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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

Posted on 10 July 2022 by BaerbelW

Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, July 3, 2022 through Sat, July 9, 2022.

The following articles sparked above average interest during the week (bolded articles are from SkS authors): Cranky Uncle Cartoon 2/20 - Boiling Frogs,  Ocean Time Lag, Cranky Uncle Cartoon 1/20 - Arsenic, Cranky Uncle Cartoon 3/20 - Chicken and Egg, and How hot is too hot for the human body? Our lab found heat + humidity gets dangerous faster than many people realize.

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  1. "How Charles Koch Purchased the Supreme Court’s EPA Decision" and "Energy charter treaty makes climate action nearly illegal in 52 countries" expose that the science has been well enough established and communicated to global leadership, including business leaders. But some leaders still win by being harmfully misleading, by choosing to excuse and reward those who deserve to be disappointed and penalized.

    The science was clear enough 30 years ago for all global leaders to understand. The problem has been a lack of interest among a significant portion of leaders. They are not interested in doing what they understand needs to be done. Their reluctance is clearly because what needs to be done would drastically alter developed global impressions of wealth, prosperity, and what it means to live a good life and be a decent human.

    The timing of the original Energy Charter in 1991 is amazingly coincidental with the solidification of understanding that existing and new fossil fuel developments were at significant, and deserved, risk of near-future policy restrictions. And other actions by people like Charles Koch appear to have been urgently initiated based on the same timing of global awareness of the need to restrict many activities some people were deeply interested/invested in.

    It would be great if the risk of fossil fuel investments was deemed to have been established global leadership understanding in 1990. That would mean that attempts to use the Energy Charter to claim that ‘current policy actions cause a loss of future benefit’ could be summarily dismissed. The counter-argument would simply be that the delay of required leadership corrections of the ‘market-place failure to limit climate harm’ has more than adequately rewarded investors who gambled on profiting from fossil fuels. But, of course, players like Koch buying influence can clearly bias judgments in their favour.

    The real problem for all aspects of the pursuit of Sustainable Development is the many ways that wealthy powerful people fail to honourably pursue increased awareness and improved understanding and apply what they learn to reduce harm done and be more helpful to people needing assistance to live at least decent basic lives. Many of them prefer to put their efforts into ‘protecting their interests’ to the detriment of all Others, especially to the detriment of future generations who have no power to penalize them.

    In Addition: The following is part of the Overview of the International Energy Charter.

    “The International Energy Charter reflects some of the most topical energy challenges of the 21st century, in particular:
    • the full scope of multilateral documents and agreements on energy developed in the last two decades, and the synergies among energy-related multilateral fora, including the Energy Charter, in view of follow-up action
    • the growing weight of developing countries for global energy security
    • the “trilemma” between energy security, economic development and environmental protection
    • the role of enhanced energy trade for sustainable development
    • the need to promote access to modern energy services, energy poverty reduction, clean technology and capacity building
    • the need for diversification of energy sources and routes
    • the role of regional integration of energy markets”

    What I note to be ‘glaringly missing’ is the need for the highest consuming portion of the global population to dramatically reduce its energy consumption and for the richest to strictly limit how harmful their remaining consumption harmless to provide the example for others to aspire to develop towards.

    Also, the term 'Energy Poverty' is being used in the Charter. That term is abused by people promoting discourses of climate (action) delay. Refer to my comment @14 on the SkS item “Skeptical Science tackles 'discourses of climate delay' and 'solutions denial'”

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