December 13, 2015

BW photograph of the sunrise over a parking lot

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The world awoke today to The New York Times proclaiming “Nations Approve Landmark Climate Deal”. (This story is being covered by media around the world, and so this particular article is just one of the reports.)  It is perhaps serendipitous that the temperature today in Washington, D.C. is forecast to reach the mid-70s.  Today is December 13th.

BW photograph of the Bachelor Boarding House at Oregon Ridge

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Kiribati (a nation mentioned in the “climate migrant” article linked below), the Marshall Islands, Maldives, and, much closer to home, Tangier Island will perhaps have a longer future to which to look as a result of the agreement.  This remains to be seen as the deal will need to be re-visited in the years to come, and as the ongoing effects of climate change are monitored-this accord does not eliminate climate change.  Significantly, the term “climate migrant” has entered the English lexicon; this term is used in reference to populations, which will be displaced as oceans rise and desertification spreads.  Still, this is a momentous occasion, and what is of great significance is that 195 nations participated in this historic agreement-the deal applies to the most developed, the developing, and the least developed, nations.  Ever since the Kyoto Protocol failed, the stratification of countries has been one of the main stumbling blocks to the reaching of a global agreement.  No longer.  Maybe, just maybe, this will also serve as an example of how nations truly can cooperate to resolve international problems.

Then again, maybe not.  Some members of Congress have vowed to fight implementation of the accord in the United States, an issue that is nothing new here.  Whether Congress will have the power to do anything about that implementation remains to be seen.  One of the overall concerns is the shift away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy, and the impact that could have on the economies of particular states.  That situation is not unique to the U.S., as countries who rely on oil production as a stalwart of their economies, Venezuela, for example, are experiencing financial difficulties.  The other side to this, though, is that perhaps this agreement will stimulate much more investment in new technologies for energy production.  While it would have been helpful for this to have occurred years ago, now seems to be the time.

Take care.






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