GLOBAL CARBON INITIATIVE — A CLIMATE SAFETY CLAUSE FOR THE PARIS AGREEMENT
Please do not sign this appeal yet:
1) The content of the global appeal is being honed here,
in preparation for its launch on Earth Day (April 22) 2017
2) here you will find the original proposal for the popular petition and mandate for a legal safeguard for a stable climate and a safe future.
If you wish to participate, please contact the organizers
at globalcarboninitiative at gmail
2) ORIGINS AND SPARK (2016)
On Earth Day, 2016, two portentous events took place:
- In New York, as the whole world was watching, the signature of the Paris Agreement (PA) adopted in December 2015
- in Montreal, where nobody was watching, a citizen call for an amendment of the Paris Agreement that safeguards the future. Its goals: to spread awareness of the fateful threat built into the PA, and to put forth a tool that can dispel it at the stroke of a pen.
You are beckoned to take due note of the threat you programmed in the Agreement enacted on April 22. And in view of its implications, we summon you to start talking, as soon as you can convene, about an amendment to the Paris Agreement, to insert two simple clauses, that:
- Set up an INDEPENDENT PANEL OF CLIMATE SCIENTISTS to determine a "CARBON BUDGET" of SAFELY ALLOWABLE CUMULATIVE GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG) EMISSIONS UNDER CONDITIONS OF UNCERTAINTY.
- Ensure future flexibility and swift response capacity by allowing, if necessary, for annual rather than 5-year reviews of GHG emissions, starting in 2017.
Millions of people will give you all the mandate you need to begin ensuring a safe future. How many? Just watch us (as well as the image in the mirror: How soon will you join? Will you follow or lead? Do you sustain the polluting social order, or do you abet the goals of a safe future? Will you be able to tell your children the truth about what you did?)
Why is this important?
On April 22, representatives of 175 states met to formally sign the Paris Agreement (PA) they adopted on December 12 2015. On Earth Day—no less—media fireworks celebrated the diplomatic achievement obtained after 20 years of arduous negotiation. And then they went back to their routines.
In virtual unison, the mainstream press, self-congratulating politicians and many green activists had applauded the Paris philosophical consensus: a lowest-common-denominator statement of intentions with no hard targets, no clear timetable, no enforcement mechanisms, not even treaty status, to come into force …in 4 years. We are told that it sets us on course to avert catastrophic climate disruption —even if it won't come close to meet its stated goal, as everyone agrees—, because it begins to lower GHG emissions, and sets up a “framework,” that can eventually be "tightened" by revisions every 5 years, to achieve zero net emissions…in the “second half” of the century.
Unfortunately—indeed alarmingly—the climate consensus IGNORES THE ONE FACTOR THAT DETERMINES CLIMATE: ATMOSPHERIC CARBON CONCENTRATION. The economic and political concerns spared by the PA forgot to include Nature in the deal. The problem is that Nature doesn’t negotiate, let alone comply with the wishes of the powerful …even of a unanimous Humanity. We might as well outlaw earthquakes.
A geophysical reading reveals why the PA is suicidal: the shape of future will be overwhelmingly determined by the GHGs in the atmosphere. This is the sum of: 1) what was "always" there, 2) what we’ve added since the industrial revolution, 3) what we will add until we reach "zero additional emissions" —but also, as we're now shocked to discover, 4) emissions from self-accelerating feedback processes that, beyond ill-charted “tipping points,” are feared to trigger "runaway" global warming …but the PA (and climate scenarios and policy generally) discount.
The intended annual GHG emission limits are nothing to celebrate. For
1) Lower ANNUAL (human) emissions = higher CUMULATIVE (atmospheric) emissions, which are WHAT DETERMINES CLIMATE.
2) Paris’s emission allowances propel us toward CUMULATIVE GHG levels that IGNORE THE TIPPING POINTS of RUNAWAY GLOBAL WARMING, which would devastate civilization.
Unbelievably, standard scenarios have not factored in the natural feedback processes that, past ill-charted thresholds, threaten henceforth unstoppable warming. As these kick in, 2ºC or less will just be signposts on the way to 4-5ºC —i.e. to another planet, vast swaths of which will have become unlivable, and much of the rest insufferable, with untellable but vast collapses of human and species populations. The thawing Arctic and permafrost, e.g., are ALREADY releasing METHANE, ignored by the IPCC, as the UN Environment Program denounced. More methane leads to more warming, which releases more methane, that leads to more warming, that…
Worse, this is only ONE OF MANY identified feedbacks. But "Across two decades and thousands of pages of reports, IPCC, the world's most authoritative voice on climate science, has consistently understated the rate and intensity of climate change and the danger those impacts represent” (Scientific American).
UNCERTAINTY has not only SANCTIONED INACTION: it has HIDDEN the existentially threatening feedbacks from the radars of most actors—politicians, diplomats, activists, the press, even the science overseen and massaged by politicians concerned primarily with maximizing emissions to protect "the economy." Not only have scientists denounced the removal of alarming facts from IPCC’s politically-edited "Summaries for Policymakers," the only part that everyone reads. Even organs like The Economist have derided what "seems more like policy-based evidence than evidence-based policy" by IPCC.
But WE CAN LET SCIENCE SPEAK !
Deducting the effects of the feedbacks from the CUMULATIVE CAP radically tightens the limit to safe human emissions. So the emission paths endorsed by the PA will make it impossible to later reduce them rapidly and drastically enough to limit cumulative GHG to safe levels without causing mass social dislocation. Concisely put, it frames us into a future choice between "climate apocalypse" and "ecofascism."
The PA was doomed the day pollution levels had to be approved by polluters. And not only oil and coal producing and consuming countries: it’s no secret that Obama had to avoid a deal that could be vetoed by a US Congress that's openly and legally purchased by ...Big Carbon! Current institutions allow a few billionaire polluters to program vast destruction in order to protect profits.
WE CAN UNDO THAT!
The GEOPHYSICALLY DECISIVE is also the MANAGERIALLY DECISIVE factor of climate: Given the GHG already emitted, we cannot exceed a “safe carbon (GHG) budget” of cumulative emissions without risking unstoppable global warming. Economic or political concerns are irrelevant to the geophysical assessment. Neither Big Carbon nor its political agents have a say on THE factor that will determine the future.
Responsible actors must and can
—Expose the threat built into the Paris Agreement.
—Set up an INDEPENDENT PANEL OF SCIENTISTS to estimate A SAFE GHG BUDGET under conditions of uncertainty (by secret vote, so no one can be purchased or intimidated).
—Change the 5-year reviews so global emissions can be revised YEARLY to allow full flexibility if rapid cuts prove necessary.
Two keys to a safe future
All climate-conscious citizens have the DUTY and the POWER (together) to plant the carbon budget on political discourse so it can be adopted. For the Convention of the Parties has signed what can only be concisely described as the "suicide pact" of which Ban Ki-moon once warned us. Climate scientists can explain why. The threat that the PA unwittingly PROGRAMS must be exposed. Especially because its fatal flaw can be corrected at the strike of a pen. The very continuity of civilization is at stake.
See globalcarboninitiative.info for rationale and for full briefing
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