Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Climate Talks Failure Highlights Disconnects Between People and Politicians

A large march at COP25.
According to reporting from The New York Times, the UN's climate talks ended in failure on Sunday. The United States seems to have been the big disrupter at the meeting. However, it is clear from the article that ownership of the failure belongs to various countries including Brazil, Australia, India, and China (among others). The failure to forge any meaningful agreement highlights that lack of solid leadership internationally on global climate change and the overall breakdown of world cooperation on environmental issues.

This is a very odd time for this breakdown.

Survey after survey is showing that globally there is greater understanding of the climate crisis. Many are experiencing negative impacts of climate change first hand. Around the world the public is eager for leadership on climate change policy. However, what they are getting is either denial, deceit, or an outright embrace of anticipated changes that will negatively impact so many.

There is a growing sense of frustration in the public about the lack of leadership on this issue and I am not sure how long countries like the US, Australia, Brazil, China, and India can continue to block solid policy changes that will benefit the planet.

As you will see in my upcoming post on environmental predictions for 2020, I expect that we will start to experience even more impacts from global climate change including more inundation of low-lying areas during high tides and storms. Politically, I expect that being against climate change policy in the United States will soon be akin to being against baseball and apple pie--regardless of politically party. Against climate change policy? Then you will be against our brave emergency personnel who will have to rescue people in climate change emergencies.

The question I am asking is whether or not our politicians will wake up to the fact that the public's outlook on climate change has changed in time for them to do something about it.

1 comment:

Simon said...

Might this be less a reflection of a "lack of leadership" (a haphazard question of character) and more a reflection of principled commitment to right-wing neoliberalism on the part of many of the national governments you mention?