Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

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Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby sardia » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:53 pm UTC

Representatives of 195 countries reached a landmark climate accord on Saturday that would, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change.

Delegates who have been negotiating intensely in this Paris suburb for two weeks gathered for the final plenary session where, suddenly, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France asked for opposition to the deal and, hearing none, gaveled the session closed.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world ... paris.html


This is one of the most important agreements deciding the fate of the planet...and the GOP is still in denial. At least the Chinese have their head on straight, they know climate change is happening, they're just trying to avoid getting stuck with the biggest part of the bill.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby cphite » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:38 pm UTC

sardia wrote:This is one of the most important agreements deciding the fate of the planet...and the GOP is still in denial. At least the Chinese have their head on straight, they know climate change is happening, they're just trying to avoid getting stuck with the biggest part of the bill.


It's a non-binding agreement with no consequences even suggested for non-compliance, much less any that are enforceable.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Habz » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:51 pm UTC

Like cphite said, it would seem the agreement isn't binding anyone to anything really.

Though I'm certain EU will continue shooting itself in the leg and driving away all kinds of industries with even stricter regulations and directives.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby PeteP » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:59 pm UTC

Habz wrote:Like cphite said, it would seem the agreement isn't binding anyone to anything really.

Though I'm certain EU will continue shooting itself in the leg and driving away all kinds of industries with even stricter regulations and directives.

Yeah as german I'm suffering in poverty because our regulations have ruined us. :roll: More seriously: I wish that the countries in the EU in general really were like that, not that the EU alone doing it would do anything.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby jestingrabbit » Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:45 am UTC

cphite wrote:
sardia wrote:This is one of the most important agreements deciding the fate of the planet...and the GOP is still in denial. At least the Chinese have their head on straight, they know climate change is happening, they're just trying to avoid getting stuck with the biggest part of the bill.


It's a non-binding agreement with no consequences even suggested for non-compliance, much less any that are enforceable.


Are you familiar with the loss and damage process?

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2014/1 ... -confused/
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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Habz » Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:01 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:Yeah as german I'm suffering in poverty because our regulations have ruined us. :roll:


Off-topic but, you do realize that Germany's strong economy is the main problem behind financial struggles in the rest of the EU?

The climate-strategy of the EU has driven away millions of jobs to other countries that aren't quite as concerned with clean industry. This in turn has actually made the carbon footprint of Europe increase during the time of EU if you account for the increase in imported produce and its carbon footprint.

*Edited in something somewhat on topic...
Last edited by Habz on Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:13 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby PeteP » Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:06 pm UTC

Habz wrote:
PeteP wrote:Yeah as german I'm suffering in poverty because our regulations have ruined us. :roll:


Off-topic but, you do realize that Germany's strong economy is the main problem behind financial struggles in the rest of the EU?

I am not sure what your point is?

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Habz » Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:17 pm UTC

Point is that it's kind of smug to make sarcastic remarks of the financial aspect relating to the climate-strategy of the European Union, when you happen to live in the one country that's not really affected by it.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby SDK » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:43 pm UTC

How can you blame stricter regulations for economic damage when Germany, with the same strict regulations, is still doing well? Doesn't that imply that there's at least one other factor contributing?
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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:40 pm UTC

Habz wrote:Point is that it's kind of smug to make sarcastic remarks of the financial aspect relating to the climate-strategy of the European Union, when you happen to live in the one country that's not really affected by it.


Germany is still affected, they just happen to have a much sounder economy than say, Greece. This shouldn't mean that they can't complain about something that does affect them, though.

Anyway, wasn't this the agreement that almost got derailed because someone put a "shall" in there instead of a "should"? That...speaks volumes about the level of committment.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:45 pm UTC

No, it means they learned not to rely on congress. They spent months GOP proofing the agreement so the Republicans can suck it.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:27 pm UTC

sardia wrote:No, it means they learned not to rely on congress. They spent months GOP proofing the agreement so the Republicans can suck it.


I'm glad you're happy over another partisan victory of the paladins of goodness over the evil GOP.

The difference I'm referring to isn't that, but rather, a matter of legislative weight. Shall means it's something that actually has to be, yknow, done. Should is a lovely reccomendation. They thought they had one of the wrong thing, and a freak out ensued. It was fixed by declaring the shall a typo.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby SDK » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:54 pm UTC

Yeah, shall and should are very different when you're talking about legal speak or standards or whatever. Tyndmyr is right that it "speaks volumes about the level of committment", but the whole thing is explicitly based on peer pressure anyway, so... hope for the best, basically. If everyone does it, awesome. If everyone but one does it, still awesome. If enough quit that everyone quits, now we're in trouble. But whatever. This is basically a first step here. Hopefully it goes better than Kyoto did.
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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Habz » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:05 pm UTC

SDK wrote:How can you blame stricter regulations for economic damage when Germany, with the same strict regulations, is still doing well? Doesn't that imply that there's at least one other factor contributing?


Correct. That factor has to do with the balance of the current account inside the euro-zone. This is a fault in the foundation of euro as a currency. Germany has the third largest surplus in current account among the euro countries, and is also the biggest economy by a fair margin. Basically euro is always underrated for germany, boosting its export and economy further, while the exact opposite applies to majority of countries in the euro-zone.

Coupled with the fact that Germany also has the most seats in the european parliament, new rules and regulations are bound to hit other countries harder than Germany which cushions the negative effects they might have on its economy.

It's a vicious cycle and I don't think anyone really knows what should be done with it...

Sorry for the off-topicness! :oops:

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:07 pm UTC

I'm not saying it because I'm liberal, I'm saying it because the GOP had made it clear their plans for climate change treaties. And the Democrats understand their chances of legislative agreement here. They know why Kyoto failed, so they planned around it. What was factually incorrect with what I said? Because you're awfully defensive about a party that you supposedly aren't a part of.

Just because I'm liberal doesn't mean I'm stupid. If anything, you're ideological leanings are showing here.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby cphite » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:15 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
cphite wrote:
sardia wrote:This is one of the most important agreements deciding the fate of the planet...and the GOP is still in denial. At least the Chinese have their head on straight, they know climate change is happening, they're just trying to avoid getting stuck with the biggest part of the bill.


It's a non-binding agreement with no consequences even suggested for non-compliance, much less any that are enforceable.


Are you familiar with the loss and damage process?

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2014/1 ... -confused/


Yes; but it's not really relevant to my statement.

Basically what they reached in Paris is a political agreement; basically all of the countries agree that this is what they ought to do moving forward. But it's not a treaty - it has no legal force behind it. It doesn't even carry the weight of a formal diplomatic agreement. It's literally just all of these leaders saying "Yeah, we agree we should do these things..."

Everyone can hope that everyone else keeps going along with it, but it's not legally binding to anyone. At most there might be some diplomatic pressure.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:58 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I'm not saying it because I'm liberal, I'm saying it because the GOP had made it clear their plans for climate change treaties. And the Democrats understand their chances of legislative agreement here. They know why Kyoto failed, so they planned around it. What was factually incorrect with what I said? Because you're awfully defensive about a party that you supposedly aren't a part of.

Just because I'm liberal doesn't mean I'm stupid. If anything, you're ideological leanings are showing here.


I'm not defending, I'm merely observing that you take every opportunity possible to take a pot shot at the other side.

My post wasn't about defending either side, it was about further exploring the agreement and what it means. You were the one that brought in naked partisanship cheerleading. I can and do rip on both sides when it's appropriate, but this isn't even just a US thing. It seems odd.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:54 pm UTC

You brought up why they used a voluntary terms instead of mandatory ones. I explained that the Obama administration is working in a constrained environment where they can't risk a treaty ratification. You were the one that said how stupid the agreement was as if they didn't know what they were doing.

Maybe I'm just jaded at how popular the fear monger are in the US.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:01 am UTC

cphite wrote:Yes; but it's not really relevant to my statement.

Basically what they reached in Paris is a political agreement; basically all of the countries agree that this is what they ought to do moving forward. But it's not a treaty - it has no legal force behind it. It doesn't even carry the weight of a formal diplomatic agreement. It's literally just all of these leaders saying "Yeah, we agree we should do these things..."

Everyone can hope that everyone else keeps going along with it, but it's not legally binding to anyone. At most there might be some diplomatic pressure.


It is relevant. Looking at this agreement in isolation doesn't make sense. There's a process surrounding it. COP 21 will be proceeded by COP 22 and COP 23 etc. This was a conference about the targets, the next will be focused on the loss and damage process, and we'll see what comes out of that. Expecting damages to be a part of Paris is crazy.
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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby cphite » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:04 pm UTC

sardia wrote:No, it means they learned not to rely on congress. They spent months GOP proofing the agreement so the Republicans can suck it.


Not really sure what you mean by "GOP proofing" - the only role that Congress would play would be to ratify - making it binding. So instead they signed a non-binding agreement.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby cphite » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:14 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
cphite wrote:Yes; but it's not really relevant to my statement.

Basically what they reached in Paris is a political agreement; basically all of the countries agree that this is what they ought to do moving forward. But it's not a treaty - it has no legal force behind it. It doesn't even carry the weight of a formal diplomatic agreement. It's literally just all of these leaders saying "Yeah, we agree we should do these things..."

Everyone can hope that everyone else keeps going along with it, but it's not legally binding to anyone. At most there might be some diplomatic pressure.


It is relevant. Looking at this agreement in isolation doesn't make sense. There's a process surrounding it. COP 21 will be proceeded by COP 22 and COP 23 etc. This was a conference about the targets, the next will be focused on the loss and damage process, and we'll see what comes out of that. Expecting damages to be a part of Paris is crazy.


Yes; assuming that the various participants actually follow through on this one, and the next one, and the next one... it might lead to something meaningful. That's a whole lot of assumption.

My bet is that this has the same effect as Kyoto - politically it's a chance for world leaders to talk themselves up for having "done something" about climate change; but in terms of actual change it's utterly meaningless. Countries that actually lower emissions will be ones that would have done so anyway as directed by market forces.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby sardia » Fri Dec 25, 2015 4:37 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Yes; assuming that the various participants actually follow through on this one, and the next one, and the next one... it might lead to something meaningful. That's a whole lot of assumption.

My bet is that this has the same effect as Kyoto - politically it's a chance for world leaders to talk themselves up for having "done something" about climate change; but in terms of actual change it's utterly meaningless. Countries that actually lower emissions will be ones that would have done so anyway as directed by market forces.

Those market forces are the very same rules you're decrying here in this agreement. Take the US, coal is getting shit on because of EPA (dem dirty feds) setting rules that limits carbon emissions. Which is completely under the control of bureaucrats, not magical animal spirit forces.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:52 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
cphite wrote:Yes; assuming that the various participants actually follow through on this one, and the next one, and the next one... it might lead to something meaningful. That's a whole lot of assumption.

My bet is that this has the same effect as Kyoto - politically it's a chance for world leaders to talk themselves up for having "done something" about climate change; but in terms of actual change it's utterly meaningless. Countries that actually lower emissions will be ones that would have done so anyway as directed by market forces.

Those market forces are the very same rules you're decrying here in this agreement. Take the US, coal is getting shit on because of EPA (dem dirty feds) setting rules that limits carbon emissions. Which is completely under the control of bureaucrats, not magical animal spirit forces.


That's a very confusing argument. It's...just a pastiche of various things you dislike. Nobody is citing animal spirit forces. Cphite is merely expressing cynicism that anyone is actually willing to sacrifice their own economic interests here. Which...given history, is more than fair.

The US hasn't ACTUALLY done a great deal to lower emissions. Market forces are a much larger factor than anything else...Recessions and stuff, those you can see the results of nice and clearly. And coal is conveniently actually being shit on now that natural gas prices are dirt cheap. Everyone is only too happy to 'sacrifice' the things they no longer want.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby cphite » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:36 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
cphite wrote:Yes; assuming that the various participants actually follow through on this one, and the next one, and the next one... it might lead to something meaningful. That's a whole lot of assumption.

My bet is that this has the same effect as Kyoto - politically it's a chance for world leaders to talk themselves up for having "done something" about climate change; but in terms of actual change it's utterly meaningless. Countries that actually lower emissions will be ones that would have done so anyway as directed by market forces.


Those market forces are the very same rules you're decrying here in this agreement. Take the US, coal is getting shit on because of EPA (dem dirty feds) setting rules that limits carbon emissions. Which is completely under the control of bureaucrats, not magical animal spirit forces.


The EPA is currently setting tougher rules on carbon emissions because the current administration considers it to be an issue that they intend to address. The next administration might continue setting policy in the spirit of the agreement... or they might not. The next administration might choose to ignore the agreement, or might choose to set goals (which is all the agreement asks for) but not actually set policy, etc.

The rules are under control of bureaucrats, yes... And those bureaucrats are under the control of elected officials, who are in turn under the control of voters and donors who (especially the latter) will exert pressure against rules that hurt them economically. At most, this agreement adds some slight diplomatic pressure to lower emissions - which is all well and good - but it's unlikely to amount to much in the face of higher energy costs. When it comes right down to it, most governments are going to balk at setting limits that hurt them economically.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby cphite » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:57 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The US hasn't ACTUALLY done a great deal to lower emissions. Market forces are a much larger factor than anything else...Recessions and stuff, those you can see the results of nice and clearly. And coal is conveniently actually being shit on now that natural gas prices are dirt cheap. Everyone is only too happy to 'sacrifice' the things they no longer want.


Government regulations have applied some pressure, but the decline of coal is definitely more about the cost. The relative cost of natural gas is certainly a factor.

An even bigger factor is the cost of mining coal itself. Unlike natural gas, you actually have to mine coal - that is, you actually have to put men and machines down there to get it and bring it up. A lot of the largest and most accessible deposits of coal in the USA have been nearly mined out - which means that newer mines have to be deeper, longer, and in more difficult areas. Add to this the increased rules about safety, employee benefits, and so forth, costs are skyrocketing.

So yeah, while it's great that we're burning less coal (not sarcasm - it really IS great that we're burning less coal!) the primary drive behind the decline has been market costs.

My point regarding the Paris Agreement is that the slight diplomatic pressure of a non-binding agreement (which actually only asks nations to set goals) is going to be pretty trivial against the marketplace. So call me cynical if you like... but while it's nice that all our political leaders agree that there is a problem, all they've really done is agree that there's a problem. It's not quite the "landmark accord" that it's being made out to be.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:10 pm UTC

cphite wrote:So yeah, while it's great that we're burning less coal (not sarcasm - it really IS great that we're burning less coal!) the primary drive behind the decline has been market costs.


If you want to generalize, it's not that far fetched to postulate that most social changes are simply a result of changing economic circumstances, and all of the philosophy and talk in the world is just a sideshow.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby sardia » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:36 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
cphite wrote:So yeah, while it's great that we're burning less coal (not sarcasm - it really IS great that we're burning less coal!) the primary drive behind the decline has been market costs.


If you want to generalize, it's not that far fetched to postulate that most social changes are simply a result of changing economic circumstances, and all of the philosophy and talk in the world is just a sideshow.

Yes and no, you'd be surprised how often humans end up powerless before some massive event despite all the tough talk from politicians. At the same time, that's why we have government. It's to pool our resources to enact massive change.
Quick global warming example. Climate change causes rainfall to shift, forcing droughts which raises tensions which causes warfare which sparks mass migration. Human activity touches all those things and yet it feels like we can't change any of it on a local level.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:01 pm UTC

It feels like we're not really changing it at a global level, either.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby sardia » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:38 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It feels like we're not really changing it at a global level, either.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... r-is-nicer
Or you just haven't noticed the weather becoming nicer and aren't connecting it to global warming.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:05 pm UTC

Apologies for imprecision.

Not changing the current trend towards warming.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Diadem » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:44 am UTC

I'd say we are changing the trend, but not fast enough.
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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Mauthe Dhoo » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:48 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It feels like we're not really changing it at a global level, either.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... r-is-nicer
Or you just haven't noticed the weather becoming nicer and aren't connecting it to global warming.


Interesting counterpoint from an NCAR researcher: link

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby sardia » Sun May 29, 2016 1:17 pm UTC

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... e-realize/
The paper, from Tatyana Deryugina at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, examines hurricanes from 1979-2002 and follows the effects of each one for a decade after. It finds that on average, each hurricane resulted in about $155 to $160 over official government disaster assistance, per person affected by the storm. That’s what you might call our official estimation of the fiscal cost of those hurricanes.

Where the price tag soars, Deryugina finds, is in what you might call the unofficial costs of the storms. In the 10 years after a county is hit by a hurricane, she estimates, it receives a lot more government assistance through safety-net programs, such as unemployment insurance and medical benefits.

It’s an intuitive finding — storms disrupt economies and hurt people — and when it’s taken into account, it adds, on average, an extra $780 to $1,150 per person in fiscal costs. That’s about five times the cost of direct disaster aid alone. (All of those figures have been adjusted for inflation and rendered in 2013 dollars.)

The US social safety net does a good job of protecting you from economic storm damage...a little too good of a job. We're essentially subsidizing people to live in storm ridden areas.

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Re: Landmark Climate Accord Struck in France

Postby Mauthe Dhoo » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:08 pm UTC

That constitutes the primary criticism of the National Flood Insurance Program. But a great deal of people who live in coastal hazard areas didn't exactly move in after making a "rational economic actor" assessment of accurate risk exposure information - because that info hasn't ever been available to the majority of them, especially for people with inherited land. The task of actually ending the subsidization and changing land use on the coast without punishing people for risks they can't control is a significant challenge indeed.


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