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Cancun Success or Failure – Compared to What? – December 14, 2010

Cancun was not a surprise. Nor was it a failure. This much is easy to say.

But was it a success? This is a more difficult question. I used to have an irritating friend. Every time you made a strong, implausibly simple claim – something like “Cancun was a success” – he would reply “Compared to what?” It was a pedantic device, but it worked well enough. It made you think, which, I suppose, is why it was irritating.

Compared to what the science demands, Cancun was obviously a failure. The Climate Tracker crew made that clear in an evaluation filed before most people even got home… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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In Cancun, Begin with the Science – December 2, 2010

Just before COP16 began, the United Nations Environment Program released The Emissions Gap Report: Are the Copenhagen Accord pledges sufficient to limit global warming to 2° C or 1.5° C?

It’s gotten a great deal of attention, and this is a very good thing. Despite the glorious weather here in Cancun, the mood is grim. Tensions are high, so it’s good to have this sort of unambiguous framing – a clear reminder of the science – front and center. It helps everyone remember how high the stakes are.

The UNEP report basically consists of a meta-analysis of the various current studies of emissions pathways and their consequences. It’s… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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Who’s to Blame for the Impasse in Global Climate Talks? – November 5, 2010

From the upcoming Winter 2011 edition of the Earth Island Journal

The first thing to say about the climate negotiations this December is that they’re teetering at the edge of what, back in the day, we used to call a “legitimacy crisis.” On every side, people are eager to suggest that the negotiations have become a waste of time. It’s gotten to the point that folks are apologizing for going to Cancun, as if it were bad for their image to be seen at the climate talks.

The climate negotiations, to be sure, are a complicated mess, and the “blame game” now in full swing just adds to the confusion. In the United States, China bashing is much in vogue, and China… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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You Want Loopholes with That? – August 12, 2010

The take-away for Progressives from the climate legislation debacle

MarkeyThe bad news is that the climate/energy push just crashed and burned in the Senate.  The good news is that, in the wake of that crash, the US climate community is having a robust Big Think.  The last time we had such an exchange was back after what, for lack of a better term, I will call the Great Copenhagen Disappointment.  Which raises an interesting question – do we only debate, openly and seriously, after we lose?

If so, and judging by the situation in Bonn, where an inconclusive post-Copenhagen “intersessional” just shambled a bit closer to December’s rematch in Cancun, we’re up for another round… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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“The Bill” – July 28, 2009

Best short film about global climate justice ever!!

This little film ... ... isn't perfect, but damn is it good. Four minutes and 22 seconds, in German with English subtitles, but watch it anyway. Kudos to Germanwatch , and if anyone wants to pay for an English version, don't hesitate to call.

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by: Tom Athanasiou

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