Obama To Go To COP15, Targets 17% Carbon Reduction by 2020
For the first time in a long time, there’s almost a glut of good news flooding green media: not only did Obama commit last week to attend December’s crucial climate talks in Copenhagen (COP15), he’s also named a target US carbon reduction of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. The announcements have been getting major airtime and print space in both public and private media. And no wonder – this is huge.
The world has been waiting with baited breath for answers to both the question of a US carbon reduction target and the question of who will represent the US at COP15. Many didn’t expect happy answers to either question. Obama’s decisions to attend COP15 and to announce a carbon target will serve as much-needed concrete evidence that America is serious about cracking down on climate change. We’re no longer the world’s biggest polluter – China has surpassed us – but per capita we still send up far and away more greenhouse gasses than any other nation. Developing countries are eager to see the US practice the CO2 reductions it preaches, and commit to playing a leading role in a global climate treaty.
Grist’s Bill Scher doesn’t want us all to forget that “control of Copenhagen’s outcome is far from being solely in Obama’s hands,” that “China and India, always using America as an excuse for irresponsible growth, need to step up on emissions targets,” or that “the EU, always crowing about its emissions targets, needs to step up on financial assistance to developing nations.” Well, true. But (as Scher also concedes) the firm stand Obama’s taking is a major step toward a global climate treaty, and cause for true thanksgiving.
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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