Proceeding the 1997 climate talks in Kyoto, Japan (COP 3), the world began moving in the right direction on climate change. Alas, suffering a setback in Copenhagen (COP15), global leaders appeared to take a step in the wrong direction. The incident left a lingering impact, resonating in future talks, leaving many to wonder if the current discourse could manage the hitch.
Well, we did and continue to do so.
Addressing climate change is not, as some would posit, suffering an impasse of financial barriers. Clean energy is the cheapest it has ever been and in many ways is stimulating the economy. Since 2013, clean energy reduced global coal production by 21%, creating over 125,000 jobs in its wake. And still, there is more to do!
We need faith leaders to take action and compel world leaders through storytelling and narrative to act with a moral motive at COP21. We are the voice of the people, and we are ready to remove the current political climate from the actual climate.
Read, The Sunniest Climate-Change Story You've Ever Heard, to find out how this is already happening.
Jonathan Chait | New York: News and Politics
Here on planet Earth, things could be going better. The rise in atmospheric temperatures from greenhouse gases poses the most dire threat to humanity, measured on a scale of potential suffering, since Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany launched near-simultaneous wars of conquest. And the problem has turned out to be much harder to solve. It’s not the money. The cost of transitioning away from fossil fuels, measured as a share of the economy, may amount to a fraction of the cost of defeating the Axis powers. Rather, it is the politics that have proved so fiendish. Fighting a war is relatively straightforward: You spend all the money you can to build a giant military and send it off to do battle. Climate change is a problem that politics is almost designed not to solve. Its costs lie mostly in the distant future, whereas politics is built to respond to immediate conditions. (And of the wonders the internet has brought us, a lengthening of mental time horizons is not among them.) Its solution requires coordination not of a handful of allies but of scores of countries with wildly disparate economies and political structures. There has not yet been a galvanizing Pearl Harbor moment, when the urgency of action becomes instantly clear and isolationists melt away. Instead, it breeds counterproductive mental reactions: denial, fatalism, and depression.
This fall, as world leaders prepare to gather in Paris for the United Nations climate-change conference in December and bureaucrats bureaucratize, onlookers could be excused for treating the whole affair with weariness. As early as the 19th century, scientists had observed that the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere trapped heat that would otherwise have escaped into outer space. It took until 1997 for the U.N. to draw up a rough deal, in Kyoto, Japan, designed to arrest what was by then obviously a crisis. The agreement failed on the international stage, which didn’t stop the Republicans in the U.S. Senate, who hoped to use the treaty as fodder for attack ads, from bringing the moribund issue up for a vote — where it failed again, 95-0.
It was another decade until the next major attempt to coordinate international action, in Copenhagen, Denmark. That failed too. Then, in 2010, President Obama, temporarily enjoying swollen Democratic majorities in both houses, tried to pass a cap-and-trade law that would bring the U.S. into compliance with the reductions it had pledged in Copenhagen. A handful of Democrats from fossil-fuel states joined with nearly every Republican to filibuster it.
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