Thongchai Thailand

POTSDAM INSTITUTE OF CLIMATE

Posted on: May 22, 2020

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Turning the Climate Tide by 2020

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

RELATED POSTS: [LINK]  [LINK] [LINK]  

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF AN ASSESSMENT OF CLIMATE ACTION BY THE POTSDAM INSTITUTE IN COOPERATION WITH CHRISTIANA FIGUERES IN JUNE 2017 WITH EMISSION REDUCTION TARGETS FOR THE YEAR 2020. THE ARTICLE APPEARS BELOW AND IS ALSO AVAILABLE ONLINE [LINK] . THE CITED PAPER BY CHRISTIANA FIGUERES IS AVAILABLE HERE [CLICK TO DOWNLOAD]

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

(1): CLAIM: The climate math is brutally clear.

RESPONSE: Except for where it isn’t [LINK] .

 

(2): CLAIM: The world needs high-speed climate action for an immediate bending-down of the global greenhouse-gas emissions curve. Aggressive reduction of fossil-fuel usage is the key to averting devastating heat extremes and unmanageable sea level rise.

RESPONSE: The climate science lead author in the Nature article is UN bureaucrat and climate activist Christiana Figueres. Her view on the COVID19 tragedy is “Well, that is, ironically, of course, the other side of this right? It may be good for climate. But I think because there is less trade, there’s less travel, there’s less commerce. Expect more disease outbreaks if we continue to deny, delude and delay on climate change. If we continue to eat animals, we will be poisoning ourselves and being the genesis of new diseases we have not seen before“. 

 

(3): CLAIM: The UN has prioritized the protection of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the eradication of extreme poverty. 

RESPONSE: Support for SDG is inconsistent with eradiction of poverty as explained in this document: [LINK] . 

(4): CLAIM: The climate math is brutally clear that while the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence if the negligence continues to the year 2020.

RESPONSE: This claim that “we only have a window of opportunity to control climate change and when we pass up this window of opportunity  we are screwed” has been an ongoing feature of the climate movement where each time the window ends it is simply pushed forward. [LINK]

 

(5): CLAIM: We have been blessed by a remarkably resilient planet over the past 100 years, able to absorb most of our climate abuse.

RESPONSE: Translation: All our prophecies of climate doom have proven false. 

(6): CLAIM: Technological progress and political momentum have reached a point now that allows us to kick-start the ‘great sustainability transformation.

RESPONSE: This is pure UN bureaucratic word soup that comes in handy when they run out of rational arguments. These impressive sounding words and phrases are thrown around by these people a lot but they don’t have any rational interpretation in plain language. What’s different this time around is that this charade is being underwritten by scientists at the Potsdam Institute. 

 

(7): CLAIM: The authors and co-signatories to the Nature article comprise over 60 scientists, business and policy leaders, economists, analysts and influencers.

RESPONSE: Translation: The validity and relevance of Christiana’s research paper is supported by the fact that she found 60 infuential people that will support it.

 

(8): CLAIM: “This monumental challenge coincides with an unprecedented openness to self-challenge on the part of sub-national governments inside the US, governments at all levels outside the US, and of the private sector in general.

RESPONSE: This is pure UN bureaucratese word soup. 

 

(9): CLAIM: But there is still a long way to go to decarbonize the world economy. The year 2020 is crucially important because if emissions continue to rise after 2020, the Paris climate goal becomes unattainable. Mission 2020 is a campaign to raise ambition. We must bend the greenhouse-gas emissions curve downwards by 2020. Mission 2020 is a campaign to raise ambition and bend the greenhouse-gas emissions curve downwards by 2020.

RESPONSEHer prayers have apparently been answered by the COVID-19 as seen in the chart below but with no measurable change in the rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 or temperature.  [LINK] . That the critical year is now 2020 is a pattern that goes back many years in this climate game. In the past the critical year has been 1980 to 2009 and then again it was 2015 [LINK]

EMISSIONS

 

(10): CLAIM: The world needs high-speed climate action for an immediate bending-down of the global greenhouse-gas emissions curve, leading experts caution. Aggressive reduction of fossil-fuel usage is the key to averting devastating heat extremes and unmanageable sea level rise, the authors argue in a comment published in the renowned scientific journal Nature this week. 

RESPONSE: The “high speed bending down of the curve” is surely new and innovative verbiage but the message is the annual song and dance by UN bureaucrats about the importance of climate action having failed to deliver the “Montreal Protocol for the Climate” that they had said that they could do.  [LINK]

 

(11): CLAIM: There are six milestones for a clean industrial revolution. This call for strong short-term measures complements the longer-term ‘carbon law’ approach introduced earlier this year by eminent Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute’s Director,  in the equally eminent journal Science.

RESPONSE: The word IF is indeed a powerful word and it makes up for the the failure of the UN put together a coordinated global climate agreement to reduce global fossil fuel emissions. The “carbon law” is the Potsdam Institute innovation that IF in 2020, all the countries of the world simply commit to halving their fossil fuel emissions every decade, then the world will get to net zero by 2050. An interesting mathematical innovation by Potsdam but this bright view of the future is made possible with the word IF. The bottom line is that the word IF is needed because there is no globally coordinated plan to lower global emissions. By hanging out with UN bureaucrats, Potsdam too is learning the powerful new language of UN BUREAUCRATESE. 

 

(12): CLAIM: Thus a full narrative of deep decarbonization emerges. We stand at the doorway of being able to bend the GHG emissions curve downwards by 2020, as science demands, in protection of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the eradication of extreme poverty. 

RESPONSE: The narrative does emerge but that narrative has always existed. The narrative can be reworded and restyled but that the only thing that matters is whether the UN put together a globally coordinated progam to reduce global fossil fuel emissions to zero. As for sustainable development, I would like to add that the insertion of sustaiinability undercuts the UNDP’s mandate of reducing poverty as explained in a related post: [LINK]

 

(13): CLAIM: FIGUERES: “This monumental challenge coincides with an unprecedented openness to self-challenge on the part of sub-national governments inside the US, governments at all levels outside the US, and of the private sector in general. The opportunity given to us over the next three years is unique in history”. {Figueres is the convener of the Mission 2020 campaign to make carbon emissions begin to fall by 2020}.

RESPONSE: The only real information contained in this claim is that UN bureacrat Figueres is going to meet the challenges of the Mission 2020 campaign with bureaucratese rhetoric and by throwing in irrelevant UN activities such as SDG.  

 

(14): CLAIMThe great sustainability transformation: The authors are confident that both technological progress and political momentum have reached a point now that allows to kick-start the ‘great sustainability transformation’. 2020 is crucial, because in that year the US will be legally able to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Even more compelling are the physics-based considerations, however: Recent research has demonstrated that keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius becomes almost infeasible if we delay climate action beyond 2020. And breaching the 2°C-line would be dangerous, since a number of Earth system tipping elements, such as the great ice sheets, may get destabilized in that hot-house.

RESPONSE:  Here we get a glimplse into how UN bureacrats think and their disorganized bureaucratese ideas such that the urgent need for climate action is proposed by repeated reference to irrelevant UN programs that they are proud of such as the SDG. 

 

(15) CLAIM: We have been blessed by a remarkably resilient planet over the past 100 years, able to absorb most of our climate abuse. Now we have reached the end of this era, and need to bend the global curve of emissions immediately, to avoid unmanageable outcomes for our modern world.

RESPONSE: TRANSLATION: OK so we were wrong about how horrible the climate impacts will be and how the planet itself will be destroyed BY climate change but that is only because the planet turned out to be more resiilient than we thought but we have now reached the end of its resilience and so this just can’t go on

 

(16) CLAIM: Power generation from wind and solar is booming already. In Europe renewables are three quarters of new energy capacities installed. China is establishing a national emissions trading scheme. Financial investors are wary of carbon risks. The six milestones for 2020, {renewables to 30% of total electricity supply; retiring all coal-fired power plants; electric vehicles and mobilize 1 trillion US dollars a year for climate action

RESPONSE: TRANSLATION: As noted above, we have failed to put together a global climate action program to reduce global fossil fuel emissions but we are UN bureaucrats and so we an always dig up and throw around data that make us look good

 

(17): CLAIMHans Joachim Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute:  “The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence. Action by 2020 is necessary, but not sufficient. It needs to set the course for halving CO2 emissions every other decade. The ‘carbon law’ can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This will be unstoppable if we propel the world into action

RESPONSE: TRANSLATION: THE BEAUTY OF FAILURE IS THAT THE MORE THINGS WE FAIL TO DO THE MORE IMPRESSIVE OUR LANGUAGE AND OUR TO-DO LIST GETS.

ALSO, WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION FOR THE REPEATED CLAIM THAT THE CLIMATE MATH IS BRUTALLY CLEAR? IS IT A WAY TO MAKE UP FOR ALL THOSE MATH ERRORS IN CLIMATE SCIENCE?  [LINK]

 

CONCLUSION: It is noted that although these individuals claim to speak as scientists for the science of climate science, their language and their agenda is clearly one of failed activism with failed old to-do lists loudy recited with great pride and pretension to climate action. We also note that this statement by the Potsdam Institute makes it clear that it is a climate activism organization and that makes it impossible for it to be a scientific organization.

The close association of Potsdam climate scientists with UN climate activists underscores this assessment. It is not possible to carry out unbiased scientific inquiry into a research question if the researcher has an activism agenda in terms of the research question. This relationship holds no matter how academically qualified the researcher may be

FINALLY, THE APPARENT PRIDE TAKEN BY BOTH THE UN BUREAUCRAT AND THE POTSDAM CLIMATE SCIENTIST IN PRESENTING LONG TO-DO LISTS IS AN ODDITY. A LONG TO-DO LIST DOES NOT DESCRIBE THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. IT DOES JUST THE OPPOSITE. IT IS ITSELF THE EVIDENCE OF THEIR FAILURE. A LONG TO-DO LIST THIS LATE IN THE CLIMATE ACTION MOVEMENT MEANS THAT THE CLIMATE ACTION MOVEMENT HAS BEEN ALL TALK AND NO ACTION AND THE LONGER THIS GOES ON THE LONGER THE TALK GETS.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THE UN HAS FAILED TO DELIVER THE PROMISED MONTREAL PROTOCOL FOR THE CLIMATE AND NO AMOUNT OF CHEST BEATING AND BUREAUCRATESE WILL MAKE UP FOR THAT.  

akg-images - Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

 

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