The first UN Climate Change Summit (COP21) in 20 years convened in Paris just days after the recent Terrorist attacks there. Its goal is to draft legally binding and universal agreements on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. 192 nations are attending with 25,000 official delegates and 50,000 participants. Paris is buzzing with tens of thousands of officials from around the world in the largest conference related to Climate Change. Our nation has officially been a strong advocate for reducing greenhouse gases yet 57% of Republican Congress Members deny anthropomorphic (man caused) Climate Change arguing there is nothing we can do to stem it in spite of universal scientific consensus to the contrary. We have one of the highest numbers of climate change deniers in government among the developed and developing nations. Even the Chinese government is not in denial of this fact.
So does our nation have the political will to stick to the UN agreement to decrease our greenhouse emissions? How 57% of Republican leaders can still deny what 97% of scientist affirm is mind-boggling. You would think that a nation which has been the leader in both science and technology should fully back science. But business interests outweigh science for them. Climate Change has turned from a scientific issue into a political/economic issue like a fish out of water. They would rather believe the less than 3% of scientist who still do not believe in the anthropomorphic cause of Climate Change than the more than 97% just because it could potentially do harm to their oil-based industries and self-interests. They would rather gamble humanities future than expose their industries to potential short-term financial risk.
But such people are big business gamblers used to play with high stakes and what could be higher stake than Global Warming and the future of humanity. Congressional conservatives fear losing their Congregational seats without support from big business. Some big oil-based businesses only care about making their stock holders happy with good profits. And most of their stockholders only care about how well their shares are doing. Once the issue leaves the realm of scientific objectivity into the realm of subjective self-interests and Wall Street profits its metrics change from degrees change in average global temperatures to dollars change in stock values where the warming up of stock prices is good news vs. the cooling down of global temperatures.
So do we have the political will to really join the spirit of the UN Conference on Climate Change to significantly reduce our impacts upon greenhouse gases and Global Warming temperatures? I question this nations commitments to this end. I fear that our commercial and political self interests will compromise that commitment and reduce our willingness to live by our commitments at Paris. Our entire carbon based economic infrastructure is far too self-serving and short-sighted. This is part of our highly capitalized based carbon depend culture. So I fear we will promote setting the bar and expectations for greenhouse gas emissions on the low side (for less actions) than on the high side for lower greenhouse emissions. This will only aggravate the long-term effects of Global Warming making it worst and far more difficult for future generations to deal with and reverse. What we do now will affect what the future will look like. The consequences of what we do or fail to do will be long-term and long-lasting.