31 October 2021

Introduction

This is the introduction to the COP26 conference which began in Glasgow today. It appears on the official website https://ukcop26.org/ :-
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Around the world storms, floods and wildfires are intensifying. Air pollution sadly affects the health of tens of millions of people and unpredictable weather causes untold damage to homes and livelihoods too.

But while the impacts of climate change are devastating, advances in tackling it are leading to cleaner air, creating good jobs, restoring nature and at the same time unleashing economic growth.

Despite the opportunities we are not acting fast enough. To grip this crisis, countries need to join forces urgently.

They also agreed to step up efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

By completing and implementing the Paris Agreement at Glasgow, we can show that the world is able to work together to tackle this crucial challenge.

And by uniting behind a green recovery from coronavirus, which creates sustainable jobs and addresses the urgent and linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity loss, we can safeguard the environment for future generations.
                     ___________________________________________________________

I think the second paragraph is too optimistic. It is pretty evident that the strides that humankind have taken so far to address the climate crisis are nothing but baby steps. Ahead of us there's a mountain to climb and the route is fraught with difficulty. The "advances" referred to are marginal. "Unleashing" economic growth sounds like a rabid dog has been freed.

The fourth paragraph that begins "They also agreed..." is disconnected from the previous three paragraphs. Who are "they"? It's just flawed writing that hasn't been properly checked. It slipped through the net.

For me this introduction lacks the sense of urgency that is needed. It's far too polite and seems to imply that solutions will be pretty easy if we just come together and try "we can safeguard the environment for future generations".

Another criticism I have of this neat introduction is that it makes no reference to the fact that Earth has become grossly overpopulated.  If that truth is not vigorously addressed then we will never turn back time and save our planet.  Build all the wind farms you want and churn out as many solar panels as you wish but there are just too many people here.  At this precise moment, the world's population is 7,903, 624,070. Way ahead of  forecasts made a decade ago, we will reach eight billion in 2023. That is far more frightening than COVID19..

30 comments:

  1. COP26 is a sham like all the other conferences. Promises, promises but no action.

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    Replies
    1. I wish I could be more optimistic about all this.

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  2. Think the world is overcrowded? These 10 maps show why you're wrong.
    Max Galka. World Economic Forum. 2016.

    3 Clear Reasons Why Overpopulation is a Myth.
    Jared Wolf. Sustainable Review. 25 May 2021.

    Are There Too Many People? All Bets Are Off.
    Laura Spinney. 8 May 2021. The Guardian.

    J.H.

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    Replies
    1. I am not wrong. They are wrong.

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    2. I do not fundamentally disagree, but your blogs on social and moral issues could be a little more nuanced.

      I hear too much certainty from the Left, on everything from gender to open-door immigration and Islam. Any kind of dissent from the party line is labelled Alt.Right. Labour lost the working class vote and lost Brexit.

      On the side of overpopulation as a global disaster, read online:
      *Poverty and Development.* Population Matters.
      There is a video interview with a responsible lady from Kenya, Wendo Aszed, who runs a programme allowing women access to modern contraception.

      Malthusian theory was widespread in my youth.
      Now we have a great many senior citizens, and not enough young people.

      In the neighbourhoods where I walk, there is more chance of seeing a dog than children at play.
      I was glad to see a new primary school open beside our park.
      J.H.

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    3. I must strive harder to be more like you and less like myself.

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  3. What a stimulating post to consider. The one thing I am quite pleased about is that the current young generation has taken "saving the Earth" very seriously. I admire their commitment to "save whatever is left on Earth." It should be our legacy and we should work a lot harder to safeguard the environment for our future generations, as we have done enough damage already with our carelessness.

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    1. "Carelessness" is the right word to use. We have lived and exploited this planet as if there was no tomorrow.

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  4. Back in France, my charming neighbour has an 'Wood-fired-Eco-Furnace' to heat his house and water. We live in a beautiful un-polluted area, but he does his best to change all that. He is a one man polluting machine, creating more stinking smoke than you can ever imagine. In Winter the valley in front of our house is regularly filled with smoke. When I light my own Woodburner there is no smoke whatsoever. He's a menace; COP26 could use him as an example.

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    Replies
    1. Couldn't he become history in an "accidental" shooting incident?

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  5. I agree that population growth is the biggest problem and it not by Anglo Saxon people. Anglo Saxon people did overbreed in the past, but now it's by those in developing countries for various good reasons, along with recent immigrants to traditionally Anglo Saxon countries, who have not learnt yet that you don't need so many spares, nor so many to support you when you are old. The immigrants having many children will solve itself with the next generation. The developing world remains problematic. A good education and adequate living standards will help a lot.

    Surely the introduction is written by someone who does not have English as a first language. I can't believe such writing could be an introduction to something so important.

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    Replies
    1. Thoughtful reflections Andrew - thank you.
      The introduction may have been written or approved by the occupant of 10 Downing Street.

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  6. It is very, very scary, and I agree - all the pressing problems humankind faces these days have their roots in overpopulation, if you break them down.
    You regukarly bring me out of my comfortable, happy bubble with your posts, Neil. Thank you for that.

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    1. It's not like you to make a spelling mistake Meike! See me after school in my study!

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    2. Blame the touch keyboard on my ipad - I never type as fast or as good as when I have a proper PC keyboard I can use.

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    3. I like the sound of "regukarly" even though I can't think of a meaning for it.

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  7. Book your holiday now in Wakefield-on-Sea.

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    1. When on the beach, remember to rent from Dunhams Deckchairs.

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  8. I entirely agree that the majority of the problems relate directly to far too many humans on this planet. Just taking the UK - I was born into a country of around 50 million, our population now stands in excess of 70 million, and we are relentlessly devouring the countryside under ever more housing developments and related infrastructure.
    Personally. I would have more faith in the 'experts' who preach at us about climate change if they were a little less idealogicaly driven and more open to a range of scientic opinion. For example - long before the Industrial Revolution the UK experienced warmer times then at present, I believe that the Romans were growing grape vines across much of England, and there was a significant warm period around the 10th century (when parts of Greenland were being farmed that are now under ice cover).
    L

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    1. There are certainly cycles in climate but in spite of that it is very clear that the present crisis has been greatly exacerbated by human activity.

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  9. I am so often reminded of my friend Kathleen's statement about herself that she not only hid her head in the sand, she carried around her own bucket of sand with which to do so.
    Are we not all carrying buckets of our own these days?

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    1. Maybe we would all go mad if we paid full attention to what is happening.

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  10. You took the words right out of my mouth re. overpopulation. All our efforts to help the Earth heal will come to naught unless we can control our own numbers. (Or nature will control them for us, which won't be pretty.)

    I suspect that wording should read "they also need" rather than "they also agreed" -- "they" meaning countries. That would flow better from the previous sentence.

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    1. Yes indeed, that one word change would make the connection logical.

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  11. The antecedent of “They” in the first sentence of the fourth paragraph is obviously the word “countries” in the last sentence of the third paragraph.

    Deciphering how the English language works is not difficult. Perhaps you will find a good teacher of it to assist you.

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    1. You are missing my point. Of course the reference is to those "countries" but there is no mention of what they had previously "agreed" so the "also" is illogical. Pay attention at the back lad!

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  12. Here is the link to a site that may (or may not) interest you. (J. Morris Hicks) I've subscribed to his S.O.S. memos for years and will admit that they've become so depressing I can't always read them. He addresses so many of the concerns you've expressed recently: climate change, over-population, etc. I first learned of him as an advocate for plant-based eating.

    https://hpjmh.com

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    1. I dipped into Jim Hicks's website. Thanks for the pointer Kelly. It does seem absurd that many of the delegates at Glasgow are chowing down on meat and dairy products instead of sending out a clear message - "The time has come to eat less meat or stop eating meat altogether!" Such hypocrisy and such stupidity.

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  13. I have long railed against the lack of effort to address overpopulation which unless we stop, makes all other efforts to save our earth useless. But for almost every country, population growth means income growth for our respective governments and that too is almost impossible to quell with elected politicians who love nothing more than spending money.

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    Replies
    1. At climate change conferences, overpopulation is the elephant in the room.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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