Skip to main content

The most important piece of news yesterday, this week, this month, and this year was a new set of statistics released yesterday by the Global Carbon Project. It showed that carbon emissions from our planet had increased 5.9 percent between 2009 and 2010. In fact, it was arguably among the most important pieces of data in the last, oh, three centuries, since according to the New York Times it represented “almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution.”

What it means, in climate terms, is that we’ve all but lost the battle to reduce the damage from global warming. The planet has already warmed about a degree Celsius; it’s clearly going to go well past two degrees. It means, in political terms, that the fossil fuel industry has delayed effective action for the 12 years since the Kyoto treaty was signed. It means, in diplomatic terms, that the endless talks underway in Durban should be more important than ever--they should be the focus of a planetary population desperate to figure out how it’s going to survive the century.

But instead, almost no one is paying attention to the proceedings, at least on this continent. One of our political parties has decided that global warming is a hoax--it’s two leading candidates are busily apologizing for anything they said in the past that might possibly have been construed as backing, you know, science. President Obama hasn’t yet spoken on the Durban talks, and informed international observers like Joss Garman are beginning to despair that he ever will.

Who are the 99%? In this country, they’re those of us who aren’t making any of these deadly decisions. In this world, they’re the vast majority of people who didn’t contribute to those soaring emissions. In this biosphere they’re every other species now living on a disorienting earth.

You think OWS is radical? You think was radical for helping organize mass civil disobedience in DC in August against the Keystone Pipeline?  We’re not radical. Radicals work for oil companies. The CEO of Exxon gets up every morning and goes to work changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. No one has ever done anything as radical as that, not in all of human history. And he and his ilk spend heavily on campaigns to make sure no one stops them--the US Chamber of Commerce gave more money than the DNC and the RNC last cycle, and 94% of it went to climate deniers.

Corporate power has occupied the atmosphere. 2011 showed we could fight back. 2012 would be a good year to step up the pressure. Because this time next year the Global Carbon Project will release another number. And I’m betting it will be grim.

Originally posted to Bill McKibben on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 06:09 AM PST.

Also republished by The Durban Daily and DK GreenRoots.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, skybluewater, Pat K California, RichM, claude, Grassroots Mom, JekyllnHyde, Dale, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, vicki, memiller, Bill in Portland Maine, Mogolori, Chi, filkertom, hester, ferg, ogre, teacherken, slinkerwink, ORDem, roonie, greendem, Geenius at Wrok, Maxlongstreet, GreenSooner, Joan McCarter, Gooserock, Jon Stafford, madmsf, Susan Gardner, wytcld, Shockwave, LynChi, billlaurelMD, tacet, CupaJoe, cotterperson, liz, Cvstos, hyperstation, OLinda, LEP, rhubarb, Smedley Hirkum, Earwicker23, eeff, Mnemosyne, dsb, kdub, frisco, RFK Lives, Sandia Blanca, expatjourno, hubcap, niemann, Creosote, Heart of the Rockies, cinnamon68, Gustogirl, bronte17, missLotus, 714day, EricS, cskendrick, annrose, whenwego, Agathena, bluesteel, retrograde, mkfarkus, xopher, barath, chimpy, Frederick Clarkson, pedrito, ivote2004, someRaven, Ignacio Magaloni, jennifree2bme, evelette, fumie, splashy, high uintas, Brit, Eddie C, revsue, SneakySnu, Eric Blair, sockpuppet, TexDem, mrkvica, Miss Jones, figbash, lungfish, 2laneIA, john from vermont, cosette, Damnit Janet, yet another liberal, JimWilson, chrismorgan, manwithlantern, DSC on the Plateau, joliberal, Tillie630, Will Rockafellow, 313to212, DMiller, AllisonInSeattle, zerelda, Curt Matlock, randallt, WisVoter, NapaJulie, JayDean, Mosquito Pilot, Steven D, jcrit, xyz, Emmy, rickeagle, vacantlook, rambler american, eztempo, Josiah Bartlett, bibble, Maggie Pax, Gowrie Gal, rapala, nailbender, drofx, joanneleon, G2geek, kbman, tovan, maybeeso in michigan, bloomer 101, historys mysteries, Bluesee, radarlady, jrooth, denise b, caul, chimene, OpherGopher, irate, PBen, wizardkitten, Jersey Girl, Alice Venturi, JohnB47, Irons33, kitchen sink think tank, elkhunter, myeye, juliesie, Brooke In Seattle, trinityfly, Laurence Lewis, ratzo, boofdah, owlbear1, SaraBeth, Sun Tzu, Dem Beans, nailmaker, where4art, ladybug53, Burned, lotlizard, Ice Blue, Little Lulu, Ozymandius, Sandino, Isara, Ozzie, FindingMyVoice, coolbreeze, Red Bean, bookwoman, murasaki, huttotex, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, kathny, Reality Bites Back, Mother Mags, Paul Ferguson, gwilson, Stephan Kuttner, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ainwa, Pinko Elephant, Milly Watt, Kingsmeg, DrSpalding, alefnot, BlueInARedState, profundo, Prognosticator, koNko, Hear Our Voices, kestrel9000, technomage, sleipner, The Wizard, Magnifico, luckydog, Gottlieb, blueoasis, triv33, TalkieToaster, MJ via Chicago, jguzman17, global citizen, 4Freedom, The Hindsight Times, Rosaura, gooderservice, gatorcog, JVolvo, Sagebrush Bob, NearlyNormal, Preston S, gabriella, boatsie, Dinclusin, Turbonerd, onionjim, bumbi, Dyana, Cenobyte, democracy is coming, CA Nana, Mae, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dianna, WarrenS, Statusquomustgo, crystal eyes, bstotts, Friend of the court, PatriciaVa, BentLiberal, krwheaton, DBunn, tegrat, ammasdarling, janosnation, One Pissed Off Liberal, Sapere aude, bear83, pgm 01, out of left field, bluicebank, pfiore8, dotsright, Habitat Vic, possum, Debs2, Dartagnan, offgrid, Margfh, Da Rat Bastid, karmsy, blue71340, FishOutofWater, LillithMc, some other george, david mizner, jeanette0605, terabytes, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, deepeco, DWG, jasmint53, FischFry, joedemocrat, aliasalias, bnasley, Seneca Doane, artisan, jayden, mudslide, jnhobbs, Bridge Master, pioneer111, GeorgeXVIII, M Sullivan, Zydekos, janatallow, Don midwest, TomP, gizmo59, MKinTN, gundyj, chakadog, zerone, elwior, filby, CDH in Brooklyn, ajr111240, treesrock, KJG52, VL Baker, jamess, monkeybrainpolitics, Calamity Jean, TomFromNJ, MrJayTee, Jake Williams, pickandshovel, bluesheep, TokenLiberal, catly, brasilaaron, petulans, CitizenJoe, doppler effect, DixieDishrag, Keninoakland, biosounds, there but for fortune, Quilldriver, slathe, Ellinorianne, watercarrier4diogenes, David Futurama, shortgirl, SolarMom, lissablack, ZhenRen, fayea, ggwoman55, legendmn, LaFeminista, Fiddlegirl, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, multilee, pileta, Rhysling, J M F, Lura, greengemini, divineorder, matmak, CanyonWren, stolen water, maryabein, Methinks They Lie, sweeper, DefendOurConstitution, elziax, asym, Shelley99, Keith Pickering, sfarkash, nancat357, clifmichael, boatwright, Randtntx, citisven, Leftcandid, Larsstephens, Words In Action, j be, Amber6541, smileycreek, rb137, flitedocnm, LaughingPlanet, NJpeach, eXtina, politik, UTvoter, GeeBee, Crabby Abbey, angelajean, tubacat, Polly Syllabic, freeport beach PA, Eddie L, cordgrass, samanthab, Puddytat, Egalitare, cai, addisnana, elengul, ericlewis0, cocinero, Mister Met, Pakalolo, Onomastic, redlum jak, TAH from SLC, Lost Left Coaster, ozsea1, bluebuckaroo, bluebluelady, sostos, Hopeful Skeptic, freesia, Cintimcmomma, Susipsych, robizio, Situational Lefty, Teiresias70, marleycat, PorridgeGun, Lorikeet, muddy boots, beka, phoebesdatter, antooo, Bill in MD, peregrine kate, Tyto Alba, n8rboy, randomfacts, bakeneko, Friendlystranger, blackjackal, DRo, Regina in a Sears Kit House, aerie star, ChiTownDenny, PrometheusUnbound, No one gets out alive, Azazello, DawnN, IowaBiologist, livingthedream, Prairie D, The Book Bear, anodnhajo, greenbastard, im a plugger, Jakkalbessie, dance you monster, AnnieR, Trotskyrepublican, Ginger1, FreeSpeaker, Evolutionary, Celtic Pugilist, Lorinda Pike, Mr Robert, Mollydog, Reformed and trying to be reasonable, Th0rn, citizendane, peachcreek, Tyler R, belinda ridgewood, Syoho, TheGrandWazoo, TBug, radical simplicity, Nztorg, Arahahex, ricklewsive, willie2011, New Minas, Glen The Plumber, artmanfromcanuckistan, Kayjay, katiec, James Wells, Windowpane, Wonton Tom, barleystraw, Dumas EagerSeton, natfroiland, GardenGoddess, Greenfinches, ForestLake, DamselleFly, DIYer, JFeathersmith, akadjian, ocschwar, Brooklyn Jim, RobW, Tim DeLaney

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site