Thursday, December 23, 2021

We Cannot Negotiate With Nature

The physics of climate change are not interested in the opinions of humans. 

This is what Danish Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jørgensen had in mind when he made the statement I use as a title above. In an interview with the BBC, he was explaining the very bold policies his country is employing in order to reduce its greenhouse emissions. Some of these approaches also have economic benefits, but he makes it clear that they will operate some utilities at a financial loss if necessary.

Image: Maersk

The interview included both the political leader of Denmark and the CEO of its largest company, the shipping giant Maersk, which moves one fifth of the world's trade. He described how the company is planning to make all of that transportation carbon-neutral by 2050, and how it has already begun to accelerate those plans. The first carbon-neutral cargo ship will be on the water in 2023, with eight already on order.

The finances are negotiable; the atmosphere is not.

Their sense of responsibility is in sharp contrast to that of investment bankster Roberto de Guardiola, whose $10,000,000 yacht Highlander was berthed for a couple of months recently near my club's much more modest vessels in New Bedford

I was reminded of this yacht -- called a super yacht because of its size and cost -- when listening to another person in the same BBC program -- Selina Leem of the Marshall Islands, which is the country where this yacht happens to be registered. 

The yacht called Highlander is registered in Bikini, M.I. Perhaps de Guardiola chose that port in part because he enjoys the excuse to have a name that sounds sexy painted in huge letters on the stern of an otherwise unadorned vessel. If he is aware of the calamities inflicted on the small archipelago by the United States, it does not stop him from claiming the name. Nuclear testing erased some islands and left others with a legacy of poison. None of this matters, of course, since the islands were chosen strictly for the "convenience" of lower fees and looser regulations that the super-rich often prefer. 

Selina Leem is an activist and one of just 60,000 residents of her country, which is found entirely on low-lying islands and atolls. I have written about the vulnerability of similar archipelagos in Climate Attack and other posts, but her first-person account of the multiple perils of rising seas is well worth hearing, as is her conversation with the program host about the reasons she would rather combat climate change than abandon her country. 

This conversation was just a sample of many events that were taking place in and around Glasgow in the days leading up to the most recent global climate negotiations. As I posted in Delaying Justice, the main negotiations offered some progress on some of the unmet goals (read: unkept promises) of the previous round of negotiations in Paris. It is of some use to have heads of state make commitments to future targets, but it is increasingly clear that Greta Thunberg and others are correct in insisting that we need much bolder action than COP26 could provide.

The participants in the BBC interview cited above (which I recommend taking the time to hear in its entirety) were in Glasgow at the invitation of TED as part of an ongoing effort called COUNTDOWN that is putting into action exactly the idea suggested above. Never has the adage of to think globally and act locally been more important. We can press our political leaders to do the right thing at a global scale, but we must also do the right things ourselves countless ways that will never be part of the COP proceedings.

Lagniappe

The world desired by the Guardiolas of the world and the politicians they rent:



No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment and your interest in my blog. I will approve your comment as soon as possible. I had to activate comment moderation because of commercial spam; I welcome debate of any ideas I present, but this will not be a platform for dubious commercial messages.

Blog Ideas

coffee (25) GEOG381 (24) GEOG388 (23) GEOG470 (18) climate change (17) GEOG130 (16) geography (16) GEOG332 (13) GEOG431 (12) musica (11) Mexico (9) Brazil (8) GEOG 381 (8) GEOG286 (8) Texas (8) education (8) migration (8) GEOG298 (7) GEOG199 (6) GEOG331 (6) Massachusetts (6) US-Mexico (6) borderlands (6) deBlij04 (6) GEOG 332 (5) GEOG287 (5) climate justice (5) cultural geography (5) fair trade (5) food (5) geographic education (5) immigration (5) nicaragua (5) water (5) Arizona (4) GEOG 171 (4) GEOG 286 (4) GEOG171 (4) GEOG295 (4) Safina (4) africa (4) deBlij05 (4) music (4) politics (4) Bolivia (3) Boston (3) COVID-19 (3) Detroit (3) Ethiopia (3) Managua (3) Obama (3) border (3) cartography (3) drought (3) land protection (3) libraries (3) pesticides (3) suburban sprawl (3) trade (3) unemployment (3) Alaska (2) Amazon (2) Bridgewater (2) Canada (2) Chiapas (2) China (2) Colonialism (2) EPA (2) EarthView (2) Economy (2) Environment (2) GEOG 130 (2) GEOG 199 (2) GEOG 287 (2) Google Maps (2) Government (2) Hawaii (2) India (2) Lexington (2) Maldives (2) Mozambique (2) NOLA (2) NPR (2) National Monuments (2) National Parks (2) Religion (2) Rio Grande (2) Taunton River Wild and Scenic (2) Tex-Mex (2) The View from Lazy Point (2) United States (2) Venezuela (2) anthropocene (2) cape verde (2) censorship (2) central america (2) chocolate (2) corn (2) deBlij07 (2) deforestation (2) demographic transition (2) demography (2) education reform (2) employment (2) environmental geography (2) film (2) forest fire (2) global warming (2) islands (2) librarians (2) maps (2) organic (2) peak oil (2) refugees (2) sense of place (2) soccer (2) sustainability (2) television (2) water rights (2) whales (2) #bbc (1) #nicaragua (1) #sosnicaragua (1) #sosnicaragua #nicaragua (1) 100 Years of Solitude (1) ACROSS Lexington (1) Accents (1) Adam at Home (1) Alice (1) Alt.Latina (1) American Hustle (1) April (1) Association of american Geographers (1) Audubon (1) Aunt Hatch's Lane (1) BSU (1) Baby Boomers (1) Banda Aceh (1) Bay Circuit Trial (1) Bechtel (1) Beleza Tropical (1) Belize (1) Beloit College (1) Ben Linder Cafe (1) Bet The Farm (1) Bhopal (1) Biafra (1) Bikeway (1) Bikini (1) Bill Gates (1) Bill Moyers (1) Boeing 777 (1) Brazilian (1) Brazilianization (1) Bridge (1) British Columbia (1) Brockton (1) Bus Fare (1) Bush (1) Cabo Verde (1) California (1) Cambridge (1) Cape Cod Bay (1) Carl Stafina (1) Catholic (1) Ceuta (1) Chalice (1) Chipko (1) Citgo (1) Climate risks (1) Cochabamba (1) Colombia (1) Common Core (1) Commuter (1) Computers (1) Cuba (1) Cups and Summits (1) Dallas (1) David Byrne (1) Deans Beans (1) Delaware Valley (1) Dunkin Donuts (1) Earth Day (1) Earth View (1) Easton (1) El Salvador (1) Elizabeth Warren (1) Ellicott City (1) Emilia Laime (1) English-only (1) Environmental History (1) Euphrates (1) European Union (1) Evo Morales (1) FIFA (1) FYS (1) Fades Out (1) Farms (1) First-Year Seminar (1) Food Trade (1) Frederick Kaufman (1) French press (1) Fresh Pond Mall (1) GEOG 388 (1) GEOG 431 (1) GEOG 441 (1) GEOG213 (1) GEOG490 (1) Gabriel García Márquez (1) Garden of Gethsemane (1) Gas wells (1) Gateway Cities (1) General Motors (1) Gini Coefficient (1) Girl in the Cafe (1) Google (1) Gordon Hempton (1) Gravina Island Bridge (1) Great Migration (1) Great Molasses Flood (1) Guy Lombardo (1) Haiti (1) Hawks (1) Heart (1) Higher Education (1) History (1) Holyhok Lewisville (1) Homogenous (1) Honors (1) How Food Stopped Being Food (1) Hugo Chavez (1) IMF (1) Iditarod (1) Imperial Valley (1) Income Inequality (1) Indonesia (1) Iraq (1) Irish (1) Japan (1) Junot Diaz (1) Kenya (1) Ketchikan (1) Key West (1) Kindergarden Students (1) King Corn (1) Kiribati (1) Latin America (1) Limbaugh (1) Literature (1) Living On Earth (1) Louisiana (1) Love Canal (1) Luddite (1) M*A*S*H (1) MCAS (1) MacArthur Genius (1) Maersk (1) Malawi (1) Malaysia (1) Malaysian Air Flight 370 (1) Mali (1) Manu Chao (1) Map (1) Marblehead (1) Mary Robinson Foundation (1) Maryland (1) Massachusetts Bay Colony (1) Math (1) Maxguide (1) May (1) Maya (1) Mayan (1) Mayan Gold (1) Mbala (1) McDonald's (1) Melilla (1) Mexicans (1) Michael Pollan (1) Michelle Obama (1) Micronesia (1) Military (1) Military Dictatorship (1) Minuteman Trail (1) Mongolia (1) Monsanto (1) Montana (1) Morocco (1) Mount Auburn Cemetery (1) Muslim (1) NPS (1) Nantucket (1) National Education Regime (1) Native American (1) Native Americans (1) New Bedford (1) New Hampshire (1) New Orleans (1) New York City (1) New York Times (1) Nigeria (1) No Child Left Behind Act (1) Norquist (1) North Africa (1) Nuts (1) Oakland (1) Oaxaca (1) Occupeligo (1) Occypy (1) Oklahoma (1) Oklahoma City (1) Oppression (1) PARCC (1) Pakistan (1) Pascal's Wager (1) Peanut (1) Pearson Regime (1) Philadelphia (1) Philippines (1) Pink Unicorns (1) Poland (1) Portuguese (1) Protest (1) Public Education (1) Puebla (1) Puritans (1) Quest University (1) Rachel Carson (1) Reading (1) Republican (1) Retro Report (1) Robert Reich (1) Rock Legend (1) Ronald Reagan (1) Rondonia (1) Rosa Parks (1) SEXCoffee (1) Safety (1) Samoza (1) Sandino (1) Sara Vowell (1) Save the Children (1) Scotch (1) Scotland (1) Seinfeld (1) Senegal (1) Sergio Mendes (1) Severin (1) Sharrod (1) Silent Spring (1) Sinatra (1) Slope (1) Smokey the Bear (1) Somalia (1) Sombra (1) Sonora (1) Sonoran desert (1) Sonoran hot dog (1) South America (1) Spain (1) Stairway to Heaven (1) Storm (1) Suare Inch of Silence (1) Sumatra (1) Swamp (1) Tacloban (1) Tanzania (1) The Amazon (1) The Amazon Trail (1) Tigris (1) Tucson (1) Tufts (1) U.S Federal Reserve (1) U.S Government (1) U.S. economy (1) USDA (1) USLE Formula (1) Uganda (1) Unfamiliar Fishes (1) Union Carbide (1) Vacation (1) Vexillology (1) Vietnam (1) ViralNova (1) WNYC Data News (1) Wall Street (1) Walsenburg (1) Walt Disney (1) Walt and El Grupo (1) Ward's Berry Farm (1) West (1) Whaling (1) Wilson (1) Winter Storm Saturn (1) Wisconsin (1) World Bank (1) Xingu (1) YouTube (1) Zombies (1) agriculture (1) antitrust (1) aspen (1) austerity (1) aviation (1) banned books (1) bark beetle (1) bean (1) bicycle (1) bicycling (1) bike sharing (1) binary (1) biodiversity (1) bioneers (1) books (1) boston globe (1) cacao (1) cafe (1) campaign (1) campus (1) cantonville (1) capitals (1) carbon dioxide (1) carbon offsets (1) carioca (1) cash (1) cashews (1) census (1) chemex (1) chemistry (1) chronology (1) churrasco (1) civil rights (1) coffee grounds (1) coffee hell (1) coffee prices (1) coffee quality (1) college (1) compost (1) computerized test (1) congress (1) conservation commission (1) corporations (1) countries (1) cubicle (1) dams (1) deBlij06 (1) deBlij08 (1) death (1) deficit (1) development (1) dictatorship (1) distracted learning (1) distraction (1) drug war (1) dtm (1) earth (1) economic diversification (1) economic geography (1) election (1) embargo (1) energy (1) enhanced greenhouse effect (1) environmentalist (1) ethnomusicology (1) exremism (1) failed states (1) farming (1) financial crisis (1) football (1) forestry (1) forro (1) fracking (1) free market (1) free trade (1) fuel economy (1) garden (1) genocide (1) geography education (1) geography games (1) geography of chocolate (1) geography of food (1) geologic time (1) geotechnology (1) gerrymandering (1) global pizza (1) globe (1) goodall (1) green chemistry (1) ground water (1) guacamole (1) guatemala (1) high-frutcose (1) home values (1) hospitality (1) hourglass (1) housing (1) illegal aliens (1) income (1) indigenous (1) interfaith (1) journalism (1) kitchen garden (1) labor (1) landscape ecology (1) language (1) libertarianism (1) library (1) linguistics (1) little rock (1) llorona; musica (1) macc (1) maccweb (1) magic realism (1) maple syrup (1) mapping (1) masa no mas (1) massland (1) medical (1) mental maps (1) mi nina (1) microlots (1) microstates (1) mining (1) mltc (1) monopoly (1) municipal government (1) nautical (1) neoclassical economics (1) new england (1) newseum (1) newspapers (1) noise pollution (1) pandas (1) petroleum (1) piracy (1) pirates (1) poison ivy (1) police (1) political geography (1) pollution (1) provincial government (1) proxy variables (1) public diplomacy (1) quesadilla (1) rabbi (1) racism (1) real food cafe (1) regulations (1) remittances (1) resilience (1) resistance (1) respect (1) rigoberta menchu (1) rios montt (1) romance (1) roya (1) runways (1) russia (1) satellites (1) science (1) sea level (1) selva negra (1) sertao (1) sertão (1) sex (1) sex and coffee (1) simple (1) sin (1) smokey (1) solar (1) solar roasting (1) south africa (1) sovereignty (1) species loss (1) sporcle (1) sports (1) state government (1) taxes (1) tea party (1) teaching (1) textile (1) texting (1) tortilla (1) training (1) transect; Mercator (1) travel (1) triple-deckers (1) tsunami (1) urban geography (1) utopia (1) vermont (1) vice (1) video (1) wall (1) water resources (1) water vapor (1) whiskey (1) whisky (1) widget (1) wifi (1) wild fire (1) wildfire (1) wildlife corridor (1) wto (1)