28 November 2016

Climate goals abandoned as adaptation gap opens wide

The current climate-making paradigm (top) and the reality of current commitments (bottom)
by David Spratt

Here is a question we need to ask: are climate policy makers actually pursuing the goals they set themselves more than 20 years ago, or have the goals been abandoned, and are we falling fast through an "adaptation gap"?

Like the United Nations, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Conference of the Parties (COP) are diplomatic fora, populated by professional representatives of national ruling elites, and subject to the diplomatic processes of negotiation, trade-offs and deals. Civil society sectors are excluded from formal decision-making.

16 November 2016

From White House to madhouse: climate denial in the era of Donald Trump

by David Spratt

It was appropriate, if disconcerting, that I sat down to read “The Madhouse effect: How climate change denial is threatening our planet, destroying our politics and driving us crazy” (Columbia University Press, New York, 2016) on the day of the US presidential election.

The book, by the eminent American climate scientist Prof. Michael E Mann and Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles, is a short (150 pages plus notes), very readable overview of the climate denial and disinformation machine in the USA that is funded by the fossil fuel industry, with dark tentacles reaching into the highest level of politics, abetted by the conservative media and agents for hire who have peddled their denial across several industries and many decades.