic has happened that can readily be tied to global warming so as to make the matter urgent. Sure Katrina and Sandy gave a taste of potential problems. The heat wave over much of the US this last summer portended bad things to come. But those bad things are still out in the future. We got through the latest inconveniences so no need to panic just yet.
People will go about their lives only mildly concerned at best. They will leave it to the negotiators and climate ministers to work out solutions. Somebody will invent something that will fix it all anyway!
I continue to watch this fiasco unfold. What a remarkable time in human history to be alive. We're sitting in deck chairs on the Titanic while some of the crew are busy moving other furniture around, we just watch the ship approach the ice berg. This is going to be interesting.