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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

United Nations Regret Japan's New Global Warming Numbers

There's a story out of Poland about Japan that has environmentalists criticizing Japan's environmental efforts, after it learned on November 15, 203 that Japan had decided to cut its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

"Hey! You shouldn't kick someone when they are down!"
Sod off! What do you think I got them down for in the first place?!"

Hilarious Bazooka Joe bubble gum comic from 40 years ago aside (I have a strange, and selective memory!), Japan has an excuse!

Welcome to COP 19, held in Warsaw, Poland, a climate change conference held for countries in the United Nations.  

Thanks to the relatively clean Fukushima nuclear reactors being taken out of commission by an tsunami caused by one of the most violent earthquakes in recorded history in March of 2011, and the subsequent investigation into the safety of Japan's other 49 nuclear reactors - and the shutting down of all of them... Japan has needed to find alternative forms of energy... and unfortunately, they aren't as clean-burning as nuclear power generated electricity.

What happened was that Japan announced that its new goal was a 3.8 per cent emissions cut by the year 2020 versus 2005 levels. That amounts to a 3 per cent rise from a United Nations benchmark year of 1990 and the reversal of the previous target of a 25 per cent reduction.

While surely everyone expected environmentalists and the European Union of countries to bad-mouth Japan for this decision, I'm sure no one expected China to jump on the back of Japan and slam their faces into the sidewalk.

Okay, I'm sure everyone expected China to snipe Japan on this. Why not... these are still two countries that hate each other despite all of the similarities throughout history. Like the Japanese water torture (the Chinese stole it from Japan). That was a joke, by the way.

“Given that none of the nuclear reactors is operating, this was unavoidable,” says Japan Environment Minister Ishihara Nobuteru (surname first).

For the record, Japan got about 26 per cent of its electricity through nuclear power generation, and when all 50 nuclear plants were shut down because of safety concerns, Japan was able to get its electrical power fix through the more expensive importing of natural gas and coal... which when burned completely affect the greenhouse gas emissions.

I suppose environmentalists, EU and China... we could simply have left Japan alone and allowed them to use nuclear power generation in an unsafe manner until the whole country became irradiated with radioactive fallout... the greenhouse gas emissions would have been at a more acceptable level but the radioactive level also known as the Godzilla scale would have been off the charts.

What the hell... criticize Japan for being irresponsible in the way it handled its nuclear safety, but don't criticize them because they are trying to prevent a more imminent global catastrophe than mere global emission reduction.

Japan, by the way, is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions... it's just not doing it at a rate it was optimistically trying to achieve before a pair of natural disasters and three near-nuclear meltdowns at the Dai-ichi Fukushima facility owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

Anyhow... the environmental meeting is being held in Warsaw, Poland (there was a lot of bad burning going on in Poland by the Germans about 70 years ago, by the way), between November 11-22, 2013. Approximately 190 nations (I know there are more than that globally) are working to create a global climate pact - that is expected to be agreed upon by sometime in 2015.

In other words... ain't nothing happening in a final sort of way for another year-and-a-half or more!

China’s climate negotiator Su Wei squeals: "I have no way of describing my dismay" about the revised target.

Uh... I think you can use the word 'dismay' as a word that describes your dismay. It's a word that doesn't need describing because it's already a pretty descriptive word.

Oh well, we'll chalk that one up to 'translation'... but the intent is just to move around the knife a little bit into the side of Japan...

Christian Figueres, the United Nation's climate chief used Japan's favorite term when describing her dismay about Japan's decision to not keep it's original target.

“It is regrettable.”

I nearly bust a nut laughing at that one. 'Regrettable' is how Japan has 'apologized' for everything it has ever done wrong.

Oh well.... Figueres calculates that Japan has some good plans for energy efficiency and renewable power, and feels that Japan can lower this new target number.

Sure... it's just Japan playing it safe.

By saying it's in tough to make the numbers and being forced to adjust its numbers, Japan will come out of this environmental reduction of greenhouse gases thing smelling like a rose come 2020. They'll not only make their new green house gas reduction number, but will exceed it... hopefully coming close to the original estimate.

In fact, scientists and think-tanks (add joke here) say that even with Japan switching from nuclear to the current fossil fuel expenditure, it will still reduce green house gas emissions of carbon dioxide from the 2005 levels by some 17% to 18% by the year 2020.

By the way... when you have bad news to deliver, sometimes it is better to point out the flaws in others so that your news doesn't look as bad.

Welcome to the plan of China and the rest of the European Union...

Despite scientists at the event doom-saying about more and more heatwaves, droughts, floods and rising sea levels... not one major country: China... I'm looking at you; UK, USA, Germany, Canada et al... no one announced a revised goal to cut emissions even more.

Fug... get off your high horse. Progress is being made. Yes... more progress could be made quicker, but we've had well over 100 years to screw things up environmentally... continued education, better products, proper disposal of materials.. caring manufacturing... we'll get there. Hopefully before irreparable damage is done.

By the way... Poland, where the UN talks are being held, is the most coal-dependent country in Europe. Talk about your black cloud hanging over your head.

Andrew Joseph


  1. Think of the savings IF the people that sit in their cars and leave them idling in parking lots or take naps in them stopped this crazy behavior.

  2. The planet stopped warming more than a decade ago. Meanwhile, since 2001 the CO2 level has increased by 29% of the increase prior to 2001. Change to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide has never had a significant influence on climate and never will. At see an eye-opening graph and a simple equation that, with only one external forcing, calculates an average global temperature anomaly trend since 1610 and, with 90% accuracy (correlation coefficient = 0.95), calculates measured average global temperature anomalies since before 1900. See why the LIA and Global Warming both ended. CO2 change had no significant influence.