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Breaking, Al Jazeera: Agreement was reached to extend the Kyoto climate protocols that apply to developed nations for 5 years and to implement new protocols that will be the same for all countries by 2020 at the latest. The three major greenhouse gas emitters, China, the United States and India will be included in the standards for the first time. Reaching agreement with the major emitters to follow one standard is a big step forward and a victory for the U.S. negotiator. A green fund to assist developing nations was agreed upon. The agreement is better than expected but falls short of what's needed to stop global warming according to environmentalists.

The president of a United Nations climate conference in South Africa has announced agreement on a programme mapping out a new course by all nations to fight climate change over the coming decades.

The 194-party conference agreed on Sunday to start negotiations on a new accord that would put all countries under the same legal regime to enforce their commitments to control greenhouse gases. It would take effect by 2020 at the
latest.

Currently, only industrial countries have legally binding emissions targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Those commitments expire next year, but they will be extended for another five years under the accord adopted on Sunday.

From Steven Lacey in Durban, Think Progress blog:

After a grueling two days of negotiations with almost no rest, the international community gathered at COP 17 in Durban, South Africa was able to agree on an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, a framework for negotiating internationally-binding emissions targets, and more details on an international fund for financing adaptation and mitigation projects.

Before the meeting even began, people were ready to write off the negotiations as a failure. With almost all major priorities outlined by negotiators coming into the meeting adopted, the international community has taken far bigger steps than anyone expected.

As Figueres pointed out, they are still not enough to get us on a sharply declining emissions path. And a number of environmental groups are criticizing the package, saying it won’t get the job done. But it’s a decent start — and certainly far better than predicted coming into this meeting.

After going 36 hours overtime, at 2AM the South African president and the Brazilian delegation broke the impasse. From the Guardian:

A deal was reached after the South African president of the talks urged the EU and India to go "into a huddle" in the middle of the conference hall in the early hours of this morning, in a bid to work out language both sides were happy with.

A compromise, suggested by the Brazilian delegation, saw the EU and Indians agree to a road map which commits countries to negotiating a protocol, another legal instrument or an "agreed outcome with legal force".

The treaty will be negotiated by 2015 and coming into force from 2020.
The deal also paves the way for action to address the "emissions gap" between the voluntary emissions cuts countries have already pledged and the reductions experts say are needed to effectively tackle climate change.

The bottom line from the bottom lines of the New York Times' dour article on the agreement.

Mary D. Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, which arguably has done more to reduce carbon pollution in the United States than any other body, was in Durban as an observer. Ms. Nichols said that given the inability of the international bureaucracy or the United States Congress to move decisively on global warming, the job would increasingly fall to the states and local governments.

“Instead of waiting for them to negotiate some grand bargain, we have to keep working on the ground,” she said. “Progress is going to come from the bottom up, not the top down. That’s just reality.”

I think, as Tim in CA does that the Times gave up on the agreement before it was made. However, I also believe that it will only succeed in America by strong pressure from us, the 99% pushing the leaders and the 1% to act.

Update: An informed international perspective from koNko provides an alternate interpretation worthy of consideration.

Afraid I have to object to your framing

You say:

    Reaching agreement with the major emitters to follow one standard is a big step forward and a victory for the U.S. negotiator

It is not, and the spin you put on this is disrespectful to those who did the heavy lifting in Durban, whom you do not even mention in passing.

The US made virtually no concessions and contributed nothing of real significance to the negotiating process.

The US negotiator, Todd Stern, has been consistently a negative and divisive force in the negotiations for years and is disdained by Environmentalists everywhere for his single-minded pursuit of US economic interests at the expense of international unity. He played the usual games in Durban.

This was a collective process, but if any single person deserves credit for forging this agreement surely it is Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate change commissioner, who lead the EU to drafting the proposal that served as the vehicle, lead the negotiation process from her impassioned speeches to her dogged pursuit of direct negotiations between parties and, most importantly, got commitments from the EU, Norway and Switzerland to continue meeting their Kyoto commitments beyond 2012, a commitment at the core of the agreement and the lynch-pin upon which it was finally made.

How that translates into a victory for Mr. "Kyoto is Dead" Stern is simply beyond me.  Clearly, this deal was reached despite his involvement, not because of it and we should not confuse that.

A legally binding and equitable treaty is the common goal of most nations and this agreement is a step forward toward that, but actually getting there will be a long and rough road since the problems and interests and varied and often conflicting. Going forward, I would hope the US appoints a replacement for the odious Mr. Stern who carries too much excess baggage to remain, but if the US goal is to continue to evade responsibilities and cut the most favorable deal for itself then maybe he should remain.

Lastly, I think you are misreading this in terms of how standards will apply. The fact is, there has not been nor is there likely to be one common standard of emissions applied and if that were to be the case, it would mean per capita limits. While I personally agree with and advocate such a principle, it's difficult for me to imagine the US, let alone Mr. Stern, ever agreeing to such a regime since the history has been broken promises and self-interest in minimizing responsibility for historical or current emissions. Given that current US per capita emissions are a multiple of either China or the EU and many times that of India, it's incredible to imagine the US agreeing to what would be a necessary per capita limit to reach the 2C 2050 goal.

What we can and should expect is a regime that continues to differentiate responsibilities between various categories of nations and ultimately depends on negotiated national commitments. The formula and commitments are yet to be negotiated.

No doubt the negotiation process will be difficult and in the case of the US, fraught with political land mines given the fact the US Congress must ratify any treaty and does not presently seem disposed to do so.

That the agreement was finally reached is really a big step forward and a beginning, not an end.

I think we should all be happy with this result and give credit to the UN and the delegates as a whole for sticking to it and accomplishing what could be at this point.

And we should continue to keep the pressure on.

Sorry for the dissenting remarks, it's not my intention to rain on this parade, only to get the facts straight and give credit where it is due.

Connie Hedegaard rocks.

What koNko's perspective doesn't take into account is the problem of making a climate deal that can pass the United States Congress. Even if Democrats take back the House and hold the Senate in 2012, getting a treaty passed in the U.S. will be a challenge. Rural oil, gas and coal producing states have an undue amount of power in the U.S. senate. It's an unintended consequence of how the senate was defined by the U.S. Constitution. The power of the fossil fuel lobby in the United States has long been an impediment to progress in developing renewable energy and limiting climate change.

Originally posted to The Durban Daily on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and DK GreenRoots.

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Comment Preferences

  •  thx FishOutofWater (30+ / 0-)

    this is more than I was expecting ...


    two step forward ...


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:22:39 PM PST

    •  Getting the same standard was key for Congress (34+ / 0-)

      It would have been almost impossible to get Congressional approval if China got off easy compared to the U.S. Of course, we will still have to vote a shipload of Republicans out of office to get this deal signed.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:29:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  never going to happen (23+ / 0-)

        since I suspect a boatload of democrats would oppose any action also (e.g. Manchin).  If I recall correctly, this isn't the first time the US agreed to the Kyoto limts cough!

        I had halfway hoped the rest of the delegates would have thrown the US negotiator out of the room, reached a rest of the world agreement and imposed a 35% global tarrif on all goods coming from a non-signatory nation.

        Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:35:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's get to work. (34+ / 0-)

          I'm not one to give up easily and I know that Bill McKibben won't quit. We surrounded the White House layers of people. We can surround the Capitol.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:42:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm in. (24+ / 0-)

            It's about the only issue that really matters, in reality.

            Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

            by Mindful Nature on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:42:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Stunningly unexpected news. Surround the Capitol? (19+ / 0-)

            Nope - OCCUPY the Capitol and have a citizen lobbyist at all times in every Congress critter's office. Hmm, that came off the top of my head - but, y'know, why not? Surely doable with a rotation of volunteers (raises hand), churches to sleep in and modest meal per diems.

            “Wall Street owns the country. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The parties lie to us, and the political speakers mislead us.” - Mary Elizabeth Lease, 1890. It's late. Occupy everywhere.

            by DawnN on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:21:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's how to do it! (17+ / 0-)

              Exactly what you said:

              "OCCUPY the Capitol and have a citizen lobbyist at all times in every Congress critter's office. Hmm, that came off the top of my head - but, y'know, why not? Surely doable with a rotation of volunteers (raises hand), churches to sleep in and modest meal per diems."

              A citizen lobbyist in EVERY Congressmember's office.  And one in every Senator's office.  Total number of people required, less than 600.  That should be easy!

              Rotate volunteers?  Actually I'm not so sure that's a good idea, it adds up to 1200 people at minimum, multiplying the costs and logistics of accommodations and such, but none the less.  Let's see how the numbers work out for 600 people:

              Sleep in churches? Sure: 50 people in each of 12 churches.  Surely there are 12 progressive churches within public transport distance of Congress.  

              Modest per-diems?  Assume $25 per person per day to cover meals and transportation, for 600 people.  That's $15,000 per day.  Ten days of this add up to about $150,000 if you factor in the need for per-diems over the weekend.  

              Fund raising goal:  $150,000 to send 600 people to Washington for ten days.

              WE can do this!

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:29:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We can and we need to. The last phone conference (12+ / 0-)

                (McKibben and 350.org) had about 1000 people listening in, hearing reports from group meetings across the country about "where do we go from here, nationally and locally."  This may be the national action to push for.

                “Wall Street owns the country. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The parties lie to us, and the political speakers mislead us.” - Mary Elizabeth Lease, 1890. It's late. Occupy everywhere.

                by DawnN on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:36:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Good ideas. My 15yo cat's telling me it's time (8+ / 0-)

                  to get some sleep.

                  I'll check back in the morning.

                  look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

                  by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:44:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  OK, time to bug McKibben to do this. (11+ / 0-)

                  He has 1000 people on a phone conference (hot damn!, I'd like to know what kind of tech he's using for that!), that's more than enough to get 600 volunteers.

                  Thing is, the volunteers have to be screened and vetted, and properly trained.  This is not the place for "accepting anyone who comes along," including people who are basically incapacitated or who have other agendas.  

                  So in effect this project will entail building up a group of people who can do this task and do it properly.  Some of them will also need to have their transportation costs covered.  They should ideally come from the districts of the Congressmembers whose office they'll be occupying for the ten-day duration.

                  And also, this is not the place for "kids v. cops" digressions.  Per your original proposal, occupy their office while they're open: from the moment they open in the morning to the moment they close in the evening, and then go get dinner and sleep in the church and get up and do it again the next day.  Just walk in and ask the secretary for an appointment, and then sit there all day waiting to talk with whoever-it-is and with whoever else comes to the office that day for whatever business.  

                  It's possible that the per-diem costs can be reduced by providing breakfasts and dinners in the churches, but be prepared to accommodate omnivores and vegans alike at both meals (vegan meals will work for vegetarians).  (And no dumpster-diving or using "expired" stuff for cheap food: good food sanitation is essential, we do not want our volunteers tied up with diarrhea for the duration!)

                  The logistics of this should be organized well in advance by people with experience doing such things.  

                  There is also a need for major publicity outreach in the run-up to the event: also carried out by people with relevant experience and current contacts.  

                  If it's done right, it will go like choreography and will generate a major buzz in the media.

                  One really important message to get across is that science doesn't give a shit about excuses or ideology.  Facts are facts, and wishing them away doesn't work.  Climate denialism is like complaining about gravity when you fall off a ladder: complaining doesn't make gravity go away.  Etc. etc., I'm sure there are people out there who can come up with plenty of good ways to make this arguement.

                  There will be no progress on climate in the US until the population is back on track with the idea that scientifically established facts can't be evaded, avoided, or escaped from, so educating the public on this point is essential.  Use the "Cartesian dodge" if needed:  "science deals with nature and the material world; religion deals with God, the hereafter, and the spiritual life; we are not here to debate religion, we are here to educate the public about science."  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:01:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  McKibben's small but awesome staff have been doing (8+ / 0-)

                    a pretty good line in training, so far. They held one in CT this weekend and plan to continue.

                    I do think this is worth bringing up to him - although he may well be all over it already (I think is superpower is that he needs no sleep.)

                    “Wall Street owns the country. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The parties lie to us, and the political speakers mislead us.” - Mary Elizabeth Lease, 1890. It's late. Occupy everywhere.

                    by DawnN on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:20:53 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Excellent! Bring it up! (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DawnN, elwior, WarrenS, bnasley

                      If you have any channels to reach him, do it.

                      You've got a great idea there; others can fill in the details; then you or someone who has a way to reach him can get in touch and put it on his radar and persuade him to do it.  

                      $150K is actually a pretty modest fundraising goal, and that will make this happen.  Shoot for $200K to be sure, and keep the surplus for the next round.  

                      The people who participate in this can then go on to the next stage, serving as local organizers in their areas, and keeping up a presence in their local Congressmember's and Senators' offices.  

                      One possible goal to aim for: doing this next summer or at a time when schools & colleges have breaks.  But in any case it needs to happen before October or so, when the dynamics of the election will be heating up in the media.  

                      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:35:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  We could do this w/state gov'ts too (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WarrenS, Amber6541, DawnN

                There are some states like Massachusetts where democrats have a supermajority. We should push ahead with the strongest clean energy action possible at the state and local levels.

                This will definitely strengthen our hand nationally. Take the California EPA standards for cars which led to Obama raising fuel efficiency standards nationally.

                "Poor man wanna be rich, Rich man wanna be King, and the King ain't satisfied till he rules everything." Bruce Springsteen.

                by Johnnythebandit on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 03:24:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  it's either that, (9+ / 0-)

            or we all start bailing pretty soon. Especially the people who live at elevations close to sea level.

            The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine. -- Abraham Lincoln

            by Mnemosyne on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:45:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Now you are talking. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, WarrenS, FishOutofWater

            Pressure, persistently applied.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:49:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Your skepticism is not justified. (17+ / 0-)

          Big difference between this deal and Kyoto. First of all, this deal is different from Kyoto, so the US didn't agree to "Kyoto limits." Most importantly, it is 14 years later, and our window of opportunity to act on global warming has diminished almost entirely. This agreement represents the last effort for the global community to come together and avoid the most destructive warming projections. Furthermore, there is a very long time table for action under the new agreement - implementation will not occur until 2020. A lot will change concerning the politics of global warming by that time, even in the US.

          In short, there will be IMMENSE pressure for ALL national governments to sign on to this plan. The American media has whiffed on this story entirely. There is no mention of the deal on any major national newspaper - NYT, LAT, WashPo, WSJ, CNN - nothing; it's like it didin't happen.

          Go to any major international news source and this story is leading - AP, Reuters, BBC, etc. Global news sources understand that this is the most important step forward for the climate movement in a LONG time, probably since Kyoto.

          Meanwhile, here in the US, where the entire country, and even much of the progressive left, including users of this site, buries its head in the sand rather than confront the simple reality that OUR PRESENT WAY OF LIFE IS DESTROYING THE CLIMATE, there is apparently no awareness that this deal went forward. Maybe it's just as well, so that the deniers don't go too crazy. Because if they just realized the implications of what just happened, they would have to acknowledge that tonight, in South Africa, their side LOST, and the planet won a very important, albeit dangerously belated, victory!

          •  My skepticism is fully justified! (11+ / 0-)

            After all, half the US thinks jesus rode dinosaurs, and it only takes 11% of the popultion to stop anything at all.

            But I think your optimism is more justified.  There has been a sea change in how people talk about climate change, for sure. Even Texans are starting to believe there's something to this whole science thing.

            Well, we have work to do, it would seem

            The NY Times is reporting this as a punt that many leaders hope will result in the end of  Kyoto.  They're even more skeptical than I am...

            sigh.

            Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

            by Mindful Nature on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:02:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ok, maybe we're both justified (13+ / 0-)

              My point is that there's only going to be more and more impetus to move forward with this deal, as it becomes crystal clear to everyone that denialism is bunk. The real consequences of this crisis will only grow as this decade proceeds. Further, the fifith IPCC report due out in 2014 will substantially raise the pressure on politicians to move forward with this framework, since it's the only one we've got, and inaction is suicidal.

              That NYT piece is bunk. It was written earlier today, hours before the agreement was reached. They were so sure the conference was going to end in failure that they wrote the postmortem before the process had run its course. This is a classic "Dewey defeats Truman" moment. Meanwhile, I don't think the times sent even one reporter to Durban. The actual deal has not been reported anywhere on the site, including on the two blogs that supposedly focus on the environment. Their coverage of global warming since the end of Copenhagen has been shameful - this is just more evidence of it.

              •  Meme: "Dewey Defeats Truman." (7+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tim in CA, DawnN, ozsea1, elwior, WarrenS, TofG, bnasley

                Plaster the "response" page to that article, with that meme.

                Shame the Times for lack of journalistic integrity for not sending reporters and for writing the obituary when the patient was still in surgery.  

                "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:31:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  imagine someone is coming to kill you and.... (12+ / 0-)

              .... choke your children to death.

              Someone who believes the moon is made of green cheese and their great-great grandfather whispers to them through the metal in their tooth fillings.  

              Are you going to waste time explaining why they're crazy?  

              Or are you going to do everything possible to protect yourself and your family?

              Sure, 45% of Americans believe stuff that isn't even religion, it's primitive superstition with a disguise.

              Sure, 11% can block progress.

              Now imagine there's a crowd of zombies on your lawn coming for your family.  Are you going to fret about how many zombies are out there and how few would have to get inside your house to kill you and your family?

              Or are you going to do everything possible to defend yourselves?

              Saturate the email servers at the White House and Congress.

              Occupy fossil fuel corporations and Mic Check Republicans.

              Relentless LTEs to the local press.

              Relentless conservation while you're at it.

              And GOTV 2012 as if the survival of the human race depends on it, because it does!

              Think about how easy all of this is compared to some of the alternatives.  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:16:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Added NYTimes article link (7+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DawnN, G2geek, jamess, pgm 01, ozsea1, elwior, WarrenS

              Success will come from the bottom up. That means you and me and all of us here.

              look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

              by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:19:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  But .... (6+ / 0-)

              This agreement would not have happened without the EU, Switzerland and Norway committing to a continuation of their Kyoto commitments beyond 2012.

              Without that, this would have gone absolutely nowhere.

              I am very confident differentiated goals will continue to be a part of the regime or there will be no regime.

              The world is not fair and so far, wealthy nations have not done their fair share or taken responsibility for their historical or current emissions, even under the differentiated agreement of Kyoto.

              The American media has it's perspective and it's predictably biased towards US rhetoric and US interests, nothing unusual about that, but let's not mistake that for reality. The US did not sign Kyoto and has been obstructionist so US politicians have no credibility discussing it's merits or demerits, the US lost it's voice when it put itself outside of the process.

              I'm genuinely happy to see the US get back on board with this agreement and wait for the negotiation process where the US can step up to the plate to lead with ambitious emissions cuts if it so choses. I would support that for certain.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:20:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  In fact differentiated goals remain (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              WarrenS, FishOutofWater, bnasley

              The text has now been published and:

              (a) Since the Kyoto definition remains in effect until further agreements are reached, Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 country definitions remain

              (b) With clear recognition of the differences in the situations of various countries, the concept of differentiated responsibilities remains.

              Thinking otherwise is simply unrealistic since, as I noted, it is virtually impossible to apply a simple limit based standard and if it were to be done I see not possibility of developed countries agreeing since it would significantly undermine their standard of living based on the present status quo, suggesting they would have to undertake immediate and comprehensive change to meet those goals.

              Of course we would have that if we could, but the political will does not exist at this time.

              Will it by 2012?  Let's try to advance that.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 02:09:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  3,521,164 Texans voted for Obama in 2008 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Chi

              How many people voted for Obama in your state?

              Not meaning to start a fight but you did rouse my pride in my state, the home of Bill Moyers, Jim Hightower, Barbara Jordan, LBJ.  I stipulate that our recent/current crop is abysmal, but they wouldn't be where they are without national (corporate) support.

              We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

              by Mosquito Pilot on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 06:54:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  then MAKE IT happen, dammit! (13+ / 0-)

          OCCUPY every possible target and Mic Check every Republican politician about basic science, until we're on the nightly news and wear down the opposition and get this thing passed.

          GOTV next year as if the risk of human extinction is at stake, because it IS.  

          Failure is not an option and Ma Nature could care less about excuses.  

          9.8 m/sec^2 doesn't care if you're a poet or a pickpocket.

          +5 Celsius doesn't hear you weeping.

          Extinct is forever.

          No excuses!

          FORWARD!

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:58:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nice! (0+ / 0-)

          That's a great idea.  I wish they would have.  They still could.  Maybe they will.  I wonder if a campaign to convince the biggest economies to take that kind of economic steps would have a better chance of success than the campaign to convince congress to ratify.  I'm afraid the answer is 'yes'

      •  But it is not "same standard" (5+ / 0-)

        As I note elsewhere, there is no "standard" and if there was one adequate for the task I don't see the US to committing to it. Such political will does not exist.

        What we have is an agreement that all nations should be subject to legally binding and verifiable commitments, and an agreement to negotiate such terms, but not any agreement on what those terms should be.

        IOW, we have an agreement to date not a marriage, with or without a prenuptial agreement (and in case of the US, a history of bolting from the alter).

        Let's just be clear about it.

        And let's be realistic about the political situation in the US as well.

        While I credit the Obama Administration for using it's available discretionary powers to implement stricter environmental regulations and do some pump-priming in the clean energy sector, zero progress has been made on clean energy and CO2 emissions policy and it is clearly not the top priority of either the Administration or the Congress, the later being quite hostile.

        While I certainly hope this will knock-down some of the rhetorical arguments, I will believe the US has turned the corner when I see it.

        Show me the legislation. Show me the money. Prove me wrong.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:49:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Capitalize on this step. This may be another kick (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FishOutofWater, koNko

          the can down the road, can't be the end of the discussion. I don't trust ANY nation to act responsibly. This isn't like changing the Titanic's course away from the iceberg, this is more like moving the iceberg itself.

          “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

          by the fan man on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 06:33:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Correction made. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 07:49:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Noted and Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bnasley

            BTW, I put up a quick and dirty diary to summarize some of the conclusions with links to the UN drafts now posted, feel free to read and comment, I'm sure there are/will be multiple ways to interpret the language of the documents.

            In any case, some of the stones have been rolled out of the way and it's time to redouble pressure in all directions.

            One World, One Atmosphere, One Ocean, no matter which idiots are in charge of this or that country.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:01:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think one of the more interesting things to come (8+ / 0-)

        out of the talks in Durbin was the stand taken by Abigail Borah.  

        The delegates assembled in Durban, South Africa to tackle the civilizational challenge of manmade climate destruction burst into sustained applause on Thursday when a young American interrupted the proceedings to speak on behalf of the United States people. Abigail Borah, a 21-year-old student from Middlebury College and member of the youth climate delegation, spoke out in the plenary hall as US climate envoy Todd Stern prepared to address the assembled environmental ministers. “I am scared for my future,” she said, because of the “obstructionist Congress” and the “empty rhetoric” of President Obama:

        "I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America because my negotiators cannot. The obstructionist Congress has shackled justice and delayed ambition for far too long. I am scared for my future. 2020 is too late to wait. We need an urgent path to a fair, ambitious and legally binding treaty. We need leaders who will commit to real change, not empty rhetoric. Keep your promises. Keep our hope alive."

        http://thinkprogress.org/...

        Why is that so important?  Watch this YouTube video (US Youth say 2020: It's too late to wait.")

        http://www.youtube.com/...

        The members of US Youth have stated emphatically that the 2020 date is unacceptable and they make it clear they are going to take their concerns to the voting booth in 2012.  This video chastises President Obama for a lack of leadership on climate change negotiations...when you combine their concerns with the claims by the protesters of OWS who have stated that Obama is part of the Wall Street problem, then you might be seeing a trend in young voters that does not bode well for this administration.

        •  Here is an additional link that shows the (9+ / 0-)

          flash mob that gathered at the end of the conference.  This could become another OWS style movement.

          At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durbin, South Africa Friday afternoon, a group of environmental activists decided to provide a common element of the ‘Occupy’ movement to the event.

          The protesters “mic checked” during negotiations, demanding that a “real climate deal” be provided at the conference’s conclusion.

          “Listen to the people, not the polluters,” they yelled. “We are here today for the people who can’t be here. We are here today for the people who will suffer under the weight of climate change.”

          http://www.rawstory.com/...

          Watch the video of Anjali Appadurai...at the bottom of the page.

          "Long term thinking is not radical.  What's radical is to completely alter the planet's climate, to betray the future of my generation and to condemn millions to death by climate change."

      •  that would mean MORE and better democrats n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WarrenS, TofG
  •  I guess that is a good thing, considering... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mindful Nature, palantir, G2geek, koNko, elwior

    the way things were being reported.

  •  is this a joke? (12+ / 0-)

    because I had never thought that this good an outcome was possible?  The US agreeing to anything at all?  That's a real shocker.

    I am not kidding that I am still looking for the snark tag.

    Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

    by Mindful Nature on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:33:26 PM PST

  •  This must suck if you are John McCain: (13+ / 0-)
    The three major greenhouse gas emitters, China, the United States and India will be included in the standards for the first time.
  •  time for the Dear Mr. President and Dear Sen-... (9+ / 0-)

    ....-ator and Dear Congressmember emails!

    Fill up the hard drives on their servers!

    Make this the first thing they see when they come to work on Monday.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:00:19 PM PST

  •  so much for "no difference between the parties." (15+ / 0-)

    Would a McCain administration have managed to do this?

    Would a Newt Regime manage to do this?

    Hell no.

    Yeah we've got plenty of gripes about Obama.

    But dammit, this is real progress.  Maybe not strong enough, maybe not fast enough, but something to build on.

    Every inch of progress counts.  Every degree Celsius that's averted is a billion lives saved: a hundred Hitlers' worth of holocaust prevented.  

    That's worth something.  Now let's fill up those hard drives at the White House and Congress with constituent email!  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:05:22 PM PST

    •  You're right. Obama deserves credit. (12+ / 0-)

      And it's why, despite frequent disappointment with Dems, that I continue to support them.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:28:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thug Pres would not even try, and will repeal this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WarrenS

      Count on that being part of their stump speech in 3, 2, 1....

      •  only if you assume there'll be a President Newt or (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater, WarrenS

        ... President Mitt or whoever.  Something we can prevent if we really want to.

        Really, we have to start Mic Checking these people wherever they show up for campaign speeches.  Start with a basic message to the effect that there's no denying the facts of science, and taking them to task for being petulant little babies who throw tantrums about the law of gravity.  

        Hell, start even "before" that in cognitive terms: Mic Check these people and tell them, NO, they can't have whatever they want, and "I Want" is not a moral commandment, and they have to start acting like responsible adults instead of spoiled little brats, and that goes for their constituency as well.

        Oh to have a Voice of God amplifier, so loud that it can silence all of those idiots at Newt rallies and so on, and force them to listen to what they don't want to hear.  And give them the parental scolding of a lifetime.  

        However, a Mic Check will have to do!

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 01:15:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not enough, but (8+ / 0-)

    it does look like several conceptual breakthroughs:

    1) China and India agreeing to limitations on them
    2) The US agreeing to anything at all

    As Figueres pointed out, they are still not enough to get us on a sharply declining emissions path. And a number of environmental groups are criticizing the package, saying it won’t get the job done. But it’s a decent start — and certainly far better than predicted coming into this meeting.

    We shall not contribute to our own destruction.

    by James Wells on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:16:24 PM PST

    •  It's a starting point. And at some point, the.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, elwior, raines, WarrenS

      .... positive feedbacks kick in for solutions.  For example it takes making a big stink to get governments to start rewarding renewable energy projects.  But once they do so, the projects become their own positive feedback: generating investment profits and new jobs and all the prosperity that comes along with those things.  Thereby they gain momentum and grow stronger, leading to more support in terms of policy, and so on.

      It's never too late to prevent another billion deaths.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:53:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I re-read the title of your diary in disbelief: (12+ / 0-)

    it almost knocked a lens out of my glasses, frankly.

    Very good news!

    I know much more needs to be done, but this agreement puts wind in our sails.
     

    The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. Clayton Act, Section 6.

    by Ignacio Magaloni on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:23:10 PM PST

  •  Thank you for the Gift Subscription (13+ / 0-)

    Anonymous donor, thank you.

    I'll still open up too many windows and tabs, slowing my computer, but this will help.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:31:21 PM PST

    •  Great news, Fish - no one deserves it more - you (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, pgm 01, ozsea1, elwior, WarrenS

      are a real Kossian treasure.

      Shout out to the anonymous donor - thanks from all of us who care about the planet! You've gifted us all.

      “Wall Street owns the country. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The parties lie to us, and the political speakers mislead us.” - Mary Elizabeth Lease, 1890. It's late. Occupy everywhere.

      by DawnN on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:39:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fish, you may want to amend the title (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN, G2geek, WarrenS, LaughingPlanet

      of this diary, and remove the word "Same."

      The important breakthrough with this deal (among others) is that all nations will have CO2 limits when the agreement comes into effect (2020 at the latest). There's no implication that all countries will have the "same" CO2 limits.

      Just want to help clear up unnecessary confusion. The force of the article and the agreement is unchanged.

  •  What the heck is this? I don't see a description. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Shipper, JesseCW, 0wn, Chi

    I see nothing about limits or penalties. I see a vague framework for an agreement to be signed in four years. Am I missing something?

    •  The admins goal was "We don't do shit till (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      0wn, pgm 01, 2020adam, Chi

      2020".

      What was announced was

      "We don't do shit till 2020".

      This is a huge unexpected victory.  Somehow.

      She's the sort of person who would not only happily stay in Omelas, but would ask "Couldn't life be more wonderful if we threw a few more kids in there?"

      by JesseCW on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:02:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pgm 01, WarrenS, FishOutofWater, Chi

        the expectation was an announcement of "we dont do shit...ever."

        I guess we are so despairing that frankly the US even agreeing not to destroy life on earth in some vague principle is astonishing.  

        Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:00:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Only Democrats agreed not to destroy life. Thugs (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, WarrenS, FishOutofWater

          gs are busy either destroying it or burying their heads even further up the asses of polluters.

        •  I think he's been pointing to 2020 all week. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WarrenS, TofG, Chi

          I don't know if it's been in public or not, but every delegate clearly understands that the US will talk when 2020 is part of the discussion.

          Climate Science, on the other hand, seems to point to 2015 as a good time to stop fucking up so badly if we don't want life to get too excessively unbearable.

          •  hard to argue with that (0+ / 0-)

            This agreement kicks the can down the road.  That is really dangerous.

            Unbearable is a good word in the sense that life will not bear it, and when life does not bear somethign the result is death.

            Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

            by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:11:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It is a victory in that it would appear the US (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, WarrenS, FishOutofWater, TofG

        signed on to an agreement.  Our official negotiator had spent the past week undermining deals and when it sounded like he was saying the US supported a deal, the administration retracted that position.  Many members were pissed at the US, because we were even more disruptive to the process and were bringing less to the table under Obama than when Bush was president.  This means it is a win in the sense that it would appear the US has agreed to do something.  

  •  I'm still trying to digest this. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tim in CA, DawnN, elwior, WarrenS, Egalitare

    But, two cheers for some real progress, more than seemed possible.  

    Life is good. Injustice? Not so much.

    by westyny on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:51:19 PM PST

    •  Same here. I appreciate the pros and cons (0+ / 0-)

      discussed in the comments. I had low expectations so this agreement exceeded them. I see this agreement as movement in the right direction with all parties on board. It's a start, that we can use to push for more effective action.

      I'm hoping that the dropping cost of wind and solar power will make them economically preferred in the very near future. With peak conventional oil here now, there will be strong cost pressure against rising auto use. Economically driven changes in energy use will be favorable in a few years, IMO.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 06:33:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kyoto was one the single thing..... (4+ / 0-)

    ...I found myself next to George Bush on.  It is meaningless without China.  

    •  Bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior

      She's the sort of person who would not only happily stay in Omelas, but would ask "Couldn't life be more wonderful if we threw a few more kids in there?"

      by JesseCW on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:03:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  let me elaborate (7+ / 0-)

      Kyoto has been hugely important without China.  That is, it has driven a lot of figuring out how to reduce emissions and some action from some very big emitters.  This has had the effect of showing that things can be done (just not by Americans, who are kind of the "can't do kid" of the world).  

      Yes, China needs to participate in an ultimate effort, but even without Kyoto they are being aggressive.  If Kyoto hadn't happened because of finger pointing, we'd be truly screwed, instead of "probably screwed"

      Personally, I think civilization has a small chance of surviving the century.  I fear for what my kids will face.

      Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

      by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:03:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Afraid I have to object to your framing (14+ / 0-)

    You say:

    Reaching agreement with the major emitters to follow one standard is a big step forward and a victory for the U.S. negotiator

    It is not, and the spin you put on this is disrespectful to those who did the heavy lifting in Durban, whom you do not even mention in passing.

    The US made virtually no concessions and contributed nothing of real significance to the negotiating process.

    The US negotiator, Todd Stern, has been consistently a negative and divisive force in the negotiations for years and is disdained by Environmentalists everywhere for his single-minded pursuit of US economic interests at the expense of international unity. He played the usual games in Durban.

    This was a collective process, but if any single person deserves credit for forging this agreement surely it is Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate change commissioner, who lead the EU to drafting the proposal that served as the vehicle, lead the negotiation process from her impassioned speeches to her dogged pursuit of direct negotiations between parties and, most importantly, got commitments from the EU, Norway and Switzerland to continue meeting their Kyoto commitments beyond 2012, a commitment at the core of the agreement and the lynch-pin upon which it was finally made.

    How that translates into a victory for Mr. "Kyoto is Dead" Stern is simply beyond me.  Clearly, this deal was reached despite his involvement, not because of it and we should not confuse that.

    A legally binding and equitable treaty is the common goal of most nations and this agreement is a step forward toward that, but actually getting there will be a long and rough road since the problems and interests and varied and often conflicting. Going forward, I would hope the US appoints a replacement for the odious Mr. Stern who carries too much excess baggage to remain, but if the US goal is to continue to evade responsibilities and cut the most favorable deal for itself then maybe he should remain.

    Lastly, I think you are misreading this in terms of how standards will apply. The fact is, there has not been nor is there likely to be one common standard of emissions applied and if that were to be the case, it would mean per capita limits. While I personally agree with and advocate such a principle, it's difficult for me to imagine the US, let alone Mr. Stern, ever agreeing to such a regime since the history has been broken promises and self-interest in minimizing responsibility for historical or current emissions. Given that current US per capita emissions are a multiple of either China or the EU and many times that of India, it's incredible to imagine the US agreeing to what would be a necessary per capita limit to reach the 2C 2050 goal.

    What we can and should expect is a regime that continues to differentiate responsibilities between various categories of nations and ultimately depends on negotiated national commitments. The formula and commitments are yet to be negotiated.

    No doubt the negotiation process will be difficult and in the case of the US, fraught with political land mines given the fact the US Congress must ratify any treaty and does not presently seem disposed to do so.

    That the agreement was finally reached is really a big step forward and a beginning, not an end.

    I think we should all be happy with this result and give credit to the UN and the delegates as a whole for sticking to it and accomplishing what could be at this point.

    And we should continue to keep the pressure on.

    Sorry for the dissenting remarks, it's not my intention to rain on this parade, only to get the facts straight and give credit where it is due.

    Connie Hedegaard rocks.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:33:55 PM PST

    •  China fights for its interests, as should the US (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, Amber6541

      You castigate the chief US negotiator "for his single-minded pursuit of US economic interests at the expense of international unity."

      I applaud him for that.

      After all, over the past five years, the Chinese have demanded that US firms wanting to sell wind turbines to that market must domestically source 70%, a clear violation of WTO laws.  When GE and Vestas replied that the local knowhow isn't there, China demanded that GE transfer its technology to Chinese firms.  

      A few years later, these Chinese firms were exporting turbines.  When GE asked why China didn't simply manufacture for domestic consumption, a Chinese pol replied that he preferred that Western taxpayers absorb the subsidy between the kilowatt hour cost of renewable vs carbon-based energy.

      In fact, over 90% of Chinese-made turbines and solar panels are exported.  Don't believe me?  Review my comments, where I have cited my sources in the past.  Or just do a search on the NYTimes.com

      Chinese energy needs?  A coal-fired power plant goes online each week.

      And I applaud Chinese pols for delivering the cheapest form of energy to their people.  This, in large part, explains why the Chinese median wage has increased over 9%+ annually over the past decade, while the US wage has increased 0% over the same timespan.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:49:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  neither should (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, koNko, WarrenS, samanthab, Egalitare, Chi

        Frankly, if governments are willing to sacrifice wide swathes of humanity just so they can get theirs, they really have no right to govern whatsoever.  This quibbling about whose workers have rising wages is going to look pretty silly when none of those workers can find food if our ecosystems fall apart.

        This is kind of like having the US and the UK fail to mobilize against Hitler because they are squabbling over tarriffs on sheet metal screws.

        Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:12:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Please (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaughingPlanet

        See my response to your comment in my diary yesterday, which answers in part the issues you raise and makes you an offer I feel quite reasonable based on a very flat playing field.

        Do the math.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:05:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the difficulty with these negotiations (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WarrenS, Amber6541, koNko

      is that they have to include even recalcitrant nations. And the US has to be included because we emit so much; a treaty without us would be useless.

      The US is too big to fail, and we're demanding to be bailed out or we will walk away. That is of course grossly unfair of us (and very shortsighted) but that has never stopped our politicians.

      This is not a unilateral issue. This isn't even like arms control, which could largely be carried out bilaterally between the two superpowers. This requires a level of multilateralism never previously achieved in human history.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:52:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  US a "recalcitrant" nation????!!! (0+ / 0-)

        You are aware that the US is the #2 CO2 emitter, aren't you.  And that China already emits 19% more CO2 than the US.

        And that the moment that China would agree to curb 2005 emission by 50% by 2020, the US would do so as well.  China has refused to do so, arguing that it needs to "catch up" to the US.

        In the meantime, the median Chinese wage has increased by 9% a year over the past decade, while the US wage has been stagnant.  That means that over the last decade, the Chinese worker increased his real wage to almost 200 units from 100.  While the US worker has stayed at the same 100 units.

        Again, the instant that China agrees to curb CO2 emission by the same percentage as the US, off the same base year, I'm confident that the global community would have a deal.

        I agree with you that it's not a unilateral issue.  

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

        by PatriciaVa on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:05:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chrismorgan, WarrenS

          I don't think the US would agree at all.  Remember, Republicans can fillibuster anything, and they oppose action because they oppose science.  I don't think it has anything to do with what other countries are doing or agreeing to.

          After all, China is moving forward agressively, while the US is doing next to nothing.

          Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:05:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And let's not forget (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WarrenS, Chi

          that in terms of the total emissions, the US is way, way way out in front, since China only caught up a few years back, but we've been polluting the atmosphere since we were at 280 ppm.

          Intelligent, passionate, perceptive people will always disagree, but we should not let that disagreement, however heartfelt, lead us to become deaf to those better angels of our nature.

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:07:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  US still higher in terms of per capita emissions (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WarrenS, koNko, Chi

          which is the only fair way to do accounting.

          •  Per Capita Isn't Fair (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PatriciaVa

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:44:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  A thoughful analysis- but I disagree (0+ / 0-)

              So, I like the fact that you are making the distinction between the rural China and the coastal, naufacturing China. So your point is that manufacturing China is allowed to skate just because they have a bunch of peasants who could help pull down their averages. While this is true, you are ignoring one key point. A lot of the pollution emitted by manufacturing China is for the manufacture of goods bound for the US.

              Suppose you are a wealthy trendy guy living in San Francisco. You decide to buy an Iphone XVII. The Iphone is manufactured in China. The pollution is put onto China's tab. One year later, you decide to throw away that phone to get the Iphone XVIII. The discarded phone goes back to China for disposal, and more emissions ensued, also put onto China's tab. While you the (green loving of course) San Franciscan, gets away with emitting an ostensible 0 emissions, even though your all-consuming lifestyles is wrecking the climate. So how is that fair?

              In other words- shouldn't the carbon emissions be put on the tab of the enduser or end consumer? Otherwise all we are doing is shifting the carbon emissions from the first world to the developing world. All it does is encourage the outsourcing of manufacturing, without doing a darn thing to discourage consumption.

              •  You Agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                icemilkcoffee

                You just made an even stronger argument against per capita emissions quotas.

                I agree that Chinese manufacturing pollution is largely outsourced pollution, manufacturing done where pollution is cheaper than where the products are consumed - which is one reason they're not manufactured there. China exports about double to the EU what it exports to the US. Indeed, lots of Chinese manufacturing is outsourced from American brands, so the consumption happens outside China, and the profits are also kept outside China.

                But US manufacturing is the world's outsourced manufacturing, too. The US is the largest manufacturer in the world, 18% of global manufacturing; much of that is consumed overseas.

                This picture of the complex global manufacturing supply chain shows even more strongly how the total population of China is only arbitrarily related to its emissions.

                Which is why carbon emissions should be included in the cost of manufacture. Either at some accounting point of "embodied energy", where the total emissions to produce that item are accounted, or simply every place emissions are emitted, whether from energy consumption or by chemistry. The emissions themselves should be taxed. Which would encourage everyone to reduce their own emissions, especially the unnecessary emissions that don't make any profit.

                And as you point out, internalizing the emissions costs into the production would reverse the shell game that has moved manufacturing out of the US and other less polluting (and therefore more expensive) places, into the less developed world where they're storing those externalized costs in their environment (then passing them along) and in their people (ditto, eventually). Countries would compete for manufacturing on the basis of efficiency to reduce costs, not on the basis of ignoring the pollution which creates much more costs for everyone, just after the sale is done.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:11:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Ugh. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko, limpidglass

          What evidence do you have that any of that difference in wage increase was due to policies on emissions?  China's economy has been growing for all sorts of reasons.  National responses to global warming not among the top five, I would say.

          Also, pointing to increases can be meaningless.  9% of what?  0% of what?  What happened to cost of living in the US and China during that time?  What percent of the 9% was lost to other factors?  Taxes, etc.?

          Finally, why is an increase in Chinese wages, even if the rest of what you say is true, bad?  Are you really arguing that we should not pursue -even unilaterally - intelligent climate policy because it might mean better lives for the Chinese?  Really??

          •  Maybe I can answer that. (0+ / 0-)

            By inviting Ms Va to change places with those Chinese workers earning the hypothetical 200 units.

            It is true there is a correlation between money and emissions in this world. How the pie is sliced is always an interesting debate and one worth having; hence my linked response.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:13:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think in this case (0+ / 0-)

        That the deal got done precisely because it was driven to the brink in a situation quite similar to MAD.

        And under the circumstances, neither the US or China wished to be the one to hit the red button.

        If the world is depending on any two countries in this case it is certainly the US and China.

        Now let's play nice?

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:09:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  there's the World News, and the Domestic News. (6+ / 0-)

      You're speaking from the perspective of the world news.  Diarist is speaking from the perspective of the domestic news.  

      The emotional narrative that "our guy/gal saved the day", makes people feel good.  People who feel good are more likely to work harder for change.  

      One could promote similar emotional narratives in every country on Earth.  Thereby making everyone think it was "their guy/gal" who saved the day.  

      "Whatever it takes."

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:59:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I realize that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaughingPlanet, G2geek

        But I'm kind of the International Perspective By Default here, it's the only way to justify my existence.

        And I'm not totally adverse to selling it that way if it works! Damn Right, Buddy!

        Just prompting a healthy debate here and I'm pretty sure Fish can hold his own.

        We are not at cross purposes, I linked back to this diary from mine and I'm happy to see this one getting so much attention, COP17 diaries have been a lonely place this past week.

        Give the guy some love.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:19:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent comment, added to diary update (0+ / 0-)

      I really appreciate your well stated disagreement from an Asian perspective. It's a perspective I wasn't able to get from the sources I read.

      One thing you must consider is how difficult it will be to get any American congressional approval for a climate agreement. Todd Stern was working for an agreement that had some chance of being passed by congress in the next 5 years.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 06:49:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hegegaard's self-stated goal is to expand the EU (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      carbon trading market into an international one. It's been proven highly ineffective, and it's callous as hell. She's done some good work, but let's not kid ourselves that she's some kind of saint.

      •  Who called her a Saint? (0+ / 0-)

        I thought I was admiring her ability to bludgeon delegates?

        If there were any saints in the room they probably came from countries under water or dry as a bone.

        Given the miserable failure and corruption of the EU carbon trading markets and general disregard for the Euro these days I seriously doubt the world will be adopting their system if that was her purpose but she did serve a useful purpose and I highly doubt either the US or China would have got on board at exactly this point without the pressure so credit where credit is due.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:25:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong: This is a US Victory (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      The results of the Durban bargaining are framed as a US victory because the results specify a single standard for all countries. China made its position a differentiated standard for different countries, while the US took the position of a single standard. The agreement that the entire conference agreed, including China and the US, is a single standard. That makes the result inarguably a US victory. It is not a subjective matter of interpretation that China dropping its position to accept the US position is a US victory.

      A US victory doesn't mean the US gets the credit for the agreement. It means only that the US won. India and the EU, assisted by Brazil, are given credit for actually negotiating the agreement. But that agreement is a US victory. Which, by the way, did not exclude from this story's "frame" those other countries getting the credit.

      Now, a US victory is not necessarily worth celebrating. Different countries have different roles in the energy/carbon systems. The conflict between a "single standard" and a "differentiated standard" is a false dichotomy. Of course everyone should be bound by the same law, but of course that law should treat different situations appropriately differently. Rich people don't pay the same taxes as poor people, but the same law says both rates. It's not even clear that a single standard won't have differentiated responsibilities for different countries due to their different activities under the law. If it doesn't, then the one-size-fits-all law is a straitjacket that serves some countries' interests better than others, instead of primarily serving the abatement of climate change. It's pretty easy to guess that the US is a country whose interests will be prioritized, since the US gained that victory.

      But since the agreement is written in the US terms, but not the Chinese terms, it's still clearly a victory for the US. We might not like it, even as Americans (who aren't profitable polluters, or who care that the pollution is killing us). And it might even be a hollow victory, as the details of the "single standard" might still not advantage the US. But in what has actually happened, it is a US victory.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:23:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no real objection (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo

        To the US or anyone else claiming victory if it motivates them to ACT and encourage whatever sort of propaganda necessary to win hearts and minds (or simply get asses moving).

        But for the record, Kyoto stands until it is replaced so I'll call it a tie score and leave it at that, the important thing now is to apply pressure constantly in all directions.

        I'm sure the New York Post and People's Daily will agree, "We Won!"

        Bravo!

        Cheers!

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:32:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

        Have you actually read the document?

        It is linked in a diary published today and one thing is pretty clear, "Differentiated Obligations" will stand, and correctly so because the world is not a uniform grey hue and life ain't fair.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:35:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Per Capita Quotas are Smoke and Mirrors (0+ / 0-)

      Per capita national emissions quotas are arbitrary. The meaningful limits are emissions per energy consumed, which is simple energy emissions efficiency, the only factor that is directly the mission here: reduce climate changing pollution while continuing to get work done. If other economic engineering is included as a goal, then the meaningful limit is emissions per GDP. But the number of people in a country is only tangentially related to the emissions.

      The vast majority of China's emissions are produced by its manufacturing. But the vast majority of Chinese people have nothing to do with China's manufacturing. At least double the US population inhabits China outside the cities and manufacturing centers. Those people's emissions are about equivalent to the vast majority of India's people's emissions, except there are millions of Chinese people who pollute while heating in their colder climate. But their heating emissions are tiny compared to the manufacturing emissions. China's development has concentrated in these manufacturing centers and the connected urban economies that develop and manage them. The rest of the country, the large majority of its people, do not produce those high rates of emissions. Nor do they even consume the products that create those emissions. They overwhelmingly consume the same low emissions products that they have traditionally for hundreds or even thousands of years.

      In the US, practically everyone is part of our emissions production. Even our millions of homeless people consume products that create emissions. Even our small children and sick elderly consume products that create emissions, in fact often at a higher rate (due to larger plastics content and greater disposability) than people with jobs. But most jobs develop, manage and/or consume manufactured products. And of course nearly everyone is pumping transportation emissions into the sky.

      The number of people in China actually producing Greenhouse emissions is not too different from the number of Americans. It might even be smaller in China. Yet China's total emissions are higher than the US'. Because China's energy consumption is less efficient than US energy consumption. Per capita energy consumption that counts every resident, no matter how disconnected from the emissions, is just padding the books - an arbitrary measure. That's used in faithless bargaining to hide China's inefficient energy use.

      The right method is to stop hiding the cost of pollution by externalizing its costs into those damaged by it or who have to clean it up, long after the damage is done far upstream. The more the polluter pays the cost of the damage, or (much better) the cost of preventing the damage, the less the polluter pollutes. But if governments can't overcome the bribery and extortion by polluters, they still have a chance to get to the heart of the matter by requiring direct energy efficiency, measured by emissions per energy.

      So there are alternative ways that accurately handle the problem. But per capita emissions is not one of them. It's just smoke and mirrors.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:38:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  so hope of progress on the climate stays alive (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, elwior, WarrenS, Amber6541

    but it was very close.

    And it's only the beginning of a long mountain climb, which we have to cover very fast.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:41:47 PM PST

  •  Not clear what "deal" was "cut" (9+ / 0-)
    However, key components of the accord remain to be hammered out, and observers say the task will be arduous. Thorny issues include the still-undefined legal status of the accord and apportioning cuts on emissions among rich and poor countries.

    Looks more like and agreement to continue negotiating.
  •  It's a pretty good deal for the UN too. (4+ / 0-)

    They get to throw more "We Are the World" parties on mostly our dime. When they have a COP via teleconference, I'll pay a little more attention.

  •  Thank you for diary. For my part, I'll take the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, FishOutofWater, Amber6541

    progress that seems to have been made and work with it.  One thing I wish to do is change the conversation so that climate change is no longer controversial (a fundamentalist talking point that public officials use without cost).  That will help "the good guys" negotiate better and better regulations.

    Also supporting whatever state, local or private efforts that are moving us away from what's causing the problem by spreading the information and enhancing the discussion would be another thing the average person could do.

  •  They signed, but we will have to do the work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, FishOutofWater, Amber6541

    -- to see reductions through and to keep governments, especially national governments and corporations, from making it all but impossible to reduce at a rate that prevents the worst outcomes.

    I am amazed that any agreement was possible and encouraged that 2015 is a crucial year -- well inside the time frame of Obama's second term. He has, to his credit taken some important steps, especially the fleet average auto emissions standards.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 06:14:13 AM PST

  •  Bet'cha $10K Dems and GOP run AGAINST it in 2012. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi

    A safe bet that both the Newt and Obama campaigns will run against the new Kyoto Plus climate treaty as a "jobs killer" and "not right for America".  Newt will call it a Chinese plot to subvert our precious bodily fluids and Obama will say he can't accept it without BIG changes like exemption for US oil and coal companies and their customers...America needs jobs ya know.

  •  This is a step (0+ / 0-)

    it is incumbent upon us all to push as hard as ever now. The conversation is clearly beginning to change on all fronts. OWS and so many others are pushing the envelope open. We must begin to move through.

    The era of procrastination, half-measures, soothing & baffling expedients, & delays, is coming to a close. We are entering a period of consequences - Churchill

    by PrometheusUnbound on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 07:45:52 AM PST

  •  rare good news on the climate front (0+ / 0-)

    Of course, there is always a caveat.

    This pretty much sums it up:

    it won’t get the job done. But it’s a decent start — and certainly far better than predicted coming into this meeting.

    And I agree with koNko; this happened in spite of the US, not because of us.

    We need to continue to hope that action will happen, even if it is too little, too late.

    It is all about mitigating the worst effects of climate change at this point.

    Thanks for being on top of this, FOoW

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    by LaughingPlanet on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:06:43 AM PST

  •  Great diary, and welcome news; (0+ / 0-)

    and kudos to FishOutofWater for presenting the alternative view.
    One of the many reasons I love this place.

    Dear Ayn Rand fans: Please, would each of you just go all John Galt, immediately? Thank you.

    by CitizenJoe on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:42:30 AM PST

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