By 45% this decade

Meanwhile we continue to race toward the cliff.

The world is on track for disastrous levels of global heating far in excess of the limits in the Paris climate agreement, despite a flurry of carbon-cutting pledges from governments at the UN Cop26 summit.

“Pledges.” Pledges are cheap. Pledges butter no parsnips.

Temperature rises will top 2.4C by the end of this century, based on the short-term goals countries have set out, according to research published in Glasgow on Tuesday.

And they won’t meet the short-term goals anyway. It’s not “countries” setting out the goals but the governments of countries, which will be voted out by all the people who don’t want to do what it will take to prevent the drastic temperature rises. Human governments aren’t the right tool for this job, and humans have no idea how to come up with a better one. We’ve accidentally broken our own ecosystem and there’s nobody higher up the chain who can fix it.

The estimate stands in sharp contrast to optimistic forecasts published last week that suggested heating could be held to 1.9C or 1.8C, thanks to commitments announced at the talks, now in their second week and scheduled to end this weekend.

And how can we believe the commitments anyway?

The analysts also found a chasm between what countries have said they will do on greenhouse gas emissions and their plans in reality. If current policies and measures are taken into account, rather than just goals, heating would rise to 2.7C, based on the CAT analysis.

What I’m saying. The goals and pledges are beside the point, because it won’t be possible to put them into effect. We didn’t tolerate the restrictions and disruptions of the pandemic very well, so what chance is there that we’ll put up with the much sharper restrictions that would be needed to avoid 2.4C? We can’t even give up the stupid cruise ships that burn 80 THOUSAND gallons of fuel per day, and we can’t give up air travel, and we can’t give up cars, so…?

The findings should serve as a “reality check” to the talks, said Niklas Höhne, one of the authors. “Countries’ long-term intentions are good, but their short-term implementation is inadequate,” he told the Guardian.

Or to put it another way, countries make long-term promises easily and can’t implement any promises now. Long-term promises are just air. Implementation is real and it’s not happening.

The 197 parties to the 2015 Paris agreement were asked to come to Glasgow with two aims: a long-term goal of reaching global net zero emissions around mid-century; and shorter-term national plans, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), pegging emissions reductions to 2030. Scientists say greenhouse gas emissions must fall by about 45% this decade for global temperatures to stay within 1.5C of pre-industrial levels.

Do we see that happening?

If we could realistically see that happening, then surely we would have had the good sense to mothball cruise ships altogether instead of bringing them back this past summer. We didn’t have that good sense. It’s a big industry, it makes big bucks, and ain’t nobody gonna shut it down. Apply that to all the other industries and there you go: greenhouse gas emissions are not going to fall by 45% this decade.

They must all know this. They put on the show while knowing the truth.

It’s unfortunate.

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