[GWSG] Peak meat?; freed ag land; a climate club; bought pols vs. the market; a broader struggle; EU Green Deal; COP25 ends; bottoming out?

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sun Dec 15 08:26:20 EST 2019

1. “More than 80% of farmland is used for livestock but it produces just 18% of food calories.” We need to liberate land from meat and dairy production so that it can store carbon while we move to a plant-based diet. A group of over 50 leading scientists pleads that nations set a date within the next decade for peak meat production so that we can control greenhouse gas emissions. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/12/peak-meat-climate-crisis-livestock-meat-dairy

2. Globally, more agricultural land is now being abandoned than is being newly employed. Freeing land from agriculture and using it well is a challenge requiring delicate policy. https://e360.yale.edu/features/could-abandoned-agricultural-lands-help-save-the-planet

4. A climate club which sets emissions limits for its members could include sub-national units as well as nations—say, California and other states as well as Canada, Mexico, and the EU. The clubs could bypass the necessity of getting consensus among UN members (including such petro-states as the US, Russia, and Saudi Arabia) while still building sufficient momentum to work a transition to a sustainable world economy. https://phys.org/news/2019-12-multi-level-club-solution-key-combating.html

4. The International Renewable Energy Agency reports that politicians under the influence of fossil fuel corporations are delaying the energy transition. The market advantage of renewables should be moving us faster. Policymakers need to adopt ambitious targets to overcome the inertia generated by the bought politicians. (Where the greedheads are in control but some democracy remains, climate clubs could be the source of those targets.) https://climatenewsnetwork.net/politicians-not-markets-slow-new-energy-dawn/

5. Greta Thunberg and her coauthors in calling for climate strikes on Nov. 29 reminded us of the broader context of the struggle. “After all, the climate crisis is not just about the environment. It is a crisis of human rights, of justice, and of political will. Colonial, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression have created and fueled it. We need to dismantle them all. Our political leaders can no longer shirk their responsibilities.” https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/climate-strikes-un-conference-madrid-by-greta-thunberg-et-al-2019-11

6. The European Union is pressing ahead with a European Green Deal which will exclude Poland. The Deal sets a date of 2050 for carbon neutrality; it might have set a more ambitious schedule. Still, there is much to celebrate in the agreement.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/13/european-green-deal-to-press-ahead-despite-polish-targets-opt-out

7. COP25 ended in failure to take effective action, though through persistence it avoided collapse. We look forward to COP26, November 9-19, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/14/un-climate-talks-drag-on-as-rifts-scupper-hopes-of-breakthrough

Many have expressed disappointment on the failure to elicit ambitious emissions targets and commitments of financial support.   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/14/final-hours-cop-25-denounced-utter-failure-deal-stripped-ambition-and-us-refuses

8. George Monbiot faces a future under Boris Johnson as dark as the future under Trump, and talks about ways to resist. Everything he says applies to the US. His recommendations: skip the blame; pick the best proposals and build on them; reclaim “a culture of public learning” in which adults learn enough to resist charlatans and their lies; expose fraud while we build inclusive networks of mutual support. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/13/fight-back-recrimination-blame

Our plot is at an infernal vision in which we are gripped by malice, brutality, and failure. (I’m thinking of a lost future, not just of lost elections; so is Monbiot.) Something must arise as if from outside, some new capacity within us, if we are to find our way beyond this to a world in which we are at home. (And yet we know better—we’re already home.)

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