The Corona plague has provided humanity with a glimpse into the extent of global change required if it wants to halt the process of global warming. As part of dealing with the plague, necessary production was stopped, factories were shut down, workers stayed at home, international tourism collapsed and public transportation was reduced. The result was the sharpest decline in global GDP since the Great Depression. In Britain, where the 26th UN Climate Change Conference opens today, the worst recession in 300 years has been recorded.

Despite all this, despite the huge loss of GDP and the trillions of dollars taken in loans in the last two years to prevent a more serious crisis, total carbon dioxide emissions fell by only 6.4% in 2020. A global catastrophe, a global epidemic, has closed in most countries of the world, resulting in a reduction of only 1/16 out of the 100% reduction required by 2050, to significantly mitigate the global warming process, according to the scientific consensus.

In the coming days, a lot of slogans will be heard from the climate summit in Glasgow. “It’s time to act”, “Historical responsibility”, “Turning point”, “Global effort”. Everyone will talk about “our ball” and “the future of humanity”. “Green” press releases are scheduled for publication. Corporations are waiting for gym class to grab headlines. But as the Corona Year illustrates, we are very far – an inconceivable distance for many – from making the necessary changes to stand behind the beautiful words.

False presentation

If the global crisis as a result of the corona reduced only 6.4% of carbon dioxide emissions, and that too temporarily, it is not difficult to imagine what it means to reach “zero emissions” (Net Zero). But the UN climate conferences – and a significant part of the political system as well – sell us the illusion that this is possible without a significant impact on life and the world economy. Oxygen in the coming decades.

In fact, such a reset, which is the stated goal of the climate conference and what is needed to limit global warming to just 1.5 degrees, would require a monumental change. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions means drastically reducing energy use, period.

Renewable energies are a promising direction, but even if they miraculously manage to generate all the electricity in the world, it is still only a third of humanity’s energy consumption. The hydrogen economy that is supposed to replace some of the other two-thirds is only hypothetical technology at the present stage, no more advanced than nuclear fusion or other experimental ideas.

Therefore a real emission reset means, for example, no more private vehicles. No more frequent flights abroad. It means the price of meat is so high that we can afford to eat meat once a week. It means electricity rationing at certain hours, changes in living conditions and even birth control. No more unlimited heating in winter or air conditioning for alpine cold in summer. No more pineapples Flying from South America to Europe and costing only Euros.No more fearing the Amazon rainforest to grow organic soy for the meat industry.The change we thought we experienced during the Corona plague, when we went online to buy the same unnecessary products we bought in stores before, is child’s play compared to the changes in consumption required to meet For this purpose, imagine the average between your life today and the life of a Congolese who earns a living from mining and lives in a hut, it will be more in the direction.

Global coordination

And all this will also need to be coordinated at the global level, to prevent the migration of production that has taken place in recent decades and the process by which factories, which involve multiple carbon emissions, move to places where regulation eases and coal (until recently) was cheap – steel production in China and India, for example, or Other industrial production in Asia. Norway can boast of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and an achievable target of 100% electric vehicles in the country by 2025, but the vehicles are manufactured in China or the US, and the natural gas it produces and distributes in Europe is what actually subsidizes the change. Germany can demand solar cells on Every public building is in legislation, but it subsidizes it with the money of the car industry, which sells jeeps and luxury vehicles devouring fuel to the Chinese market.A lot of what appears to be a green success is a pretense.

Until we are ready for a significant decline in our standard of living, we will not be able to meet the target set by science. Especially since the Industrial Revolution, energy has been the foundation for growth. Until we accept the fact that this is a zero-sum game, and that we have to pay to worsen our living conditions to reset carbon dioxide emissions, we will continue to be exposed to the half-truths and false promises that have been heard for more than two decades at climate conferences. . Promises under the auspices of human energy consumption rising year by year and breaking records.

Do not raise your hands

Therefore, the climate conference in Glasgow will not save the world, but that does not mean that hands should be raised. It should be understood that the international climate conferences, the one that failed in Copenhagen in 2009 and the one that was relatively successful in Paris in 2015, are almost imperceptible points on the graph of human energy consumption. They may not solve the climate crisis, but that does not mean they should be ignored.

The international forum responsible for climate conferences, although a typical self-financing UN mechanism, is still a public effective tool for promoting the adoption of renewable energies and stopping dependence on fossil fuels. Climate. And if an agreement is reached in Glasgow on the closure of coal-fired power plants, it may not stop global warming, but it will prevent air pollution that kills millions in Asia. Hiding political and business interests.

Assist victims

And there is one more thing that climate conferences need to start doing: take action to help victims who are already beginning to pile up as a result of climate change. Just for example, an international forum like the COP should discuss opening certain borders to climate refugees, perhaps even setting up intervention forces to help victims of floods and other natural disasters; One can think of establishing regional forces that will fight fires, that will be more frequent.

It is also worthwhile to understand that the sea level is expected to rise by up to 2.5 meters, and to start evacuating those from the coastal areas who are in danger, even in poor Bangladesh. We need to help farmers in third world countries who still rely on rainfall for irrigation and their source of livelihood is going wrong. We need to help the villagers in the Sahel who are abandoned because of the desert, those who are doomed to poverty because of the changing climate.

Shatter illusions

Currently, we refer to it as a “natural” dynamic and prefer to talk about subsidizing electric charging stations for luxury vehicles. But the future of the fight against climate change will not come from a panel sponsored by the British Petroleum on green bonds. It will not come from a leader in Tesla.

The future of the struggle is in the understanding that the climate crisis is present, that its containment requires far-reaching measures, and that we must do much more at the international level to deal with its broad impact. It will not help much if we replace all vehicles with electric vehicles. Instead of pumping oil, lithium was mined, and in the meantime natural gas was burned to charge them.

As a first step, it is worth acknowledging the truth, understanding that the perception that global warming can also be fought and that global growth can continue, when everything is based on fantastic technologies for energy production that does not yet exist, is merely an illusion. It is this truth that should permeate and shape the next climate conferences, even if it is troubling.

By Editor

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