CLIMATE ADAPTATION

I want to punch climate change in the face. A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.


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Posts tagged "cop15"
Asker rosaflora Asks:
How was his speech vile and inflammatory?
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

In the very least: 1) Did not contribute to advancing the COP15 negotiations 2) His presence instilled fear in the local Danes, a semi-socialist people, who reacted with military presence, which contributed to the COP’s failure 3) was simply not the venue to make political speeches.

I get he appeals to the far left. But that is not the topic. The topic is creating a climate treaty for all the Earth’s 194 countries. The reality - the long term effects - is that he contributed (to be clear, he was one of many factors) to the destruction of climate negotiations. He wasted tens of thousands of people’s time. He contributed to ruining, for example, the hopes of many in the developing world who spent their life’s savings just trying to get to the COP (the COP was shut down, and countless delegates, press, students, government representatives, etc., were turned away. Millions wasted.). Again, I get he’s a hero to some, but that is not the issue. In the case of the COP15, he was a destructive force. Cheers! m

I was at the COP15 when Chavez arrived to deliver his vile, inflammatory speech. Obama was there, as well. In fact, the COP15 went down in history books as one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in one place at one time (I believe second only to the 2000 Millennium Summit).

You can watch Chavez’s vile speech in the link below provided by the excellent Fora TV:

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has died.  In 2009 he addressed COP15, the United Nations Climate Change Conference.  Criticizing the destructive practices of the capitalist system, Chavez feared that the “infinite model” of capitalism will exhaust the finite resources of the environment.  (Image via wikipedia)

We were kicked out of the COP15 because a protest, one of the largest in Europe’s history, flared up and scared authorities. In fact, Denmark actually suspended parts of its Constitution, blocked highways, rolled out the military and super-police units, and arrested (a few) protestors on sight.

I took some pictures of the protest, here.

I remember there was fear there would be a declaration of Marshall Law. And there was equal criticism that the peaceful, happy, socialist Danes would usher in a military response to a climate protest.

But, the public felt left out of the UN’s climate negotiations and quickly formed a peaceful protest.

In the end, no one listened…

Just wanted to let you know I'm writing a paper on Tuvalu and climate change for one of my classes this semester, and I too want to punch climate change in the face
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey sensiblestupidity!

Thanks for your note. Yeah, I’m familiar with Tuvalu, a tiny nation in the Pacific just east of Australia and close-by to Fiji. In fact, I was serendipitously in the middle of a Tuvaluan flash-protest at the COP15 in Copenhagen back in 2009. In double-fact, here’s a picture I took of that protest.

Tuvalu is a small island nation that is eroding away by sea-level rise. So, they eventually have to evacuate their homes and land, but the problem is they don’t have anywhere to go. They’d have to emigrate to another country.

Abandoning a nation is a very strange thing if you think about it. Which country should take the people in? Should they be treated as refugees? Who is responsible and, if there is a responsible party, who will enforce penalties? Will they lose their citizenship by default, since their nation has disappeared under the ocean??

What’s most interesting to me (and should blow your mind) is who will clean up their trash and infrastructure before they evacuate? Their trash and sewers, like the secret of the Maldives, are an environmental disaster in waiting.

Cheers!

Michael

In 2010, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed held the world’s first presidential cabinet meeting underwater to demonstrate the danger of sea level rise to his island nation. Nasheed was instrumental in bringing adapting to climate change into mainstream conversation. He resigned today under political pressure

I saw his impassioned speech at the COP15 negotiations.

UPDATE: AskJerves, who also attended the COP15 with the Vermont Law School delegation, has an important correction to the above, here

shortformblog:

Eco-friendly Maldives president resigns: Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically-elected president of the Maldives, long held a reputation as being an environmentally-focused activist and organizer who used those skills to become president in 2008, replacing Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Gayoom, who led the country for three decades. But in recent weeks, Nasheed’s power was shaken over allegations he forced out a judge who supported the opposition. On Tuesday, he resigned amid protests. ”It will be better for the country in the current situation if I resign,” Nasheed said in a news conference. “I don’t want to run the country with an iron fist.” (Photo: In an attempt to highlight global war Nasheed holds the word’s first underwater cabinet meeting in 2009. EPA photo)

(via shortformblog)

Shakes Magic 8-Ball “Outlook not so good.” In a devastating policy outlook update, Derek Spence of the IISD, offers perspective on the upcoming COP17, which will be held this December in Durban, South Africa.

Recall that recent climate commitments achieved at the COP15 in Copenhagen, and the COP16 in Cancun were discussed just a few weeks ago at the Bonn Climate Conference held in Germany (a summary of the Bonn conference is here).

The COP17 is seen as the end point for the Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997 by 191 of the world’s 193 countries. Recall the US refused to sign Kyoto.

Spence writes that countries are more than reluctant to re-up on Kyoto. This is interesting, since many countries have agreed to dedicate billions to various emissions reduction and adaptation projects that were finalized at the previous COP15 and COP16. Are world leaders experiencing a sort of moral hazard, or false sense of security as a result? In other words, since these policies are in place, perhaps leaders do not see the need to re-up on Kyoto. (Note: A summary of the commitments are in the article.)

Still, Spence is clear that his pessimism lies in the suspicion that developed countries are not serious about their emissions reductions commitments: 

Prospects for agreement in Durban: Poor.

Can Durban Seal a Comprehensive New Deal?

Even an ambitious second commitment period under Kyoto will not deliver the type of emissions reductions needed to keep the lid on climate change. Some industrialized countries have been vocal in calling for a comprehensive global agreement that includes all major emitters. Only an ambitious treaty covering all key players could possibly limit global temperature rise to 2°C or less.

The concern on the part of developing countries is that such a treaty could blur the lines between the obligations of developed and developing countries. Under Kyoto, developed countries undertook to take the lead in combating climate change. This is a condition the South wants honored, and explains why they continue to press hard for a second commitment period.

Source: IISD Policy Update, “What Can a Deal in Durban Deliver?

The threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing. Our generation’s response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it—boldly, swiftly, and together—we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.
President Barack Obama, September 22, 2009. United Nations Summit on Climate Change COP15, Copenhagen, Denmark
You are in Denmark?! Insanely jealous, hope you get a chance to make it to Christina in Copenhagen. Just read this today: 'Danish Supreme Court Deals Blow To Hippie Enclave'
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=133866246
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hi Do it Now Green Urbanist

Yep, I’m in Denmark. Don’t be too jealous, I’m working my arse off on an urban planning/climate adaptation project. 

Thanks for the update about the Danish Supreme Court. Thats some bad news, very controversial. I’m sure Copenhagen residents are super P.O.’d. I read the case back in 2009, and recall that squatters have substantial rights to private land in Denmark. A certain amount of time has to pass before rights are transferred to squatters - 10 years maybe?

The question here, if I recall correctly, was if squatters could gain those same rights to federal land. Apparently not.

I’ve been to Christiania. Here are some pictures. Strange place. I’ve never seen open drug use before. It was quite uncomfortable, tbh. Also, I don’t believe the ban on hard drugs is true nor enforced, - we bumped into some very shady dudes one late night while touring the “bars” there. I remember one booth sold the best cookies I’ve ever had. I’m talking EPIC COOKIES! 

Denmark has been trying for decades to re-claim Christiania, so I’m sort of not surprised. My heart is with them, but the law is pretty clear. Also, it’s very bad PR for the government - the land is extremely valuable to private developers - I’m talking billions of dollars of prime water-front real estate in downtown Cope. Anyway: 

Stunning (no kidding) short film on the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen, which I attended in 2009. I’ve never seen a production quite like this, though I’m quite familiar with the anti-capitalistic tropes.

Then, suddenly, at the 7:00 minute mark, the film completely shifts in a compelling way. It calls for a counter-culture-esque revolution where regular folks form coalitions across the Internet, across the globe, to fight back government failures to act on climate change in both the COP15 and COP16. Despite several weaknesses, the argument actually resonates. People can chip out a few minutes from facebook, twittering, tumbling, gawking, FTWinning, etc., and advocate and lobby for government action. The leverage - our vote. REBLOG!

(Great line, by the way, when the narrator proclaims we are, “revolutionary exponents of over-the-counter culture.” Solid. I wish there was a way to add comments to tumblr.)

UPDATE: Production by the talented World Leaders Entertainment. I must be living under a rock, because these visuals are dazzling to me.

potentpoison:

duckjokes:

Coalition Of The Willing (by coalitionfilm)

HOLY SHIT. My mouth was agape the whole 15 minutes.

What you need to do is check this shit out. It is well worth it. I KNEW that was YUM YUM LONDON’S WORK at 1.45 section 4 “War On Consumerism”

mind blowing

More than occasionally, I’ll write posts covering what the UN is and does. The United Nations division called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or just the UNFCCC , is the primary mover for climate programs world wide. The UNFCCC’s goal is to provide climate related solutions for all its members, which includes every country in the world (194 countries). It oversees several environmental programs, including the Kyoto Protocol, Clean Development Mechanism, and the yearly Conference of the Parties. Conference of the Parties are called COPs. The most recent COP was the COP16, held in Cancun, Mexico, before that it was the COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmmark, which I attended with the Vermont Law delegation.

Now, the UNFCCC is managing something called the Adaptation Fund, which I will write a lot about in the future. The Adaptation Fund is basically a pool of millions of dollars (soon to be billions), banked in a special fund parked at the World Bank. The fund operates like a grant fund. As I understand it, the funds will help countries with adaptation projects (as opposed to private entities, such as Coca Cola or BP). Think proactively working to prevent Pakistani and Bangladeshi floods and you get the picture. The funds are not for disaster management, but rather are for impacts that have not occurred but are projected to happen in the future. Interesting fact, the fund is one of the lasting results from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Management of the fund is complicated, but rigid:

Up until the COP16 in Cancun, only one project was approved, in Senegal to prevent coastal erosion in vulnerable areas. On December 17, 2010 the Adaptation Fund Board approved four agencies with the ability to screen and fund projects. This means governments no longer have to go to the Adaptation Fund Board to

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In an excellent overview of climate adaptation, The Economist writes that climate changes are inevitable, and communities have to adapt. We all (should) by now have a basic understanding that sea level rise will impact coastlines. But, it is the “imapacts” part that we need to understand better.

The other day, I wrote about what salt water can do to building foundations and piers. This is a real impact from sea level rise. In fact, salt from the Mediterranean Sea is encroaching the Nile river delta, ruining soils that nourish date farms and even eating away the foundations of the ancient pyramids. NPR covered it here. Tides ebb and flow into and out of the mouths of rivers that empty into the sea. The freshwater-saltwater transition zones form either deltas or estuaries (quick summary of difference between delta/estuaries here). These zones of brackish/saltier water are expected to expand into areas where people have built infrastructure, such as the footings for bridges, electricity and fiber optic cables buried under ground, storm water pipes, piers and boat moors, etc. These things were not necessarily built to withstand corrosion from salt. To combat the creeping saline water, Urban planners and hazards planners have to act now by conducting infrastructure assessments to locate high risk vulnerabilities.

The Economist expands on tangible impacts by opening up the discussion of human migration.

Ideally, there would be opportunities to move to cities in other countries, too; the larger the region in which people can travel, the easier it is to absorb migrants from struggling areas. This is one reason why adaptation is easier for large countries or integrated regions. Within the EU, Greeks and Italians will be better placed to move to cooler climes than inhabitants of similarly sized countries elsewhere.

What happens to the people who live in cities that cannot deal with very high sea level rise? Mass migrations are expected to occur, and, the article argues, cities are better prepared to absorb population increases. To demonstrate, Hurricane Katrina should come to mind (to be fair, migrations from sea level rise will be very slow, and not occur so spectacularly from one event. Still, people will migrate from flood prone areas in droves, and cities will need to be prepared to absorb a typically poorer demographic.). Estimates range from 100,000 to 300,000 people permanently fled the NOLA region after Katrina.

Couldn’t watch this without squirming nor admiring. Jody McIntyre is a British blogger-activist. He has cerebral palsy and gets around by wheelchair. You can read his blog here, http://jodymcintyre.wordpress.com. Forewarned, he’s a ranty and I find his writing both off-putting and inspiring. Like most activists, he rails against a bent system, but offers little-to-nothing by way of realistic solutions.

To me, it is one thing to point out systemic governmental problems. But, it is quite another to change those policies. Does protest work today? I’m unsure if organized protest does much good. I witnessed this twice, once when I lived in Seattle, and again as delegate to the COP15 last year. Recall that in 1999, the WTO held an important meeting in Seattle to negotiate economic trade deals. There were violent protests and the city was locked down completely. We lived and worked downtown, (Belltown), and the place became a virtual war zone. Take a quick look here. The air was terrible. Tear gas, gunpowder, and that bitter plasticy smoke smell lingered like an eerie fog. It was gross and surreal.

cop15 protest. photo by michael cote

Photo credit: Michael Cote. Frankly, naively, I didn’t understand what was happening. After walking around for a bit, the police escorted me to my front door. For two days I couldn’t leave my apartment, as the streets were filled thousands of cops dressed in intense gear of black uniforms and plastic visors. Stuff that I’ve never seen before outside of Hollywood. They were wielding huge black guns, bundles of wrist-zip-ties, and long black batons out in the open. Importantly, I didn’t understand what the protesters were trying to accomplish. I still don’t. Their message just wasn’t clear. Worse, the protesters “celebrate” the anniversary of the original 1999 WTO protest every year. It’s just weird to me. 

When I attended the COP15 held in Copenhagen, Denmark last year, I witnessed the same volume of protesters. This time the marches were peaceful, and the message was uniform and clear - world leaders ought to buck up and extend Kyoto and sign Kyoto II.

I took some photos, here. I also published in Berkeley Planning Journal, here (forthcoming). In that piece, I show that in over 30 years, the most environmentally aggressive country, Denmark, has achieved very little. I then wonder if protests are the pinnacle of environmental change, or a big waste of time and tax payer money. If Denmark can’t do it, who can? When have governments changed their policies with respect to protecting the environment while balancing economic growth and development, as a result of public protest?? After all, neither problem will “go away.”

McIntyre’s a good kid, standing up for his convictions. In the video, he’s quite articulate and concise. I’m struck by his clear-minded responses. He makes a strong appeal against the government raising tuition by 300%. He, and others, claim the hike has serious implications for the poor. (I question it, too. Why not cut a few rusting, aircraft carriers and silly submarines from their naval fleet? The UK could achieve the same savings in both equipment and personnel cuts with far less social implications.) You can bounce around the UK coverage of the hike by clicking here.

Again, how to achieve climate policy changes in the U.S. without resorting to distasteful protest?

H/T to blogger unicornpancakes.tumblr.com. I couldn’t reblog because I disagree with the tone of the comments. I agree with the thrust of the case, that the journalist clearly was not neutral.

draft of cop16 agreement is now ready for it’s final debate! looks like the kyoto protocol will allowed to expire, and will be tossed to the waste basket. it’s to be replaced with voluntary and market mechanisms. boo!

world adaptation fund is slated for $100 billion pot, mostly for poor and developing nations such as bangledesh and several island nations. no progress on the issue of climate refugees or property rights for coastal communities. though REDD is being widely accepted as teh main method of voluntary action.

See:
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jschmidt/draft_negotiating_text_last_day.html