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Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen accord

by 20 Dec 2009Agricultural emissions0 comments

The Weather Makers cover

Glass at Least Half Full: While some left Copenhagen wringing their over-played hands, 2007 Australian of the year Tim Flannery says ‘we are now really in the throes of tackling this very difficult problem’. image Text Publishing Company

Appearances can be deceptive. Copenhagen 18 December 2009, might not have looked and sounded like a turning point in history.

But time determines what constitutes a moment in history, not the preconceived expectations of conference critics.

Not to diminish the involvement of India, South Africa and Brazil, that the present and past greatest global producers of carbon dioxide (China and the United States) are in accord should have students of history pricking up their ears.

The verdict of The Weather Makers author Tim Flannery is noteworthy. Far more so, arguably, than the predictable ‘Hey, hey, how many kids did you kill today?’ –style rhetoric. Jeanette Fitzsimons had briefly bowed to Flannery’s constructive perspective—that it is silly to suggest that world’s future would be determined in Copenhagen—but soon reverted to type.

Politics is the art of the possible, but Barack Obama and Wen Jiabao are transforming their countries far faster than might have been reasonably expected. Already the degree to which the United States is embracing non-carbon dioxide –emitting power generation is eye-watering, and as the science of global warming becomes better understood, and United States citizens are becoming better informed, as opposed to being the best entertained—the pace of change will keep accelerating.

Tim Flannery probably has a better handle on what is possible than most, through his work with global business and science collaboration, the Copenhagen Climate Council. He also happens to be on the board of Blenheim-based carbon sequestration company Carbonscape.

Oh, and Flannery’s view of the Copenhagen Accord:

It’s only one step on the road but we are now really in the throes of tackling this very difficult problem and this meeting has been a very significant step forward. I wouldn’t like anyone to undersell what’s been achieved. I think it is very significant.

Which should also see less talk of carbon trading, and more carbon action.


 One-line review Bill Bryson:

It would be hard to imagine a better or more important book.

The Weather Makers – The History and Future Impact of Climate Change Tim Flannery, Text Publishing Company, 2008

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