Paris, Climate Apocalypse Summit
By Alfonso Elizondo
Created Wednesday December 02 2015
The two-week meeting in Paris, between country leaders, environmentalists and experts on climate change · from 150 countries is the most important global event of the last decade. The huge problem that has caused greenhouse gases since the start of the industrial society in the nineteenth century is now so severe that most experts considered it almost irreversible, unless a global project including the 16 countries that are generating the highest levels of pollution on the planet is carried out.
According to the distinguished New York Times columnist Justin Gillis, all the projects that will be defined in Paris during the two weeks climate summit will be far from solving the current problem. Although many important political leaders have been promoting greater cuts in the use of energy deriving from carbon-based fuels and others are signing voluntary agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their jurisdictions, all that will be achieved by doing so won’t be enough, as California Governor Jerry Brown said.
Gillis notices that despite the intensity over the global warming debate, it’s practical approach has only resulted in theory formulations, and very few have investigated concrete steps that are necessary to achieve a deep decarburization of the planet. According to the opinion of Dr. Sach, from the Columbia University, it is paramount to make a more serious effort in developing a detailed roadmap for energy transition, including the Deep De-carbonization Pathways Project based in Paris and New York, which includes technical teams from the 16 countries that are considered to mostly be responsible for the world pollution.
According to Gilles, these analysts hold conservative assumptions about new technologies and their costs. They believe that developed countries won’t be willing to make major changes in their lifestyles as they will continue using conventional ways of transport, usual appliances, electric lights, etc. While poor countries may as well be able to aim for higher levels of domestic life, which will require even more energy.
Reports from those countries ruled out alternative technologies, such as those pursuing nuclear fusion, casting them into a merely theoretical stage; and they won’t even reach the step of being a pilot project that could help evaluate their impact in the short term. Ben Haley, a senior energy consultant and environmental economist, who has been involved with the project of de-carbonizing those 16 nations, pointed out exactly this issue.
Starting from this assumption, the experts dealing with the de-carbonization project raised a very specific question: would it somehow help if emissions could be reduced between now and the year 2050, in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change? According to Guido Schmit-Traub, CEO of Network Solutions for Sustainable Development, this would only be possible if we acted immediately.
But perhaps the most important discovery within this project is that current technologies are not good enough to develop a comprehensive global plan of action The analysis suggests that many technologies such as electric cars and the aero generators are becoming increasingly cheaper and efficient, however the trend seems to suggest that businesses are still choosing a more conservative approach to this issue, by using the traditional energy sources.
Although the philanthropic millionaire Bill Gates pointed out last Monday at the Summit that he had managed to convince a significant number of billionaires to invest heavily in developing new technologies that would save energy, most environmentalists felt that this would serve nothing unless big businesses don’t start moving towards non conventional niche markets, such as electric cars to name a well done case.
From another point of view of the energy problem, we know that the cost of solar panels has dropped by almost 80% in the last decade, even though in some places it still remains more expensive than carbon-based fuels. The energy produced by wind turbines has also dropped dramatically wind turbines, which now provides 5% of the total electricity in the United States, while in some smaller countries this form of energy provides double figure results. In the state of Texas wind energy production is so cheap that a company is now providing light at night to the public free of charge.
Both solar and wind energy have been developed so much that the engineer Mark Jacobson of Stanford University estimates that the world could be run 100% on renewable energy by 2050. In a scientific article he calculated that the demand for gas and oil necessary for the US industry is such that 50,000 new oil wells have been built 2000. He also considers their construction just as complex as that of a wind turbine. Therefore he believes that wind energy could be the perfect choice to serve the US industry that is relying on oil at the moment.
The Paris Summit on Climate Change is highlighting the great problems of peaceful coexistence that are troubling the world today: first the continuous challenge to have nations to comply with international agreements, regardless of the matter that is the focus of the debate; on the other hand, the western belief that the fundamental principles upon which is the Republican State has been built still stand, and also the fact that just a few billionaire families are the ones who have been ruling the world for the past hundred years. (1913)
However we are still failing to observe and to recognize that the current global geopolitics has imposed new criteria, that the rising economies of China and others are the ones establishing new diplomatic, economic and military relations in today’s world. It should not be forgotten thought that China, despite its great industrial growth, is now the most polluted region on the planet, and the same applies to India and Brazil.
Addendum: Perhaps the most relevant progress from the current Paris summit could be the establishment of a new regulation within international law and the widespread agreement that that war should no longer be part of the political and economic agenda of any great nation.