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MikeRobinson
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Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 722
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Saturday, July 22 2017 @ 07:14 AM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi

There are zero enforcement mechanisms in the Paris Accords and all contributions are voluntary. That's why it is seen as a superior framework to Kyoto.

What we lost was a seat at the table, the ability to negotiate measures and outcomes, and trust in the ability of the US to commit to long term international coalitions. What we lost was credibility and leadership on a major global issue.



If it is “strictly voluntary” and has “no enforcement,” then why does it cost hundreds of billions of dollars to participate?   What, exactly, is all that money buying?   We should be able to sit down at any table and to talk about what our respective countries are going to do, and then go home and try to persuade our countries to do them, without purchasing an admission ticket.   I am skeptical enough and worldly enough by now to say that, the moment there’s lots of money sitting on a table for any reason, from that moment “it’s really just all about the money.”

Olympic athletes spoke much louder about the environment when they refused to go to China for health reasons.   The USA and other countries can sit down at spotlessly-clean tables and “talk about the environment” and feel really, really self-righteous about it, knowing that they have “out-sourced” their dirty manufacturing to China, where it is thought that there is both a cheap labor source and essentially no environmental regulation.   The problem hasn’t been addressed at all:   it has just been put conveniently out of sight.  

Fortunately, power in China is slowly slipping away from the (literally ...) old Communist Party, and there are new faces with new ideas in that country who are now ready to start pulling their nation out of those agreements and to otherwise clean up their act.   (Even old Communists are now saying, “Asia is for Asians.” )   As well they should.   After all, they live there.

Master Yoda also had something good to say about the environment:  
“There is no ‘try.’   [‘Talk’ ...]   Only ‘do.’”
chikoppi
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1971
Location: N/A
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Saturday, July 22 2017 @ 09:04 AM CDT

You can actually read the treaty and history of the negotiation process. You could at least read the Wikipedia page:

Furthermore, there will be no mechanism to force a country to set a target in their NDC by a specific date and no enforcement if a set target in an NDC is not met. There will be only a "name and shame" system or as János Pásztor, the U.N. assistant secretary-general on climate change, told CBS News (US), a "name and encourage" plan. As the agreement provides no consequences if countries do not meet their commitments, consensus of this kind is fragile. A trickle of nations exiting the agreement may trigger the withdrawal of more governments, bringing about a total collapse of the agreement.

Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets commitment targets that have legal force, the Paris Agreement, with its emphasis on consensus-building, allows for voluntary and nationally determined targets. The specific climate goals are thus politically encouraged, rather than legally bound. Only the processes governing the reporting and review of these goals are mandated under international law. This structure is especially notable for the United States—because there are no legal mitigation or finance targets, the agreement is considered an "executive agreement rather than a treaty".

Institutional asset owners associations and think-tanks have also observed that the stated objectives of the Paris Agreement are implicitly "predicated upon an assumption – that member states of the United Nations, including high polluters such as China, the US, India, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Indonesia and Australia, which generate more than half the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, will somehow drive down their carbon pollution voluntarily and assiduously without any binding enforcement mechanism to measure and control CO2 emissions at any level from factory to state, and without any specific penalty gradation or fiscal pressure (for example a carbon tax) to discourage bad behaviour."

That's what negotiation and diplomacy is, "Will you agree to do X if we do Y?" The US made commitments to carbon and spending goals and in return other nations made commitments that we wanted them to make.

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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MikeRobinson
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Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 722
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Saturday, July 22 2017 @ 01:49 PM CDT

Like I said, “so, what has cash(!) got to do with it?”

Others have recently asked the same question, for example, here, and I think that it is a perfectly valid question:
But for many that remain in the accord, the demands for cash are fueling the argument that the Paris agreement, at its core, is as much about redistributing international wealth as it is about saving the planet from climate change.

Supporters of the deal routinely point out that 193 countries have signed on.   Although that is technically true, the vast majority of commitments offered in Paris would result in emissions increases or would require billions of dollars in funding — or, in many cases, both.

“Claiming that 193 countries signed on is a meaningless statement, which is likely why it’s made.   The meaningful way to view it is that 193 countries agreed that the U.S. should harm itself and to gladly pay on Tuesday for the U.S. to harm itself today,” said Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a leading critic of the Paris pact.  “There’s a stark difference between agreeing to sign on to Paris and agreeing to do something, to undertake pain.   In essence, they rented their signature for the promise of Paris-related wealth transfers.   But for them to promise to do anything beyond take our money and impose the agenda, too, would really cost us.”

Unlike much of the developing world, major countries such as the U.S., Russia and China did not make their commitments beholden to international financial support.   The U.S. vowed to cut its emissions at least 26 percent by 2030 compared with 2005 levels; Russia made a similar commitment.

China said it will hit peak emissions by 2030 and then begin reductions.   The European Union is aiming for a 40 percent cut by 2030 versus 1990 levels.

Other developed countries, such as Canada and Japan, also did not make their promises contingent on financial help.

But for the vast majority of the countries, their promises aren’t feasible without a major influx of money.

I am sorry, but I remain quite unimpressed.

An awful lot of “‘feel good’ things” in this world really do “feel good” until ... and, unless(!) ... you start to very-seriously examine them.   (For instance, unless you actually bothered to read(!) the actual text(!!) of the actual bills(!!!) (as you can in fact do at any time, at http://thomas.loc.gov), you might still innocently believe that the Congress is actually proposing to “repeal Obamacare!” )

Unfortunately, as is so-often the case, truth is usually ugly.

And, hey, let’s just get right down to it:   “exactly why is China producing all that pollution?”   Answer:   to fulfill a contract that they made with <<insert_country_name_here>> to do that country’s “pollution-producing producing” for them, so that representatives of said country could go to Paris with their(!) noses spotlessly clean!

No one pollutes their own country because they feel like doing so.   They only do so in search of profit.   Anything which looks upon the matter at any level which does not very-soberly consider (misguided ...) business(!) imperatives is a waste of time, because, at the end of the day, every polluter is doing so to make money ... as he sees it ... for himself and for his shareholders.
chikoppi
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Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1971
Location: N/A
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Saturday, July 22 2017 @ 04:09 PM CDT

Mike, I don't think you're assessing the complete picture.

Developed economies for many, many decades reaped the rewards of unrestrained carbon pollution. The US was the largest global polluter for the entirety of the twentieth century. China didn't surpass the US in carbon emmissions until 2005, despite having 1.38B people compared to our 0.32B. They still pollute far less per capita.

http://www.wri.org/blog/2014/05/history-carbon-dioxide-emissions

We all share the same atmosphere and global climate. In 2007 the total emissions of developing economies surpassed the emissions for all developed nations combined (UNFCC "Annex I" regions). The carbon South Africa emits doesn't stay in Africa.

We now want developing nations to prioritize environmental concerns over economic expediency. We're asking them to make present and future sacrifices to help clean up a problem we were disproportionately responsible for creating.

And by the way, don't be confused by that $100B by 2025 number. That's not a cash transfer. That's a commitment by all signatories, lead by developed nations, to increase net global commitments to domestic mitigation efforts.

As the world's developing economies increasingly industrialize we want them to avoid the same dramatic ramp in emissions that we were responsible for. Actually getting that done requires we have some skin in the game.

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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MikeRobinson
Forum Full Member


Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 722
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Monday, July 24 2017 @ 12:40 PM CDT

Chikoppi, I just am of the opinion that “feel-good treaties” like this one are both expensive and unnecessary.   Every nation is responsible for itself.   Every nation’s government has or should have an environmental regulatory body that is accountable to its own people.

Internationally, we can meet and we can agree.   But, I do not think that we need to construct para-governments by treaty.   We do not need and should not have entities (for trade, for climate, or for any other reason) that over-arch the level of sovereign governments and dictate terms to them.   I don’t think that we can construct “world government-like” entities that will ever be successful, due to the lack of accountability, and I don’t think that we should (help) pay for them.   Whether the premise “feels good” or not.

You may not know that I grew up next to Chattanooga, Tennesee, which in the 1960’s was called the most-polluted city in America.   To this day, this city has an “Air Pollution Control Board” whose standards helped to define the Clean Air Act, and whose standards today are more stringent.   I vividly remember when a reporter walked four blocks downtown with a white handkerchief over his nose.   The front-page picture was of a handkerchief with three black spots on it ... two for the nostrils, one for the mouth.   But the City determined to do something, and they led the Nation in doing it.

What the “civilized countries” did was to merely shove all the dirtiness to China.   And, I think, a new generation of Chinese people is about to shove it right back.

One issue that these treaties too-conveniently gloss over is why a particular country is polluting:   are they doing it for their own purposes, or are they doing it for export?
chikoppi
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1971
Location: N/A
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Monday, July 24 2017 @ 04:24 PM CDT

@Mike

I don't think you and I are actually disagreeing.

The Paris Agreement was the culmination of nations getting together and asking the question, "what are we going to do about climate change?" The result was a blueprint of what responsible action looked like and how everyone should be contributing if we're going to achieve the intended goal. It's a standard against which the international community can point to to say, "Hey, you aren't pulling your weight."

Some treaties are more strategic. The NATO mutual defense commitment has been extremely consequential during the post-WWII era.

@ktb

https://medium.com/the-mission/the-enemy-in-our-feeds-e86511488de

This article lays out the targeting of click-bait quite well. Bear in mind that the same information is often "sold" to different readers with different positioning based on existing biases, which serves to reinforce rather than challenge preconceptions.


“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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MikeRobinson
Forum Full Member


Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 722
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Tuesday, July 25 2017 @ 09:21 PM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi
@Mike
I don't think you and I are actually disagreeing.



I don’t think so, either.   The question is, what is an appropriate international response?   I don’t think that we need this treaty, and in general I don’t think that treaties such as this one are a good strategy no matter what the justification.   I think that “para-government organizations” are both unworkable and unnecessary ... and that, in this particular case, their view on the root cause(!) of the problem is insufficient and therefore flawed.

Environmental pollution is not an abstract issue, and people do not pollute their homeland because they like filth.   They do it for money, and it is likely that the people who are paying the money are doing so in order that their(!) pollution will be “anywhere else but here.”
chikoppi
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1971
Location: N/A
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 26 2017 @ 12:19 AM CDT

Yes...but. The particulars in this case are relevant.

There is no "para-government" anything here. If you and I are neighbors and I say, "Hey, I'll agree to turn the music down at a reasonable hour if you agree not to mow your lawn before 10am," that's just bilateral negotiation. You can't make me turn down the stereo and I can't keep you from starting the mower, but we agree to work together in good faith. That's the Paris Agreement.

Carbon and other greenhouse gasses are not regional. People aren't just "polluting their homeland" as the atmosphere is a homogenous and global resource. Carbon released in Mozambique has the same effect on global climate as does carbon released in Montana. We need all nations to work at reducing emissions if we are going to draw down the global output.

I agree that there is a financial incentive to ignore carbon costs. That's why there needs to be transparency and accountability. Without it, no one will trust that others are pulling their weight and nothing will get done.

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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MikeRobinson
Forum Full Member


Registered: 08/29/11
Posts: 722
Location: Chattanooga, TN United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 26 2017 @ 09:01 AM CDT

“Okay, the defense rests.”   I just don’t think we need to be a part of what Paris was becoming, or had become.   Although the issue of pollution is of course global, I don’t think that Paris will be an effective or necessary part of addressing the issue, and I for one am glad to see that the USA won’t participate.

Yes, carbon emissions do have a strong financial incentive ... and what is happening right now is to “out-source” the dirty stuff, instead of forcing it to be cleaner wherever in the world it is.   Paris feels good, has all the political warm-fuzzy you could hope for, and a lot of money.

NPR: The Paris Climate Accord – What Is It?

“The Developed World” was to provide $100 Billion a Year to “Developing Countries,” in order to help them clean up their act, and this number was a floor.   I’m sorry, but that’s an extremely large amount of money in play, not accountable to the Government therefore to the People of any participating nation, and without clear specification of how and on what the money is actually to be spent.   Whereas, we could make very good use of that money within the United States, within the context of the US EPA that we already own.   Implicit, also, in this money-giveaway rhetoric is that “developing countries” are actually the root cause of the problem and that vast sums of money would not simply be frittered away in graft and corruption.  

Also, I think that the day will soon come when China, in particular, is no longer willing to continue to be “the smokestack to the First World,” far enough away to be out of mind, polluting their part of the world in fulfillment of other people’s manufacturing contracts ... people who therefore get to live in much cleaner places.   There’s a reason why China, India, and South Korea get to skate along:   the United States moved much of its once-domestic steel manufacturing industry there, along with many other industries that seriously pollute the air.   It then imports the squeaky-clean product.

Yes, environmental pollution remains a serious global issue.   But I am not persuaded that this treaty would ever have represented a solution for it, nor even a significant advance.   We should not pledge vast sums of money without first(!) stipulating exactly what this money is going to buy.   And, if a Government is supposed to be responsible for paying, that Government and its People should be the one to act, directly.   It is unwise to pay vast sums to anything if you cannot yourself direct exactly where it goes and receive an accounting.

I happen to agree with Mr. Trump’s assessment that the United States has allowed itself to become party to some really bad agreements, and that it should re-assess and re-negotiate many of them, or simply walk away.   In the case of the NATO Treaty, which does remain important, adjustments should be made and are being made to each participant’s financial obligation to the collective:   “Pay Up!”   Nations should ask much harder questions about their treaties, than they now do.
 
particledots
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Registered: 05/25/09
Posts: 1542
Location: , United States
 
Re:Brace for Impact
Wednesday, July 26 2017 @ 09:02 AM CDT

Quote by: Daugrin


Nothing unusual happened. Maybe you could relax a little? In deference to your stern, heart felt warning, please keep all informed if ya feel something hit.

Daug



https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/25/i-am-livid-trump-criticized-for-odd-disjointed-speech-to-boy-scouts