As has happened with every COP to date, the media is unquestioningly carrying hyperbolic stories about the doom climate change may bring to us. The reason is the approaching conference in Paris, COP 21, the latest in a series of conferences sponsored by the UN Framework on Climate Change. The purpose of this conference is to review the implementation of the 1992 Rio Convention. Scary stories may mean more money committed to the cause.
Before we get all carried away by the nonsense (for nonsense most of it is), let’s briefly look at what a good year this has been for those who actually pay attention to climate change.
Let’s actually start with 2014. CO2 emissions in 2014 were the same as in 2013, the first year that has ever happened without an accompanying economic downturn.
China and the U.S. agreed this year to work together on reducing emissions (more on that below). The top two emitting countries, accounting for almost 40% of global emissions, are working on reducing emissions. The U.S. committed to reducing CO2 emissions by between 26% and 28% by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. China pledged to have its emissions peak by 2030 or earlier.
To that end, the U.S. EPA has come out with new regulations that should lower emissions from electricity production and automobiles (if Volkswagen quits lying about them).
Yesterday the U.S. and China went further. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, “The U.S. and China on Friday announced significant steps in their efforts to combat climate change, including a pledge by China to launch a program by 2017 to cap some emissions and put a price on carbon and to contribute $3.1 billion to help poorer countries finance their own transition programs.”
This should cheer those in the climate consensus. The Konsensus Krazies will still whine–some of China’s $3.1 billion may actually end up financing modern, cleaner coal powered plants, much in the way Japan is financing cleaner coal in developing countries today. But for saner people, this is evidence that ‘business as usual,’ the epithet preferred by the loonies, is not what is happening in the world today.
Commercial notice: (And if you want a more complete examination of these phenomena, you can always buy my book ‘The Lukewarmer’s Way–Climate Change For The Rest Of Us‘.)
Despite the flood of ever-less credible scare stories about climate change, the Konsensus Krazies who have tried to dominate the debate and suppress opposing view points, the Konsensus Krazies who have tried to turn the respectable truth about scientific consensus (66%) to an imaginary 97% Thought Purity Program, the Konsensus Krazies who cheer when fools call for prosecution of dissenters… are being left behind by reality.
The Konsensus Krazies, far different from the climate scientists working hard to understand more about our climate and more about our effects on it, far different from the environmentalists working hard to remediate centuries of our abuse of the environment, far different from those in NGOs working hard to better the lot of the developing world… the Konsensus Krazies are content to sit and moan about the certain doom of an outlier prediction that looks less likely every year.