13 November 2017   Leave a comment

Carbon emissions have increased this year ending hope that the leveling off of emissions over the last three years–“0.7 percent increase was reported in 2014, no increase in 2015, and 0.2 percent in 2016”–was a sign that sufficient progress was being made to avert climate change.  Carbon emissions are projected to increase by 2% in 2017, higher than the trend line of 2006-2015: “human-caused carbon emissions have grown at an average annual rate of 3.5 percent since 2000, but at a slower pace of 1.8 percent between 2006 and 2015”.   The data provides greater urgency to the climate conference scheduled for this week in Bonn, Germany.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Still Rising


The Journal Bioscience has published a “letter to humanity” signed by over 13,000 scientists (the Washington Post puts the number at over 15,000 now) warning that

“By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperiled biosphere.”

The letter follows the lead of a similar letter signed by scientists in 1992.  The new letter contains graphs that, with the single exception of progress against ozone depletion, demonstrate significantly worsening trends in virtually every index of the health of the global ecosystem.


US President Trump is flying home from his Asian trip and there will undoubtedly be a wide spectrum of interpretations of what was accomplished.  The South China Morning Post fairly comprehensive article on the Chinese view (published in Hong Kong but regarded as a media outlet favorable to the Beijing government) ran a of what actually was accomplished.  The article suggests that President Xi was successful in diverting Mr. Trump from substantive discussions on trade, human rights, and Chinese activities in the South China Sea.  The article notes that the $250 billion in commercial deals touted by Mr. Trump were only memorandum of understanding and not actual contracts.  The Asia Times noted the use of the term “Indo-Pacific” as opposed to “Asia-Pacific” and referred to the rebirth of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue which includes the US, India, Australia, and Japan–an alliance once considered as a counter-weight to Chinese power in the region.  The original Quadrilateral Security Dialogue ended when Australia left the group, ostensibly under Chinese pressure.  Its resurrection seems to be an objective spurred largely by Japan under the leadership of Shinzo Abe.




Posted November 13, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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