After two weeks of talks and partying, delegates at the UN climate summit in Durban agreed to meet again for further talks and partying around the dream of a global climate treaty.Shawn Lawrence Otto in the (liberal) Minnesota Post blames, well, groups and people like NOfP:
As expected, an informal coalition of major emitters such as the USA, China, India and Russia won the battle at the climate talks early on Sunday when they succeeded in delaying any binding decisions on CO2 emissions caps for years to come.
That postponed the danger of a legally binding climate treaty that would force major nations to impose extremely costly restrictions on cheap energy and thus their economic growth. "Business as usual" is now the unofficial motto of international climate policy.
With the enduring standoff in international climate diplomacy almost certain to continue, even environmentalists agree that the Kyoto Protocol will continue only as an empty shell. Europe’s political isolation on CO2 emissions has deepened, with Canada yesterday dropping out of the Kyoto Protocol and Japan and Russia too considering abandoning the sinking ship.
Even before the start of the Durban talks, the Basic countries -- China, India, South Africa and Brazil -- had announced that any future agreement must be based on the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which will not be published until 2014, and a review of the UN climate convention -- not due to happen before 2015.
In truth, a global agreement on binding emissions caps is unlikely to ever materialise. By demanding an annual climate fund of $100bn (£64.2bn), together with billions worth of technology transfers, the Basic nations and their allies have kicked the ball into the West’s court, knowing full well that their key condition is not going to be met.
Perhaps most concerning for future negotiations is the apparent erosion of the status of science as an arbiter of the reality of climate change and the basis for public policy decisions. Future agreements will no longer be based on the scientific advice of the IPCC but instead decisions will only be informed by the science.Uh, Shawn, might that be because the science has been errenously alarmist, unsettled, and flat-out wrong. At the same time, science has been tainted by scandals, especially the apparently paid-for conclusions of climate alarmists. Simply put, "science" eroded itself.
What this means is unclear but the motives are not. Science is the only even-handed basis for public policy decisions in a non-authoritarian government. The only alternative basis to the knowledge created by science, which is based on measurements of the real world, is the assertion of authority based on either belief or opinion, but neither of them are knowledge-based.
This new language appears to be carving out a further erosion of science's status as the fairest basis for public policy and leaving more room for authoritarian and denialist arguments to gain a foothold in future treaty negotiations.
And anointing science as "the only even-handed basis for public policy decisions in a non-authoritarian government" is in fact a plea for government by authoritarian scientists, not elected officials and their advisers. That's another word for that: fascism--albeit in the service of wealth redistribution. Consideration of economics -- adaptation and abatement -- might be a better way.
Thankfully, Durban did nothing, delaying alarmist dictatorial ambitions probably for ever:
[T]he Durban talks were saved from total collapse after India and China agreed to language that accomplishes the remarkable double feat of ensuring that the world will never do anything to avert climate "catastrophe"--while keeping alive the illusion that it will.And the agreement contains a "vital get-out clause" that Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo says makes Durban a "voluntary deal that has been put off for a decade."
It's hard to imagine a better result. Well, maybe two decades.