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How to Reduce
If you love your meat
and processed food,
chances are you need to
rid your body of excess
Drinking alkaline water
neutralises acidic waste
and flushes toxins out
of your body.
Drink. Neutralise. Flush.
1800 1800 26
1800 1800 26
Does Doha simply show
us that we’re all living in
a bubble of climate
change denial? asks
n November 2012, just before climate
change talks in Qatar, the World Bank
published a rigorou s snap shot of where
we’re heading, simply entitled: Tu r n
Down the Heat, Why a 4°C Warmer World
Must be Avoided .
Most of us know the rough story of
ac celerating loss of ice sheets over Greenland,
the Arctic and parts of Antarctica. We know
oceans have been warming, and sea levels
rising. But average temperature s play tricks
with the sense s. Four degrees might seem
tolerable but, in 2010 in Russia, extreme heat
caused an estimated death toll of 55,000, the
failure of a quarter of the country’s c rops,
a million hectares to be burned out, and
economic losse s climbing to $15 billion.
On questions of extreme heat, the World
Bank notes , “In the absence of climate change,
extreme he at wave s ... wou ld be expected to
occur only once every several hundred years.
Obser vations indicate a tenfold incre ase in the
surface are a of the planet experiencing extreme
heat since the 1950s.”
Climate change doe sn’t come cheap.
Beyond extreme heat waves, the World Bank
a nticipates declining global food stock s, los s
of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and
biodiversity, and mass dislocations caused by sea
level rise. At the heart of the warning from the
World Bank is that disaster, disruption, damage
and dislocation will be spread unequally.
“It is likely that the poor will suffer most
and the global community could become more
fractured, and unequal than tod ay.” Bringing
the World Bank to only one conclusion: “The
projected 4°C warning simply must not be
allowed to occur – the heat must be turned
down . Only early, cooperative, intern ational
action s can make that happen.”
And so to Doha, in Qatar, a city of a
million people. Oil and gas gave wealth to this
small country, but now the writing is on the
wall for Qatar – and the world – to diversify.
As if to demon strate, the extraordinary Qatar
Nation al Convention Centre opened in 2011
with the 20th World Petroleum Congress. A
year later, the 2012 United Nations Climate
Change Conference arrived. The Convention’s
10 performance venue s, 52 meeting rooms
and nine halls gave plenty of room to sort the
world’s climate out. Plenty of room to talk.
What ca me out of Doha? Optimists
c ould point to the extension of the Kyoto
Protocol, which would other wise have
ended, now continuing until 2020. But the
optimists know that Kyoto addresses only
15% of global c arbon dioxide polluters .
Countries are opting out. Bel arus, Canada ,
Japan, New Zealand, Ukraine and the
United States won’t participate in Kyoto.
Countries that have grown phenomenally in
the last 20 years – Brazil, China and India
a ren’t required to reduc e c arbon pollution
under it, bec ause they are still developing
c ountries outside the agreement.
The Alliance of Small Island States
knows what’s going to happen. The world
is locked into at least a few degrees increase
in global temperatures. Nauru won’t be a
place to send Austra lia’s ref ugee s – Nauru
inhabitants will be ref ugees thems elves,
from rising seas. Developing countries
criticised Australia , a s our Climate Change
Ambassador Justin Lee appeared to avoid a
mechanism c alled Long-Term Cooperative
Action which might have reg ulated polluters.
At least at Doha the principle of “loss and
damage” is being developed – the principle
that c ountries suffering from climate change
caused by other nations may be financially
c ompensated. (Perhaps Australia will be a
But this presumes that the wealth of
the world won’t crumble as land becomes
unproductive, water become s ra rer, a nd
civilia n populations unruly under the
extreme pressures c oming from a three to six
degree average increa se in temperatures.
The day after negotiations ended, Kumi
Naidoo, E xecutive Director of Greenpeace
International confronted the p oliticians in
Doha: “Which planet are you on? Clearly not
the planet where people are dying from storms,
floods and droughts. Nor the planet where
renewable energy is growing rapidly...The talks
in Doha were always going to be a modest affair,
but they failed to live up to even the historically
low expectations. Where i s the urgency?....It
appears governments are putting national short
term interest ahead of long term global sur viv al.”
Is it only governments, though? Are
they alone in a bubble? Or does our current
indifferenc e and incomprehension, not that
What Planet Are We On?
© noVA JAnuAry 2013
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