By JR on Monday, June 06, 2011
If CO2 levels really did correlate with temperature rises, our little man of faith below might just have some point. That they don't he just ignores
A couple of things are certain about the latest round of UN climate change talks that begin tomorrow in Bonn. The first is that any advance toward implementing a proper commitment on reducing carbon dioxide emissions will again be what used to be known as glacial. The second is that the climate in which these talks are being held is already markedly hotter to that in which they began very nearly 20 years ago.
You don't have to be a wheat farmer in Suffolk to know that we are not waiting for climate change to happen, as we liked to believe when the UN started talking in 1992; we are in the midst of it. Every year in this century has been warmer than all but one – 1998 – in the last. Last year, the second hottest on record, an unprecedented 19 nations set new all-time temperature records and, as one consequence, extreme weather events have increased both incontrovertibly and in line with prediction.
The only temperature that remains stubbornly cool is the political one. Governments – and, by extension, all of us – know what is happening, but still, it seems, refuse to believe. Since the Copenhagen summit of two years ago, even limited progress has stalled. Inaction has become once again, because of pressing economic crises, almost addictive. Last week's announcement from the International Energy Agency that CO2 in the atmosphere rose dramatically in 2010, and at current rates will arrive the doomsday levels once predicted for 2020 by as early as next year, was the latest statistic to serve notice of that fact.