Loopholes in climate accord threaten death of coral reefs by 2100

It doesn’t seem as if the big industrial nations are serious about trying to halt global warming. They are trying to address the issue again right now at a meeting in Tianjin, China, from October 4 to 9 but early press reports are warning people not to expect too much. The divide between the rich and poor nations, which caused last year’s conference in Copenhagen to end in a debacle, are still present.

The governments of the major industrialized nations, with the exception of China, represent the interests of the large corporations including the industrial, oil and mining conglomerates which are responsible for much of the pollution driving global warming. Unless the people become more active and insistent these governments will continue to support the interests of the capitalist corporations at the expense of the planet and its inhabitants.

Time is running out for the planet. People left Copenhagen pledging to keep global warming down to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, but the big nations gave themselves so many loopholes that scientists are saying that the real increase will be more like 4.2 degrees C, more than enough to kill off the remaining coral reefs, and, according to Environmental Research Letters, as reported by Science Daily, drastically increase ocean acidification and the destruction of the marine ecosystem.

Most people live day by day and a disaster predicted for 100 years in the future doesn’t seem to motivate them to action. The big corporations and their governments are counting on the inertia, indeed even apathy, to put off climate reform as long as possible.

Scientists are saying that just setting vague goals for 2100 is insufficient. Interim goals for 2020 and 2030 are needed to make sure we are on the right track. We need a 50 percent reduction below 1990 levels of CO2 emissions by 2050 if the world is going to stand a chance of avoiding the catastrophe of the 4.2 degree C increase by 2100.

If the Tianjin conference comes to grief, as did the one at Copenhagen, due to the intransigence of the big capitalist powers it will up to the international workers movement and democratic national elements to take up the struggle for saving the planet.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/harshlight/3294060048/ cc 2.0



Thomas Riggins
Thomas Riggins

Thomas Riggins has a background in philisophy, anthropology and archeology. He writes from New York, NY. Riggins was associate editor of Political Affairs magazine.