How wonderful that this very not-minor revelation is buried fully 10 paragraphs down in Time’s dispatch from the conference.
Even if diplomats make progress on a deal in Copenhagen, however, it’s becoming increasingly clear that any viable agreement will fall far short of the level of carbon cuts that science demands. A paper leaked from, and confirmed to be authentic by, the U.N. on Thursday night contains an assessment of the emissions-reduction pledges put forward so far in Copenhagen. It calculates that even if all developed and developing nations keep their promises, atmospheric carbon concentrations would rise as high as 770 parts per million, and temperatures could rise 3°C by the end of the century. The upper safe zone in temperature rise, according to many scientists, is 2°C, and the limit called for by vulnerable island nations is 1.5°C. “This document shows that for all the U.N. spouts about 2°C, the plan comes nowhere near it,” says Bill McKibben, the environmental writer who runs 350.org, an environmental group that calls for far deeper carbon cuts. “This is the real Climategate, and it shows that any agreement we sign at this summit will be the equivalent of a suicide pact.”
The Torygraph, thankfully, is giving the story its due. Consider this an addendum to yesterday’s post comparing Copenhagen to ObamaCare: In addition to all the other similarities, now we’ve got two exorbitantly expensive agreements whose own sponsors admit that they’re not going to achieve what they’re supposed to, but which simply must be enacted lest the left lose face politically. All at the low, low cost of trillions of dollars over the next few decades.
Speaking of squandering wealth, here’s the clip of Chavez receiving “deafening” applause inside the convention hall for dumping on capitalism. Send it to a friend because this ain’t showing up in tonight’s network news, rest assured.