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Climate failure from Kyoto to Doha in one simple chart

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The United Nations' 18th annual climate change meeting just wrapped up in Doha, Qatar. The official storyline is the same as always: important progress was made.

Few seem to believe it anymore.

In my opinion, everything you really need to know about the effectiveness of the United Nations' multi-decade efforts to stop climate change can be seen in my chart below. It shows the annual increase in CO2 in the atmosphere along with the annual UN Conference of Parties (COP) climate meetings for each year.  

Eighteen years of COP meetings, task forces, brinkmanship, declarations, policies, promises and protocols have not slowed the rise in global CO2 one tiny bit. Zip. Nada. Cero. Nulis. Zyro. Null. Sunna. Zero. Sefr. Ling. Nol. Yeong. Not even a tiny bit.

The governments of the world separately, and together via their UN-led process, have completely failed -- for decades -- to halt the relentless increase in fossil fuel pollution that is driving us off the "climate cliff."

Meanwhile the storm clouds of climate changes gather and darken. Record smashing extreme heat events, deluges, flooding, storms, droughts, crop losses, sea level rises, wave heights, wind speeds, forest and coral reef die-offs, wildfires, species extinction, permafrost meltdown, ice loss and ocean acidification are all growing ever worse.

Often the dramatic changes are emerging much faster than even worst case projections of a few years ago.

As one of the world's leading climate scientists, James Hansen of NASA, says:

"Ladies and gentlemen, your governments are lying through their teeth. You may wish to use softer language, but the truth is that they know that their planned approach will not come anywhere near achieving the intended global objectives. Moreover, they are now taking actions that, if we do not stop them, will lock in guaranteed failure..."

"The problem is that our governments, under the heavy thumb of special interests, are ... pursuing policies to get every last drop of fossil fuel"

Sure enough, top global institutions that specialize in energy forecasts --the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, the United Nations, the Global Carbon Project, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- have all recently warned that we are on a dirty energy path leading to a climate "catastrophe" of 4.0 C to 6.2 C of global warming during the lives of our children.

Oops, sorry kids.

(6) Comments

AJ Beck December 11th 2012 | 3:15 PM

Climate change is a threat to our economy, our health, and even our way of life.

Mike Haseler December 11th 2012 | 4:16 PM

Plants Love CO2.

dennis baker December 12th 2012 | 8:20 PM

In my opinion

We need to replace the fossil fuel power plants, the primary source of GHG. Now!

At a scale required to accomplish this task :

Ethanol starves people : not a viable option.

Fracking releases methane : not a viable option.

Cellulose Bio Fuel Uses Food Land : not a viable option

Solar uses food land : Not a viable option

Wind is Intermittent : Not a viable option

All Human and Agricultural Organic Waste can be converted to hydrogen, through exposure intense radiation!

The Radioactive Materials exist now, and the Organic waste is renewable daily.

Ending the practice of dumping sewage into our water sources.

Air, Water, Food and Energy issues, receive significant positive impacts .

Reducing illness / health care costs as well !

Dennis Baker
* Creston Avenue
Penticton BC V2A1P9

Douglas Hollis January 3rd 2013 | 11:11 AM

Yes, plants love CO2.  That's great.  I'm sure they also love rising sea levels, 100 year flood events every decade, intense heatwaves and droughts, including dust bowl conditions across much of the southwestern US, not to mention aggressive species invasions (like what the bark beetle is doing to tens of millions of trees in Canada's boreal forests).  Save us this childish crap, please, and think for yourself.

luc March 12th 2013 | 12:12 PM

4 million years ago, the arctic was 20 degrees warmer than now.The oceans have risen 400 ft. since the last ice age.CO2 has been 5000 PPM in the past.Venus is hot because it is 30 million miles closer to the sun than is the Earth.The only thing that's new is the millions of climate guru's, fresh out of university, competing for a job.Only the most breathless doomsday prophecies get published. There are no jobs for these folks when "everything's o.k."  A fabricated crisis by climate guru's, for climate guru's. A small percentage of people always buy into the doomsday prophets and their snake oil cures.Think for yourself, and help Canada improve, or GET OUT!!!