World View of Global Warming is preparing to document and report on the UN climate negotiations, the COP21, which begin November 30 in Paris. They go on despite the terrible terrorist attacks, but many public events have been cancelled. After much recent reporting on fossil fuel issues and the effects of rapid climate change, we now look toward the future — worldwide plans for cutting carbon emissions, the many sources of clean energy and ideas which will fulfill those goals, and the action and interactions in the halls of Paris. I wrote in my book in 2007, “Creating a safer, cleaner—and cooler—world. This is the direction for change. The world’s nations will recognize in global warming a common danger to their people, their cultures, and the Earth that supports them all.” We will see if we have finally reached that day.
Climate Photo of the Week
Coming of age for climate change solutions? A warming and worried world awaits action from its governments, meeting in Paris for COP21, the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UN Climate Change Convention.
In a world where billions of people feel extremes of heat, drought and storms, at the end of the warmest year ever recorded by meteorologists, and with time running out to make the energy transformation needed to reduce much worse disasters from a rapidly heating atmosphere and acidifying oceans, 25,000 delegates from 190 nations and civic groups and businesses begin the 21st UN climate conference on November 30. The two-week COP21 in Paris will include hundreds of events and meetings within the security perimeter of the meeting site at Le Bourget, just north of Paris proper, and hundreds outside — although the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November caused French authorities to cancel many large public gatherings.
The most important of the events cancelled was a huge citizens climate march in Paris on the model of New York’s march in September 2014. Many other public exhibits and artworks, including the lighting of the Eiffel Tower the night before the COP begins, were continuing, however. Around the world, organizers from 350.org and other groups were gathering people for marches in hundreds of other cities for the Saturday and Sunday before the conference.
In Paris on the day the march had been scheduled and despite police demands for people not to gather, thousands brought pairs of shoes to Place de la Republique to “march” in their place. Many shoes carried environmental or climate action messages. Afterward many shoes were place among the emotion-laden flowers, candles and signs which have made the famous statue celebrating Liberty, Equality and Fraternity a powerful memorial to the dead in the November 13 terror attacks. Parisians also gathered in protest against the governments state of emergency giving authorities more arrest and investigation powers. Some protesters later fought police, who arrived in force wearing modern gladiator armor and with shields, used tear gas and later cleared most of the Place.
Across the city in the evening, other throngs watched as artist Naziha Mestaoui and a team of light artists created “1heart 1tree,” splashing brilliant greens and blues on the Eiffel Tower. Along with the simulated plants and growing trees in the illumination, words of environmental encouragement and the goals many have demanded for the climate talks were projected on the tower.
The weight of world concern and opinion was heavy as the talks convened. And there were early signs of major actions to speed the energy transition away from fossil fuels, the main cause of carbon, including the presence of President Obama and other world leaders on the COP’s first day to encourage a strong commitment from world nations, and an expected announcement by Bill Gates of a multi-billion dollar fund for accelerated clean energy development and deployment. The call from most environmental and citizens groups was similar to that of 350.org: “A clear demand to keep at least 80% of fossil fuels underground and finance a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.” “Clean" to many means not just non-polluting and low in carbon emissions, but also free of the corrupting and unjust influences on governments and within corporations that have kept so many millions from having even minimal power.
Renewable and clean energy to carry out the needs of the world for health, climate and fairness was being put forward in many studies and reports, in advance of the climate meeting.
Wold View of Global Warming will be reporting daily from the COP.
15 years of World View of Global Warming, documenting climate change 1999-2015
This project would be impossible without scientists and observers around the world who have provided hundreds of scientific contacts and papers. See Background, Advisors, and Reference for documentation, funders and major advisors, without whom I could not complete the work.
World View of Global Warming is a project of the Blue Earth Alliance, Seattle Washington, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. The project is supported entirely by donations, grants, and license fees for the photographs. Please see information about how to contribute.
For other information about Gary Braasch's climate change projects and books, please see the books Earth Under Fire and How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate, and the exhibit "Climate Change in Our World" at the Books and Exhibits link on the top menu of this page.
Photography and text Copyright © 2005 - 2015 (and before) Gary Braasch All rights reserved. Use of photographs in any manner without permission is prohibited by US copyright law. Photography is available for license to publications and other uses. Please contact email@example.com. View more of Gary Braasch's photography here.