Trump fiddles while Paris burns but is criticism cheap hypocrisy?

By   /   June 4, 2017  /   18 Comments

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In short, Paris was a complete failure to begin with because it simply did not go anywhere near far enough. Trump pulling out is the least of our concerns.

Donald Trump and his climate change advisors. 

So Trump has pulled out of the Paris Climate Change feel good.

What an arsehole eh?

Let’s be clear, the only reason Trump has done this is because of the culture war in America. This isn’t a decision based on economics or science or even reason, the Paris Agreement is a casualty of the vicious culture war that sees climate change as a dividing line between the educated and the ignorant.

Trump’s voter base are an ocean of ignorance, after ongoing open war with the media and the constant  Russia investigation, Trump needed to show his supporters that he’s still on their side, even if that side means sacrificing American leadership and burning all the books.

But is the withering global criticism just cheap hypocrisy?

Here’s the truth.

Global warming caused by human pollution is real, it’s here, it’s now and it’s far worse than we acknowledge.

The achilles heel of free market globalisation is its constant demand for growth. What happens when that growth demand is larger than the biospheres ability to provide for that growth? Well we are about to find that out.

Normally the planet takes hundreds of thousands of years to get up to the CO2 levels we have now, we have done that artificially in the space of 2 centuries. We know from the historic record that when CO2 builds to these levels, it can create dramatic and catastrophic climate change in the space of decades.

We have no idea of how severe that catastrophic change can be when it’s artificially accelerated in the manner we have caused.

What we can say for certainty however is that the Planet and we as a species are in more danger than we have ever faced.

From a feel good perspective Paris was a success, from the reality perspective however, we are now seeing in real time climate change at a speed far faster than the IPCC has predicted. Frozen methane coming off the ocean floor, the thawing of permafrost, the slowing of the ocean current and the massive meltdown in Greenland and Antarctica required a response that puts the entire planets economy on a war footing, what we got from Paris was a twitter storm of self congratulation.

In short, Paris was a complete failure to begin with because it simply did not go anywhere near far enough. Trump pulling out is the least of our concerns.

We need to understand and comprehend that we are beyond the tipping points and are now seeing run away forces take over. Our only possible way forward is a focus on adaptation yet our political, economic and cultural system is in denial and our scientists regularly gagged.

When the methane time tomb explodes the pretence will be over. The realities of climate change will over take the political denial and force a radical agenda, because by then climate change won’t be the petty casualty of an American culture war, it will become an issue of survival.

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18 Comments

  1. David Stone says:

    The Trump team explanation for the withdrawal is that the vast majority of the costs will fall on the economy of the US , to the advantage of the other participants. This is conceivable. They quote the reductions in the production of energy intensive industries; steel , concrete, etc that US was to make. Were the reciprocal reductions in world wide use of these commodities described in the PCCA ? I doubt it. If this side of the equation is not addressed in the text then someone else is going to have to fill the void in production that the US reductions produce. How sad for them.
    It could be that Obama’s administration felt that failure to sign the agreement would cost them severely in US domestic popularity with an election coming up, and were therefore in a very weak negotiating position.
    D J S

  2. Sam Sam says:

    Further more the brain sapping Military industrial complex is having a terrible effect. They don’t tell you when you migrate to America to try and avoid the bullets because it is expected you learn these things upon you initiation into the United States. The evidence is plain for all to see? Dr Michio Kaku said once that America has a secrete weapon and it’s the H1B student visa. And it surley does kill.

  3. XRAY says:

    Admired by none other than Mike Hosking for his decision, Trump turned his back on what was a pointless, empty non event. Paris was a cowardly surrender to self interest.

    Maybe Mike liked it for what it was, Trump didn’t pretend to care, didn’t fake doing something about climate change but do the opposite like New Zealand, he just gave the finger to the world.

    So what have we done as a nation in the last decade? Nothing except get worse! National neutered the carbon credit scheme to point of pointlessness to protect short term profits, especially for their farmer voters and then set about dealing in fraudulent carbon credits. We are truly awful as a nation.

    And yet now National are expressing/feigning their disappointment in Trump. Do the media question these crocodile tears, they do not. Do they question what we have done to improve our corner of the world for climate change, nope, not a whimper.

    Sadly New Zealand is the flag bearer and world leader for not giving a flying shit about climate change, Trump and his Republicans are just the latest.

    • David Stone says:

      There might have been some practical considerations here in re farmer contributions.
      With methane being 20x to 40x more effective GHG than CO2, the cost to
      farmers to address this emission through the carbon credit system, presuming credits were to be priced at a level that could possibly provide any incentive for any overall emissions reduction would simply close down the NZ dairy industry. That is a big action for a government to take. in a country so dependant on the export economy. Who’s children,? where get to not have milk? But they would still get it, It would just be produced by someone else.
      There is no prospect of the modern world figuring out any way of cooperating to reduce emissions to a level that will slow GW. The changes to modern world that are necessary are far more dramatic than any democratic government could survive. And all governments would have to.
      Global warming won’t stop until it’s effects kill off enough life to reverse the direction. That will most likely include all human life.

      • David Stone says:

        carrying on.
        Having offered my opinion on the likelihood of the world’s governments ever coming to grips with the problem, the sacrifice of half of export earnings , maybe much more , is the order of action that all countries would need to take . That makes it so unlikely that an adequate international agreement will be achieved. NZ could survive better than most countries in taking the necessary action on our own. We would be demonised and ostracised by the rest of the world for all the trade, investment and financial agreements we would have to violate in order to keep a balance of payments, but we do have nearly everything we need here and it would set an example that other nations would have to respond to . Neoliberalism and trade agreements have to go before anything international can start, and the incumbent winners of that philosophy would rather we all cook, themselves included, than that that should ever happen.
        D J S

  4. cync says:

    Maybe “Paris” is “fiddling” while London bridge is burning down.
    What is the greatest threat to life as we know it.
    There is an achievable outcome to both.

  5. Otton Mann says:

    Trump’s term will be for 4 years and then he’ll be thrown out. The next US administration can pick up where Obama left off and Trump’s idiocy can be seen as a minor “hic cup” in the scheme of things.

  6. Sam Sam says:

    The bridge will hold

  7. Robert Atack says:

    Good to see you are up to speed Martyn
    When are you going to point out Kiwisaver is a crock?
    Cheers

  8. Robert Atack says:

    I would like to see the pig ignorant masses come to the understand that the above is unavoidable, and according to some fucking eminimant.
    It’s going to be a bloodbath, and with the denial out there, we will be tripping over cadavers, before we start to react.
    We had a chance say back in the 90’s to start bring the people up to speed, we could have set up local coops/gardens/neighbourhood watch etc.
    But no one is interested.
    We could have put a halt to immigration for one thing.
    Bygones

  9. Afewknowthetruth says:

    The science of overheating via CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels was understood over a century ago (Arrhenius).

    By 1970 it was clear that industrialised nations needed to reconfigure their economies and progress rapidly towards sustainability: the bankers and economists wouldn’t have a bar of it and demanded the Earth eventually be rendered uninhabitable in order that their Ponzi schemes could be kept going a few more decades.

    Atmospheric CO2 is now about 180 ppm above the long-term average and about 130 ppm above the pre-industrial norm.

    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/wp-content/plugins/sio-bluemoon/graphs/co2_800k.png

    The ‘plan’ is to continued burning fossil fuels until they cannot be acquired and render the Earth largely uninhabitable in a matter of decades via CO2 emissions.

  10. saveNZ says:

    +100 “In short, Paris was a complete failure to begin with because it simply did not go anywhere near far enough. Trump pulling out is the least of our concerns.”

    Politicians hide behind these talkfests to avoid taking the hard measures. Funny enough, if politicians really want to get something done, nukes, mass surveillance, illegal wars – even school lunch reform, no problem to get it done quickly and at any cost.

    Politicians seem less keen on being a leader on action for common good.

    Unfortunately one of the pitfalls of our neoliberal society is everyone is encouraged to be like a short term asset trader or CEO, just look after number 1, talk the right talk but essentially delay any decisions that look difficult and costly that will benefit others in the future not yourself today.

    In short, get those bonuses, don’t worry about any long term stability!

    So no decent jobs for many people today, no planet or environment as we know it, left for kids of the future.

    But gold shower curtains, private planes, super yachts, global real estate and luxury car fleets for a few, often multinational corporation heads and full offshore banks accounts for local politicians.

    As a society we have to decide is it really worth it – or should we try to kick those politicians to the curb?

  11. Archonblatter says:

    @AFEWKNOWTHETRUTH

    “The science of overheating via CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels was understood over a century ago (Arrhenius).”

    Correct. Just reading a book by Elizabeth Kolbert called ‘The Sixth Extinction.’ It’s likely the earth will be inherited by giant rats. When one thinks of Hosking and all those like him it seems not much will change.

  12. Sally's Husband says:

    “When the methane time tomb explodes the pretence will be over. The realities of climate change will over take the political denial and force a radical agenda, because by then climate change won’t be the petty casualty of an American culture war, it will become an issue of survival.”

    All that methane trapped in the Russia tundra. When it starts to leak out, all hell will break loose. Let’s see Trump and Bannon bluster and tweet their way out of that crisis!

  13. Andrea says:

    Paris was the skit following the farce at Rio. The tragedy comes later.

  14. Iain Mclean says:

    Martyn;

    It’s time to put some balance to Politically Correct MSM Indoctrination Narrative.

    Trump might have dumped the ‘Paris Accord’ but, as with all unfair agreements,
    he says he wants to renegotiate it. That’s why he dumped the TPPA as well.

    See below;

    Listen to Trump speech for horrific stats of the amount of $$$(and more)
    it is costing all of us. History in the making!!
    https://www.infowars.com/historic-trump-rejects-paris-climate-treaty/

    Full speech, with no interruptions, that we never get to hear.
    https://www.infowars.com/trump-pulls-out-of-climate-accord-i-was-elected-to-represent-citizens-of-pittsburgh-not-paris/

    “Powerful Full Speech Destroys Carbon Tax Scam”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCbFXQEPTlQ

    In writing at start.
    NZ will be contributing to this “Green Fund” as well.
    The money is really intended to fund “World Government.”
    Antarctica ice shelf is at record high – NASA.

    “Full Show-Bilderberg Elites Plot Trump’s Downfall” 2/6/17
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZQ9s7cygPc

    One of the things you may have right “…..our political, economic and cultural
    system is in denial and our scientists regularly gagged.”

    You can certainly bet on that.

    As for ice caps melting, Antarctica is not. It’s growing!- NASA’s own documents.

    From NASA’s own data base.
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/nasa-study-mass-gains-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-greater-than-losses

    https://www.infowars.com/nasa-data-proves-trump-right-to-exit-paris-climate-accord/

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/06/delingpole-global-warming-is-myth-58-scientific-papers-2017/

    Cheers.

    • Ok, Iain, you’re a climate change denier, we get that.

      But here’s a little hint or two.

      1. Referencing right-wing nutty websites like Infowars and Breitbart is not persuasive evidence.

      2. If you’re going to reference NASA, best make sure it actually supports your position. Because the linked story you gave actually doesn’t support your case at all.

      Why? Because you forget to quote this bit;

      But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”

      And this bit;

      “At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet,” Zwally said.

      The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice – enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise.

      However, it is good to see you referencing NASA as a credible source. You may be interested in this;

      NASA Study Shows Global Sea Ice Diminishing, Despite Antarctic Gains

      Sea ice increases in Antarctica do not make up for the accelerated Arctic sea ice loss of the last decades, a new NASA study finds. As a whole, the planet has been shedding sea ice at an average annual rate of 13,500 square miles (35,000 square kilometers) since 1979, the equivalent of losing an area of sea ice larger than the state of Maryland every year.

      “Even though Antarctic sea ice reached a new record maximum this past September, global sea ice is still decreasing,” said Claire Parkinson, author of the study and climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “That’s because the decreases in Arctic sea ice far exceed the increases in Antarctic sea ice.”

      […]

      “When I give public lectures or talk with random people interested in the topic, often somebody will say something in the order of ‘well, the ice is decreasing in the Arctic but it’s increasing in the Antarctic, so don’t they cancel out?’” Parkinson said. “The answer is no, they don’t cancel out.”

      ref: https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-study-shows-global-sea-ice-diminishing-despite-antarctic-gains

      By the way, the report you linked to is dated 2015. The report I’ve presented (“NASA Study Shows Global Sea Ice Diminishing, Despite Antarctic Gains”) is current.

      In an effort to cherry-pick NASA information you’ve illustrated (again) that the “evidence” you present should be treated with caution until read.

      The question I have for you Iain, is why do climate change deniers indulge in such subterfuge? What is the point of presenting “evidence” that is out of date; out of context; or mis-represented? Do you really want to change peoples’ views using falsely represented information?

      Equally troubling is that your idol, Trump, has also been taken in by this kind of rubbish.

      Sea Ice Extent Sinks to Record Lows at Both Poles

      Arctic sea ice appears to have reached on March 7 a record low wintertime maximum extent, according to scientists at NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado. And on the opposite side of the planet, on March 3 sea ice around Antarctica hit its lowest extent ever recorded by satellites at the end of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, a surprising turn of events after decades of moderate sea ice expansion.

      The Arctic’s sea ice maximum extent has dropped by an average of 2.8 percent per decade since 1979. The summertime minimum extent losses are nearly five times larger: 13.5 percent per decade. Besides shrinking in extent, the sea ice cap is also thinning and becoming more vulnerable to the action of ocean waters, winds and warmer temperatures.

      ref: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/sea-ice-extent-sinks-to-record-lows-at-both-poles