Sunday, September 03, 2006

Climate Camp and Contracton and Covergence

As Climate Camp Activists wield their logic at Drax in response to
rising risks of runaway climate change:

“Tony Blair's target on curbing emissions is based on the science of
1990 not that of 2006. This year we've seen the evidence that the Earth
is becoming effectively ill. We've already reached the tipping point on
the permafrost. It will come in the Amazon in the next three to five
years. We need a 90 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by
2030. That means less air and car travel, electric cars, banning night
flights, congestion charging, changes to domestic heating and
electricity from renewable sources.” [Stephen Stretton Cambridge physics

. . . . Zac’s [as in Goldsmith] message is that “Climate change brings
us an uncomplicated choice”.

If only he and his Conservative colleagues would actually organise
logically in the light of that.
[Thursday August 31, 2006 - Guardian],,1861670,00.html

Zac quotes the Archbishop of Canterbury "The economy is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the environment". In fact it was Tim Wirth US
Under-Secretary of State who made this remark famous nearly ten years

With the help of Sir Crispin Tickell, it has been recycled since then,
but sadly more and more as a ‘planet-as-market’ where ‘choice’ becomes
‘chance’ while our chances of survival actually diminish.

The remark has been to negligible effect on organising the rapid global
retreat from climate-changing greenhouse emissions needed to defuse the
threat - “worse than terrorism” that Sir David King routinely chants -
of the dangerous rates of climate change to which we are now almost
irreversibly committed.

As Teddy Goldsmith’s nephew, Zac knows this as well as anyone alive.

However, the claim by him that the Conservatives and their quality of
life policy group have understood this ‘choice’ would be more credible
if Zac quoted the Archbishop of Canterbury on “Contraction and
Convergence” (C&C).

The purpose-specific comment on this which the Archbishop made famous
two year ago was, “C&C is Utopian only if we refuse to honestly
contemplate the alternatives” . . .

. . . while the UN itself says, “Achieving the objective of the
[climate] convention inevitably requires “Contraction and Convergence”

Speechless as it left me last year, both the UK Prime Minister and 25
Corporations from the World Economic Forum led by BP, effectively took
the same view. They specified that climate policy and the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is meaningless without a
specified ceiling to atmospheric greenhouse gas (ghg) concentration
target with everyone involved on common metrics, subsequently praising
the C&C model for precisely this reason. Blair called for “a rational
science-based unity.”

[All quotes above are sourced in this UN lobbying material: – ].

C&C shows a way to put ghg emission shares on the same global account.
As the eminent MP Colin Challen, Chair of the House of Commons All Party
Group on Climate Change says, we can demonstrate up front what is
needed, namely “solving the problem faster than we cause it” - it takes
us from guesswork to framework.

Using this way of summing both problem and solution, Colin has already
achieved a high degree of consensus with his parliamentary colleagues in
this cause – see reference above and the report – and is destined for
further success: -

In earlier times and to his great credit as Conservative Environment
Secretary in the 90’s, Mr John Gummer was a champion of this logic and
he now, albeit from the backbenches, is one of Zac’s colleagues in this
Conservative Party group.

The unpredicted oddity with John now is that, at a recent
‘climate-policy-conference’ in Whitehall, it became clear that he has
done a complete turnaround on C&C. He vehemently denounced the very idea
of their being a ghg concentration target, let-alone a C&C framework
because that’s where the logic leads. When asked if he would suggest a
concentration target he snapped, “I know where you are trying to lead
me.” This conference organised by the Peter Luff’s Action Committee for
a Global Climate Community, was attended by many NGOs and the great and
the good, Sir Crispin Tickell, Elliott Morley etc.

This time it was at least nearly everyone who was speechless with
surprise at Mr Gummer’s stance. In fact some of the things muttered by
some of the great and the good were unflattering and wholly unprintable.

Though the choice for C&C is uncomplicated and recognised clearly by so
many, it remains a complete mystery as to why this man and this party,
in league with the world’s premiere environmental organisations
Greenpeace and WWF [now re-branded as the “I Count” [sic]] campaign,
continually choose to oppose the C&C framework and try to frustrate and
dissipate the C&C consensus as it grows here and abroad.

However much it is longed for, more policy guesswork will not do it. Not
choosing C&C forecloses on choice itself as we fail to avoid climate
change and these organisations surely know this. Indeed, it is based on
the very fear of this, that they now very largely raise their

These ['I-Count'] actions are also tinged with a little bathos.

Over many many years now, the one thing that personnel in “I Count’s”
present and prior incarnations would do is actually to ‘count’ . .
. . and so to put up a numerate global framework.

It was this and this alone that the US described - and continues to
describe - as “Kyoto’s fatal flaw’. The US conceded C&C with the Byrd
Hagel Resolution: -

and at COP-3"

But as they graft with Zac’s group they are trying not to count all over
again; - so ‘I Count’s’ structure-less proposals for Kyoto-2 draw the
Tories deeper onto the axis of error in their future without a plan.

To get as sense of the diminishing timeframe left to us all, the rising
risks are counted out here: -

Aubrey Meyer


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