Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Draft of the Paris Climate Agreement

(Reclaimed from Blogjob, with a sigh...)

Steve Milloy has a draft of what's being called the "climate agreement" being debated in Paris. Unfortunately, it's a PDF. Now, before our host's sponsors shove in with an obnoxious out-of-place ad, a word to our sponsors. (This is a blog; I get to throw in asides if I want to, and I do.) This page began with a link readers may use to buy it, and here's a picture of Steve Milloy's best known book.






Right. Aside, to Amazon, the source of those ad pictures that are popping up in between the paragraphs of Blogjob sites these days: I hate reading around those pictures. My readers hate reading around those pictures. Now that the site is counting visits again, I can tell you that visits to my site are down by more than half since those nuisance pictures started popping up. Why? Because they're not part of what readers are here to read or see; they're a nuisance. I can't believe this is coming from Amazon, because I've had a contract with Amazon for years. Like all booksellers I want people to use Amazon to learn what books are out there, compare prices for it, then buy a copy they can actually see (no surprises about its condition) from a real live bookseller like me...but if two people want the same book, where d'you think any bookseller these days gets the second copy? I want a picture of something readers can buy from Amazon to decorate each of my Blogjob posts. I don't mind putting it at the front of a post, especially when the post was provoked by an e-friend who's written a book. But I want it to be relevant to the post, not to whatever commercial site a reader visited last week; I want it to be an enhancement, not a distraction--and you want it to steer people to your sale pages, rather than all the way out of the computer center, too.
Sorry, Gentle Readers. Back to the document Milloy has taken the trouble to post at junkscience.com. It's extremely badly written, full of long abstract words and phrases with so little specific meaning as to suggest that it's code for an agreement that's never going to be printed or published. How bad is it for business? You be the judge. How bad is it for you personally? Ditto. How bad is it--still--for the environment? I can't really say. What will it do for climate, specifically? Your guess is as good as mine, but many informed people guess it won't do much for the climate.
The primary effects of pollution are local. If you'd like to breathe cleaner air, eat better food, and feel less tempted to try to fry your eggs on the pavement in summer, the shortest road that leads closest to those goals is to stop bickering about what nations or corporations should do and stop polluting your own environment. Yes, you'll always be breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide, but you as an individual have a lot of control over the other ways you affect your environment. Including the climate.
When we as individuals choose to walk not drive to work, how much good does that do for someone who's still suffering from heat exhaustion incurred last summer in Baghdad? We don't know. We may never know. Probably it does some good for that person, too. Mostly its good effects are for us. We breathe fewer chemical emissions, we get more exercise, we spend less money on gas; a lucky few of us can dispense with all vehicle ownership expenses altogether and rent cars on the occasions when we need them. We reduce the local greenhouse effect and can spend less money on air conditioning. Our neighborhood feels more vernal and less infernal in summer.  The cumulative effect individuals have on their neighborhoods contributes something, although we don't know exactly what and it's probably not very much, to the rest of the world.
We don't need a big government to inflict a "Green Hell" scenario upon us. We need a more enlightened self-interest to help us preserve our existing Green Eden.
Beyond what each of us individually can do, which we know will work for those who do it, we have no real, scientific, solid, or guaranteed idea what national governments can do...except that, if national governments try to control the behavior of individuals beyond protecting the obvious material interests of other individuals, the effect of whatever they do is likely to harm the nation. Why? Because nations that have treated adults like toddlers have found that they didn't get an adult's work out of these infantilized "citizens." Totalitarian governments fail. The United States started out as a feeble little experiment, then surged ahead of nations as rich as Britain, as big as Russia, as old as China, because our ancestors respected individual liberty. Those who want bigger government are regressive, not progressive, if peace and prosperity are the goal.
About that, at least, we have as much information as we have about the effects of practical non-pollution (don't smoke, minimize driving, compost, recycle, control the temperature only when people are actually using a room instead of trying to heat or cool a whole empty house, etc.). About controlling the world's climate we have lots of competing theories, and we know pretty near nothing.
So, for its stated purpose, the "climate agreement" is garbage. What about its unstated purpose of building the United Nations from a useful international mediator into a disastrous attempt at global government? You be the judge...
Btw, you can buy Milloy's books from his site, which is the best way to show due respect, but if you want to buy one that's been out for a while, like Green Hell, from me, you can. Use the "Donations" button to send $10 ($5 per copy, $5 per package) and e-mail salolianigodagewi @ yahoo to tell me what it's for. As always, living authors or the charities of their choice get $1 per copy.

(And the long-tailed tags: global warminglocal warmingPoison Green,pollutionread the Paris climate agreementsaving money saves the planet,Steve MilloyWatermelons.)