UNFCCC 1, Planet 0

And so the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Durban have ended with yet another decision to put-off necessary decisions for anything up to 8 years. This is yet another vindication of Clive Hamilton’s 2010 description of climate change as “a failure of modern politics” (p.223 of Requiem for a Species). However, Garrett Hardin described the problem perfectly in his seminal 1968 article entitled ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’. Hardin used the example of medieval common land (not owned by anybody but used by everybody) to make the point that, unless collective action can be agreed by all, no individual will chose to act alone to prevent over-grazing because to do so would be to disadvantage oneself: “Ruin is the destination to which all men rush, each pursuing his own interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons“… Therefore, it does not matter whether the global resource considered is the oceans or the atmosphere; we seem destined to over-fish one and pollute the other – simply because we cannot agree that everyone should simultaneously stop taking the restorative capacity of the environment for granted! This prophecy has now been conclusively proven to be valid because, despite being unequivocably told that time is running out, our schizophrenic politicians have decided that what the scientists are telling them is necessary (i.e. that we must stop burning fossil fuels) is politically unacceptable. James Hansen would also appear to be right – they are lying to themselves and us. If not, then they must be relying on the dangerous myth of Carbon Capture and Storage as means by which the fossil fuel lobby would have us believe we can carry on burning fossil fuels and achieve emissions reductions. If so, this may well prove to be the last and most ill-considered Faustian Bargain in human history. Meanwhile, Sir David Attenborough is apparently being attacked for just stating facts – i.e. the climate is changing. For example, by highlighting the astonishing retreat of glaciers in South Georgia since they were photographed over 90 years ago by Ernest Shackleton’s expedition. However, as Attenborough says, the reason we should be concerned is because most of the melting has occurred in the last 30 years: See The final episode of the BBC’s Frozen Planet series (view from 32 minutes and 03 seconds).


About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Carbon Capture and Storage, Economics, Environment, Ethics, Fossil Fuels, IPCC, James Hansen, Politics, Storms of my Grandchildren, UNFCCC and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to UNFCCC 1, Planet 0

  1. The BBC doesn’t grant your former colony the right to view Attenborough’s program (programme). I’m a little bitter, but still your fan.


  2. Donald says:

    I doubt if there are many men on the planet more knowledgeable about the environment than him, what I find truly devastating is how many fools who know next to nothing about the environment have now come out attacking his comments; they are only parroting what others say without so much as a read on the issues. Fact is, ignorance of the AGW issue is killing us all, we need to educate people quickly and efficiently but I have no idea how ……. yet 😦


    • Rick_Altman says:

      Donald, it is going back nearly 9 months but, you may recall my difficulties in using the Telegraph website? Well, following the failure of my laptop’s hard-drive I replaced the latter and now can engage in debate on the former… James Delingpole does not know what is about to hit him (if my IP address is not blocked that is – or will that have changed with the new hard drive?)…


      • Donald says:

        Every time you use your laptop ( I know when you do it) your IP changes by itself, I have to re-approve any comment you make with it. Either you are using a wireless bridge without knowing it or you are using a Dynamically preset Internet Explorer. Leave it alone, it works perfect as is 🙂


      • Rick_Altman says:

        Have just posted part of my Background page on James Delingpole’s blog. It will be interesting to see how long it stays there; and/or if I do get blocked…?


  3. Donald says:

    I just checked and yes, it has a completely different IP number, I shan’t post it for security reasons but it is “completely” different. 🙂


    • Rick_Altman says:

      My hard drive was replaced a few weeks ago. However, even before it did, my wireless connection would occasionally freeze (and is doing so still) and I have to turn it off and on again? Could this be why my IP address keeps changing?


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