Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Paris Climate Accord: it’s Greek to us!

Cynics that we are, we have no trouble presuming that the Paris Climate Accord, recently exited by President Trump, is supported whole-heartedly, if not whole-mindedly, by the vast majority of Brunswick and Maine residents.  Since there are so many supporters out there, we’re hoping one or more will help us understand what’s involved in the agreement.

A friend passed along this key passage from the document:

The following appears in Article 7, paragraph 5 of a document agreed to by 174 countries:

“Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate.”

We’re struggling a bit with “gender-responsive” terminology appearing in a climate accord document.  Sure, Mrs. Side feels the chill in the house before we do, but we’re hoping they have more in mind than personal sensitivities to thermostat settings.

The rest of it, however leaves us beyond struggling, and trying to count how many enviromental attorneys we’d need to hire to fathom just WTF the rest of the language is really trying to say, how it would legally bind any of the parties to the agreement, and finally, how it would resolve climate problems.  Even if we don’t have any clear understanding of just what those problems are, and unambiguous proof that they need to be remedied.

This calls to mind all the old saws about “committees.”  Just imagine – 174 countries coming to agreement on word salad double speak like this.  And how many languages they must have been writing and negotiating in.

As for us?  We’ll draw upon the old quip that “it’s all Greek to me” to summarize our view.  And shake our heads at the trouble the “Global Community” can stir up when they decide to solve the world’s problems.

So have at the language and let us know what you come up with in plain English, you zealots. 

If the language is too duplicitous and sanctimonious and bureaucratic for you to discern, perhaps you can help decode the agreement from this graphic presentation:


You know the old saying about pictures and words.

Now we can add hand-waving and posturing and jetting all over the world to the list.  Thank goodness we have such capable, pure, and noble souls to lead us in such matters, and impose their wills upon us all, even if we have no idea what their will is, and neither do they.

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