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U.S. says drop the "2°C guarantee" from the global warming deal, calls for "flexibility"

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UPDATE: A complete list of climate series pieces is available here:
The Climate series: a reference post.

News on the climate catastrophe front:

I've been working on the close-out posts of the Climate Catastrophe series. (If you're interested, the most recent post in the series contains an organized list of all the previous posts.)

The final posts will deal with the "what to do" problem. We're not helpless, and this isn't hopeless yet. Stay tuned.

We've started attracting some interest in the issue and its catastrophic implications. The global warming bottom line (below) is simple, easy to grasp and truly hugs the monster.

That bottom line is expressed in just four numbers:
  1. If we stop right now, global warming will reach 1½°C (about 3°F) by the end of this century. About .8°C has already occurred, and .8°C more is unavoidable, "in the pipeline."

  2. Elite consensus says total global warming must stay below 2°C (3½°F) — and even that will cause challenges for human habitation.

  3. There's a mass extinction scenario at 3°C (5½°F) warmer. 20–50% of species could go extinct.

  4. Yet the planet is on track for an astounding 7°C (12½°F) increase by 2100 — the "do nothing" scenario and certain death. The price of making the Oil Barons richer.
This is both stark and clear, perhaps game-changing. For example, a leading Koch-funded denier has recently turned, and the denier camp, though powerful, is slowly shrinking.

The media hasn't turned yet, but maybe the tide has. The time to press is now.

In that context, this. As the headline says, the U.S. wants to go backward. In effect, the U.S. position is now, "The most practical way to get agreement is to insist on nothing."

From (h/t commenter Start Loving):
The 2°C guarantee should be dropped from the global climate change deal to allow for more flexibility and avoid deadlock, US Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern has said.

Speaking at Dartmouth College he said removing the 2°C specification from the agreement would allow countries to get on with actions to limit climate change now while leaving it open for further ambition at a later date.

“It is more important to start now with a regime that can get us going in the right direction and that is built in a way maximally conducive to raising ambition, spurring innovation and building political will,” he said adding that insisting on an agreement that would guarantee the 2°C limit would only lead to deadlock.
Please take a second, read the global warming bottom line above, then read just the first paragraph of the quote.

With "leadership" like this, we're dead. Thanks, Mr. Obama. Climate Change Envoy Todd Stern works for you, last time I checked.

The good news. There's a growing number of people in a position to both think clearly and make real noise — people who are getting it, hugging the monster, calling a catastrophe a catastrophe, and pushing for a real solution. More on that shortly.


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