Sunday, December 13, 2015

#347 / A Prescription Written In Paris

The news media say that world leaders have come to an historic climate agreement, in Paris, as of yesterday, December 12, 2015. Click right here for the text.

I am going to read the Agreement. I have printed it out, all thirty-one pages of the PDF. I hope it's strong. 

Whatever the specifics, though, however strong or weak the words, the Paris Agreement will not be "self-executing." Whatever the words of this historic text may say, the meaning of this Agreement, if it has any ultimate meaning at all, is that all "humankind," as the Agreement calls us, must fundamentally transform our societies, and economies, and daily lives. 

As Naomi Klein has said of human-caused global warming, This Changes Everything

Are we ready to change everything?

Are we ready to eliminate the combustion of fossil fuels? Are we ready to leave the coal, the oil, and the gas in the ground?

We'd better be!

At the climate conference in Paris, Liu Zhenmin, deputy chief of the Chinese delegation, argued against sharply limiting the number of degrees the planet warms this century, because "that would involve huge lifestyle and economic changes." As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, Liu Zhenmin also said, "We need heating. We need air conditioning. You need to drive your car."

Let's be clear, it's not just "the Chinese" who are having some problems about the "change everything" idea. Consider members of the United States Congress who have pledged to do anything they can to prevent any actual action on global warming. 

The Paris Agreement is like a doctor's prescription. We have written down what we need to do to cure the fever that is undermining the health of the Natural World, the World of Nature that supports the world that we have built, our human civilization. 

We have the prescription for what ails us. They wrote it on the Eiffel Tower.

Now, all we need to do is take the medicine:

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