Trying to cross la Urdaneta in order to get to the south of La Candelaria the other day, the traffic light changed and I got stuck in the middle of the busy four-lane thoroughfare. Standing there surrounded by cars, buses and incredibly loud honking, I pondered how ludicrous any notion of environmental protection felt. Climate change, global warming or environmental degradation, I thought to myself, felt like stories plucked from a NatGeo documentary.

Luscious, bright green leaves hung from huge trees with enormous unkempt branches along Avenida Urdaneta. Run-down cars and microbuses spit toxic smoke into the air, contributing to the brownish cloud of smog covering the avenue as far as the eye could see, wafting up from our aggressive gasoline subsidy – which makes a café con leche cost five times more than a full tank of gas.

As the acrid smoke fills my lungs, I think about Venezuela’s commitment to reduce its emissions by at least 20% by 2030.

You hadn’t heard that one? Don’t worry, neither has anyone else. But the promise was made, in the context of the Paris Climate Accord.

But is Venezuela doing anything to meet this obligation?

I turned to experts, activists and official reports for answers. My conclusion: essentially nothing is being done. In the words of an environmental activist friend: everything the government does makes you doubt if they’re really interested in implementing the agreement.

Unlike some places mostly the U.S. where important political players believe the whole thing is some monstrous embuste, nobody in Venezuelan public life questions the science of climate change. Yet, as Juan Nagel wrote last year, it’s hard to know what (if anything) Venezuelan politicians really think about the Paris Agreement “because they act as if it had happened in another galaxy.”

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So when the global Paris agreement was adopted in December 2015, beyond different media reporting on it and your regular environmentalist celebrating its adoption on TV or radio shows, not much was said about its implications for an oil-dependent country like ours.

A few months later, then Foreign Minister Delcy Eloina went to New York to sign the Paris Agreement on Venezuela’s behalf. In an unusual move, the Maduro regime had previously secured the required legislative approval in one of the last sessions of the then PSUV-controlled National Assembly at the end of 2015. Usually, this works the other way around; first signature and then legislative approval. The agreement will become legally binding for Venezuela today, 30 days after it was ratified (ratification being the final step to make a country part to an international legal instrument).

Yet, nothing indicates we are moving towards the path the Paris Agreement has laid out for the future. That path spins around a two-pronged approach: 1) mitigation, by which countries commit to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep the planet’s temperature from rising; and 2) adaption, so that countries and communities can deal with the effects of climate change we are already witnessing around the world.

Taking stock  

Climate change expert Juan Carlos Sánchez explained to me that a mitigation plan requires having a real inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. The emphasis on real is because the INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) presented by Venezuela is based on estimates made by the World Bank that don’t account for all sources of emissions; instead these only account for those from fossil fuel burning and cement production.

Ratification is still pending, though, making the agreement still not legally binding for Venezuela.

80% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Venezuela come from three sources: the oil industry, including the Punta de Mata mechurrio; the transport sector; and diesel consumption at power plants.

However, the true amount of Venezuela’s greenhouse gases emissions is unknown: it has been almost 20 years since the collection of data, even though the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) mandates countries to do so (the first and only official communication prepared in compliance with the UNFCCC was presented in 2005 but was based on data from 1999).

Venezuela isn’t a major emitter, if you look at it globally. In terms of emissions per capita though, we’re among the highest in Latin America.

Thus, an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions is needed in order to know where and how to cut. This inventory, Sánchez says, is no minor undertaking: it requires lots of data from different sectors and lots of technical expertise to compile, analyze and interpret them. This could turn out to be complex as in the halls of the Ecosocialism Ministry and within the rest of the government ideology and loyalty come before expertise, leaving it either depleted of professionals capable of doing the job or not counting on those highly trained based on their political preferences (think of it as a political-ideological apartheid of sorts).

Maladaptive

Venezuela is also lagging in adaptation. Planning here is sometimes even more difficult than mitigation: drawing a plan requires technical expertise and coordinated work at the regional and local levels. It means staying above ideology and party politics to work together on a common goal across local, regional and central government structures – many of which are in the hands of opposition parties. It requires assessments for local risks and vulnerabilities. And it also takes concerted work by different sectors in order to plan responses ahead of time for the mitigation of medium and long term effects of climate change; such as damages to transportation infrastructure, water shortages, or the proliferation of diseases like dengue or zika (do you picture anyone in the Maduro regime working with the Cámara de Turismo, attempting to set up plans and resources to replace lost infrastructure due to rising sea levels?).

Venezuela isn’t a major emitter, if you look at it globally. In terms of emissions per capita though, we’re among the highest in Latin America.

Just like the mitigation plan, there is no official word about the adaptation plan beyond announcing it in the INDC document.

Banking on oil

As everyone knows, petroleum remains the main driver of Venezuela’s development. As Sánchez indicates in a recent article, this is one of the few issues where both government and opposition coincide: investing in the oil industry and expanding its capabilities. So a political change is no guarantee of a fresh new thinking.

In his now common, politically schizophrenic fashion, Maduro continues to bet on higher prices in international markets while at the same time proclaiming the end of el modelo rentista. But the alternatives to oil as sources of revenue don’t really point us towards sustainable and environmentally sound activities. Jorge Arreaza, until recently Mines Minister, acknowledged that gold and other minerals from the Arco Minero a mineral-rich area in the south of Venezuela – are the most important alternative source of wealth besides oil, despite being heavily criticized and denounced by different actors from the civil society and prominent former chavistas cabinet members, for its adverse environmental and social effects.

Why is this?

Trying to make sense of Maduro and his regime is an exercise in futility.

However, a hint of what might also be behind can be found in the decree convening the Constituent National Assembly, which stresses that a reorganization of the Republic would allow to constitutionally develop “with more specificity on the sovereign rights over the protection of [Venezuela’s] biodiversity and the development of an ecological culture in our society.”

Could it be that Venezuela is hiding behind the sovereignty shield when it comes to actions on climate change, moving away from the Paris Agreement straitjacket of concerted measures? Maybe. If so, this “I’ll do it my way” strategy would effectively align Maduro’s regime with its nemesis, the United States, by isolating itself – either explicitly or implicitly – from global efforts to counter climate change. But it would be bad for the long term perspectives of our country; highly vulnerable to climate change from an environmental and an economic viewpoint.

So while the world continues its course towards renewable energies and trying to adapt to a new climate reality, Venezuela remains in a 20th Century mindset with its feet buried in a pond of oil that might never need to be taken out of the ground.

80 COMMENTS

  1. This must have been The Most Ridiculous article published in CC ever, really!!! Who the fuck gives a shit if Venezuela will meet its commitment on climate change in 2030??? Let’s worry about how many people will have died by 2030 because of hunger, no medicines or violence. Let’s worry about how to tumble this dictatorship!!!!! Thx Luisa Kislinger for pissing me off on my Sunday with this BS article!!

    • Uhhh, actually it isn’t as “useless” as you might think, the regime stuck itself to that international agreement and they aren’t doing anything to honor it.

      Which could be used as another factor to oust them.

    • Looks like somebody got addicted to Venezuela misery porn…

      The fact that we are facing such a pressing humanitarian crisis doesn’t take away the fact that there’s a lot of stuff in our country that’s messed up for the medium and long term. I found this research job to be shedding light into an issue seldom discussed in our public sphere, much less on such level of detail and with so many facts behind it.

      Good job Mrs. Kislinger!

  2. “Unlike some places – mostly the U.S. – where important political players believe the whole thing is some monstrous embuste, nobody in Venezuelan public life questions the science of climate change.”

    Uh, no.

    Climate change, and man-made climate change are two different subjects. No one questions that climate changes, but many question the degree to which man’s activities play a role. And despite what’s repeated over and over again, the science is not settled. Far from it. As recently as 10-15 thousand years ago, Quico’s house in Canada would have been under a mile thick sheet of ice. Something changed but it wasn’t man’s activities that brought about the end of the last ice age.

    Every country in the world needs to clean up their environment act. I certainly have no problem with that and can’t think of anyone, Trump included, who would believe differently. But many of us are suspicious of the “settled science” because those who push it the hardest, are typically left-leaning types interested in redistributing the wealth of others, something I suspect the CC staff has no problem with.

        • Would you like to have an intelligent rebuttal to this?

          I agree with Marco’s post about global warming, but don’t bring autism into this. I couldn’t disagree more with your simplistic dismissal of vaccinations role in autism.

        • The article is simply reporting the truth. You don’t like the facts, so kill the messenger. Suck it up and stop blowing smoke.

        • Just want to say thanks and a big hat-tip to all you Canucks and your countrymen up there in BC for exposing the “Anthropogenic Climate Change” scam. Now the entire world knows the “settled science” doesn’t hold up in court.

          And to Mr. President, thanks for getting us out of that God-awful Paris Climate Accord. Nice going, big guy!

          • Dude, one last plea before I decide NOT to tip my hat for the outcome of what your blogger/journal there refers to – apparently without irony- as our Scopes Monkey Trial. You got anything?

          • Neither I nor the author of the referenced article has said there was a “judgement.” Just that Mann yet again refuses to comply to a court’s request (as he did in the States) for his data, which, in BC, will result in a contempt of court citation and a dismissal of the charges, and hopefully a counter suit against him. I think you understand this and realize there will be nothing in the judgement record yet, “Dude”.

          • I see Lorenzo. “This news” that has been “out there for almost two months now” as you put it, so that “Now the entire world knows the “settled science” doesn’t hold up in court”, as you put it, is actually: a decision from a judge that has not happened, but in the opinion of someone not deciding the matter, will happen some time in the future.

          • Oh, Canucklehead, does it really take a genius to conclude that, 1) if Mann ignores the court by refusing to reveal his data as ordered (as he has done), then, 2) His lawsuit will be thrown out?

            And can you not then understand the consequences for the “hockey stick” underpinnings of AGW?

            If not then I can’t help you.

        • ————
          Reply
          Canucklehead August 21, 2017 at 1:49 am
          How about Evolution? Are we good with that?
          —————

          Again, you’re taking the simplistic path, because it’s….well…simpler. But it’s funny how you use evolution as a rebuttal, because what caused THAT!?

          Dinosaur shit?

          You don’t know the full story about the valid arguments for vaccines’ role in autism. Trust me.

          My 25-year-old son has Asperger’s Syndrome, However, I don’t claim to be an expert, my “opinion” is no more valid because my son has the disability, but here’s the deal according to Ira:

          Vaccinating against measles, mumps and rubella is just fine. But NOT injecting a baby at ONE time with ONE MMR shot.

          Spread it out over three visits, but this means more doctor visits and the insurance companies don’t want it because they would have to pay more. (We should also wait a little longer before that first shot.)

          The Pharms don’t want it because they already have their established MMR formulas.

          And it would sure put a burden on the pediatricians with three visits instead of one.

          There are also valid arguments made against the preservatives used in the MMR. Yes, the vast majority of kids have no reaction, but isn’t the minority what “allergies” are all about in the first place?

          The main point is, shouldn’t I have a choice in my child’s health care, if I know I’m still protecting my child and other children around him? Is government allowed to reach THIS far into our lives?

    • I really wish you would stop posting the truth.

      So many readers here prefer to blame Americanos instead of their own leaders for what ails them.

      Maybe Al Gore can parachute in (since no flights are landing in Caracas these days) and get both sides of a useless coin to adopt carbon credit scams like his.

  3. I struggle with this post making the huge assumption that there is an actual government in Venezuela to deal with this, or not.

  4. I usually turn to Venezuela Analysis for a dose of non sequitur propaganda regarding Venezuela.
    I suppose its good to know I can get the same here at cc.

    I suppose Venezuela is doing more than its fair share for the Environmental cause by pumping out less and less oil every day, letting its factories lie fallow, and its electrical grid collapse.

    Perhaps this is actually Venezuela’s way of not only meeting the Paris Climate Accord’s agreements, but exceeding them in a way is an inspiration to those who wish to return the land to mother earth. Think about the recycling of food, as less goes to waste and more pick through garbage cans, think about the commitment Venezuela has made to stop producing vehicles with the internal combustion engine and to import so few of these as well.

    Venezuela is a shining example for all those of the Green/Climate Change Faith and should be praised for its contributions with its reversal of the industrial process and less imprted packaging that goes to waste.

      • Do we forget that Kleptozuela is NUMERO 1 in many things??!

        #1 in Inflation, # 1 in crime and Murder rates, #1 in Per-Capita Corruption and public embezzlement, Top 10 worst economy, #1 in Mega-Guisos tropicales… We rock!

        • Awright, awready! You’re stressing the negative, while Luisa, Cigars,and I are trying to stress the positive–like, for instance, discouraging tourism by high crime/deficient public services, especially in Margarita–who needs those polluting contrails of jumbo jets full of$-toting tourists, trash-throwing/trash-talking/contaminating our woomen for a pittance? Leave our pristine beaches alone in their pristine state. If not, global warming will wash them over, leaving, only perhaps, visible “Las Tetas” (de Maria Guevara)….

    • I was thinking the same thing reading this article. Killing off all economic activity and electrical power production and continuous reduction in oil production has got to result in lower greenhouse gasses produced by Venezuela, although some of that gain will be offset by the deforestation caused by Venezuelans burning wood instead of cooking oil.

      Speaking of cooking oil, Venezuela is also a shining example in fighting obesity, a huge problem for El Gordo imperios. By placing the entire country on a low protein, low calorie diet, Venezuela will lead the way to a slimmer, trimmer society, while simultaneously reducing demand for non-existent toilet paper. But, may backfire on the leaders if the emaciated population starts demanding fat-redistribution.

      Will the next CC article include hand-wringing over whether the Chavistas are doing a good enough job making sure no GMO wheat gets into the country? I hear they are making significant progress on that front.

      • Speaking of wheat, I wonder what happened to the Russian pledge to ship. 60,000 tons a month of wheat to Venezuela. No, you weren’t kidding about the GMO thingie:

        According to Russian state bodies, Venezuela relies on imports of grain and has been buying large amounts of genetically modified, or GMO, wheat from its geopolitical adversary, the United States. Like Russia, Venezuela has banned GMO crops.

        GMO thingie translated into facts: Venezuela doesn’t have the cash money to pay US or Canadian wheat exporters, so it will finagle some credit deal with Russia. Dixit Wimpie (a.k.a. Maduro): I will pay you on a Tuesday in the year 2027 for a hamburger today.

        • All that matters to the target audience is that the wheat is not GMO. They would also accept gluten free wheat. Does not matter if the wheat is actually delivered or usable. All that matters is the optics of announcing said non GMO wheat. Maduro must have at least snickered at how stupid the target audience is.

    • Then we discover that 25 billion dollars were assigned via ANC to the minister of ecosocialism and the comunas for the project, turns out that they stole all the money immediately.

  5. I really thought you were going to take a different approach as you went on with the article, like trying to bring up how this goverment still tries to play along on an international level to keep face.
    Have you heard about the word sustainability? one of it’s most important concepts explains that to push for enviromental measures, you need to find a balance betwen economical and social measures, there’s no such thing as enviromentalism when you have a crisis in these 2 other areas, who is going to care about a tree when their other priorities lie in trying not to starve or trying to cut it down to make a blockade

  6. You can’t have enviromental measures when you going through an economical and social crisis, that’s one of the basics of sustainability, I really expected something very different when I started reading this article.

  7. Luisa, thank you for this excellent article. Yes, true, this IS way down on Venezuela’s list of priorities/capabilities. But, Venezuela did sign off on what I believe most serious/historical research would agree is a largely man-made problem needing serious political solutions, but probably getting few effective solutions, especially in time to save many coastal areas/cities. “Mar A Lago” will certainly live up to its name, but not in Trump’s/our lifetimes….

  8. Here is what El Finado said about global warming in 2009.

    AMY GOODMAN: You sell more oil to the United States than any country but Canada. Your economy depends on oil, yet you are here at a climate change summit. What’s your proposal?

    PRESIDENT HUGO CHÁVEZ: [translated] The problem is not the oil, but what they do with the oil. The United States is the biggest spender of oil and of all the planet resources. Oil is a very valuable resource for life—electric heaters. We must have to transition ourselves to a post-oil era. And that’s what we must discuss: searching and developing new sources of energy. And that requires scientific research. That requires investment. And the developed countries must be the ones to assume this responsibility first.

    AMY GOODMAN: What level of emissions are you willing to support reductions of emissions?

    PRESIDENT HUGO CHÁVEZ: [translated] One hundred percent. One hundred percent. We must reduce the emissions 100 percent. In Venezuela, the emissions are currently insignificant compared to the emissions of the developed countries. We are in agreement. We must reduce all the emissions that are destroying the planet. However, that requires a change in lifestyle, a change in the economic model: We must go from capitalism to socialism. That’s the real solution.

    AMY GOODMAN: How do you throw away capitalism?

    PRESIDENT HUGO CHÁVEZ: [translated] The way they did it in Cuba. That’s the way. The same way we are doing in Venezuela: giving the power to the people and taking it away from the economic elites. You can only do that through a revolution.

    Say no more.

  9. This is easily the least relevant post I’ve ever seen at CC. As if anyone cares of your fake science with its tainted data. People in Venezuela haven’t enough food, or security of their person, and you’re piling on with this load of bullshit.

    As for anyone being an expert, or looking at how many others believe in this… and saying they’re an expert? It’s no different from being an expert in “crop circles”… all of the basic data that supposes it’s real, is tainted, and nobody would change the basic data if this wasn’t all built on lies.

    Climate change caused by man made interference, is built on lies.

    • Many crop circles are real, seen in simpler form (“fairy circles”) for hundreds of years; the making of many of the very complex ones, perfect in their complicated/intricate shapes/forms, overnight, pushing on a rope tethered board, bending rather than breaking the stalks, in tens of countries worldwide, with no overhead supervision, little if any noise, is impossible. Don’t worry, Calgary wont be flooded (except from tar sands exploitation effluents).

  10. “80% of all greenhouse gas emissions in Venezuela come from three sources: the oil industry, including the Punta de Mata mechurrio; the transport sector; and diesel consumption at power plants.”

    And all these three sources have been gradually imploding thanks to Chavismo, together with the demise of the polluting private factories. Soon Venezuela will have an air cleaner than Haiti’s. All I see in your article is some sort of prejudice againt the female-led constituyente (chauvinism?), which is doing the best in its reach to bring Venezuela air back to the Paleolithic era. Let Delcy do her work! Or do you think that she can’t because she is a woman? Do you prefer a man doing he job? Is that what you are saying? Wow!!!

    • Marc no es magoo, pero si tengo una hermana que la quisieron llamar manuela, y yo las mujeres les dije que serian mis hermanas, tu te vistes de cocaina y demas, y yo te mido, cuidado,post data

  11. It is a bit mind boggling even to thnk about the climate change policies of a nation with arguably the largest oil reserves in the world. The only net contribution Venezuela could make is to more than halve its oil production.

  12. I wanted to contribute an article about the Venezuelan mindset that led to this Chavista disaster…

    And CC said no and is publishing this irrelevant garbage article instead?

    This article is a perfect example of that mindset.

  13. “Luisa is a one-time career diplomat and all-time human rights and women’s rights advocate.”

    What the hell is a one-time career diplomat? Sounds like total bullshit to me.

    And the rest sounds even bullshittier.

      • You guys are so disrespectful and sexist it makes me sick. Who cares if she is a diplomat, or a vegan or whatever the hell she wants to be?

        How is THAT relevant you morons and Climate Change isn’t?

        You’re like the worse kind of chavistas: attacking the person never the argument.

        Get a life!

        Sorry Luisa. Yours is a fine article. These people just don’t get it.

        • You sound like a moron who can’t distinguish between bullshit and fact.

          I think I’ll write an article for CC and call myself a Career Professional On Breakfast Cereals.

          • It just seems as if you were just jealous you don’t get to write for CC. So call yourself whatever the hell you want – it doesn’t matter.

  14. What I find so funny is that enviro-leftists like this gal want carbon credit scams and the like. Which Chavez and other dictators will use to hide funds from their people.

    It is one scams feeding another. Yet socialists are screaming that what we are witnessing in VZ is not socialism but not enough of it.

    Denile ain’t just a river in Egypt.

  15. Non-government of Venezuela is in non-compliance with non-agreement which would be non-effective in consequence even if it could escape its non-enforcability. Sounds like positive news.

  16. Luisa,
    What a fine politician you would make.
    Your article makes about as much sense as someone standing in their front yard watching their house burn down and while they are waiting for the firetrucks their only concern being that they really need to mow the lawn.
    Politicians absolutely love distracting the citizenry with inane issues that get everyone riled up and removes the focus on the politicians not addressing the real problems that need to be addressed and solved.
    People are starving.
    There are no medications.
    Crime is rampant and the murder rate is through the roof.
    A small minority of people, with support from Cuba, Iran, Russia, China and Hezbollah has seized control of the country.
    The National Assembly has been dissolved by an illegal Constitutional Assembly that declares itself the supreme authority.
    Children are being murdered on the streets by the National Guard and government supported criminal gangs.
    Human rights abuses are rampant including torture, illegal detention and murder.
    The country is headed for a default.
    Hyperinflation has destroyed the value of the Bolivar.
    Terrorists are part of the government and are providing Venezuelan passports to other terrorists.
    The infrastructure is nearing collapse.
    The country can not grow anywhere near enough food.
    The country is becoming more and more isolated globally.

    Somewhere, perhaps after another 100 entries people may like to add to this list, we can add, Venezuela is not meeting its commitment to the Paris Climate Accords. Would the living conditions for the average Venezuelan, or the future prospects for your country be any better today, if Venezuela was in fact meeting its Paris Climate Accord commitments?

    As a rule I try to respect other people’s opinions and to try to see things from their point of view. This article is so far away from the immediate problems facing the people that it is ridiculous.

    For God’s sake girl, Pull your head out of your ass and devote your energies to solving the immediate crisis that is threatening the very lives of the majority of Venezuelans.

    • Luisa, I am afraid I have to agree with John on this one. Yeah, yeah, I get it… you want to save the world and these issues affect all of humanity and the life of the planet, yada yada, yada… In another time and place, we could have a lively discussion about this. Well, when democracy and constitutional order are reestablished in Venezuela, perhaps we could revisit this. But, for now, we have to save Venezuela first.

      In my life, I have known many people in the diplomatic corps of many nations. They enjoy a privileged life that is very well insulated from reality and the real lives of the public they serve. If they all have anything in common, it is a lack of ability to prioritize rationally.

      • What I find odd is that we have a post on what Spanish leftists think of Venezuela, and nobody raises “relevance”. We have a post on lotteries, and ditto, nada on relevance. We have a post on the death of a noted writer- nobody complains about relevance. We have a post about some unfinished litigation in Delaware over the recovery of a judgment awarded to a Canadian mining company. We have a post about the successes of the national football team. Nobody complains or speculates either about how the authors of these articles have misplaced priorities.

        However, the Venezuelan government’s (in) actions on man made climate change are raised, which for anyone whose brain has not been infected by willful stupidity generated on the margins of the internet, is an imminent threat not only to Venezuela, but to all of humanity, and everyone is howling about “irrelevance” or not being a priority, as if somehow, the narrow mandate of this blog was to exclusively publish (a) misery porn and (b) rants.

        There have been plenty of posts here in areas where the regime is acting foolishly and hypocritically, and those posts are universally applauded in the comments section unless….they are about climate change.

        A lot of these comments above are juvenile, they reek of sexism (about the “gal”, the “girl”, her inability to prioritize, and other stuff I will not repeat), and rather than talk about the issue raised here in relation to Venezuela, are obviously driven by rhetoric emanating out of the fetid cesspool of the American alt-right.

        People write here about areas they know about. There have been a couple of writers on this blog who are obviously well versed in areas of the environment. They are critical of the regime. Why not welcome their perspective or at least, engage them in a civil discussion on the merits?

        I have known people in the diplomatic corps of “many nations”, and for gods sake, who can make such a silly generalization about their priorities? Do we have to score points against scientific experts by denigrating diplomats as well?

        If we are not interested, or have more important things on our minds -if we are so busy putting together the thing that will make this regime collapse once and for all- why not just move along?

        • I think the main outrage is that the article somehow implies that this is a factor which will bring the regime down.

          I didn’t see any sexist posts though that you claim, aside from the use of “gal” or “girl,” which is different from “guy” exactly how?

          Or do you wish us to restrict free speech, like Chavismo…or restrict the use of certain words, like Canada is doing?

          Sounds pretty leftist to me!

  17. Holy shit. I agree that it’s ridiculous to discuss climate change when there are more important issue, but some of the commenters straight deny it’s existence.

    • I don’t deny climate change.
      To any doubter that thinks fossil fuels are not effecting our planet, I simply point out that the oceans are becoming more acidic at an accelerating rate.
      This jeopardizes the most vulnerable species and the reefs that are critical to ocean life.
      Long term the effects on the food chain will be disastrous.
      The cause is the carbon in our environment, most of which is absorbed by the oceans.
      This is very simple to prove and records go back much farther than other climate data.
      The point that I tried to make in my post was that there are many more pressing needs that we should be focused on. The environmental damage that the regime is causing isn’t even on people’s radar. Nor should it be at this time.
      Every effort should be focused on helping the Venezuelan people meet their most urgent needs and removing this regime from office.
      The collapse of the Venezuelan economy and the ensuing reduced demand for fossil fuels will most likely reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
      Why have any debate that takes our eyes off of the ball?

      • So John I suggest that if you want to be the keeper of CC’s editorial agenda, apply for a job there man.

        Either that or get your own damn blog where you get to decide what and when to publish whatever the hell you feel is “focused in helping the Venezuelan people meet their most urgent needs” (a load of BS in my view that last phrase). As if a blog would meet those needs.

        I bet you haven’t contributed a single dollar helping those who are suffering over there, and yet you pontificate about how CC should keep its eyes on the ball. What ball? As if climate change is not related to the plight of people in Valencia in need for clean water or to air quality and air temperatures affecting mosquitos displacement making the risk of malaria and other illnesses a reality where they didn’t exist before.

        But let’s only focus on how horrid the ANC is, and how bad the lefties are, and how people starve, eat straight from garbage bags, dies for lack of medicine (no matter how many posts on this CC can publish, you can’t get enough because that’s how you will “help the Venezuelan people meet their most urgent needs.”)

        Get a grip dude!

        • “I bet you haven’t contributed a single dollar helping those who are suffering over there, and yet you pontificate about how CC should keep its eyes on the ball.”

          Major fail my friend.

          Look, the CC staff has no qualms about insulting posters on this site for expressing their opinions, so no one should be shocked when it’s dished back at them.

          Worrying about Venezuela’s compliance with the Paris Accord at this time is about like worrying about the arrangement of the dinner forks immediately after the Titantic struck the iceberg.

          • Well, that is just your opinion. One that you try to impose in the most chavista way possible. Either agree with me or accept you are totally wrong!

  18. Wow – the vitriol…. Yes, Ven has numerous other challenges much more pressing (e.g., hunger, authoritarianism, hyper inflation), but if folks don’t start paying attention to climate change and the Paris Accord, those billions of bbls stuck in the ground in Ven won’t be worth much within a decade. Don’t kid yourself. While we have been focused on the Orinoco Belt and nationalism, etc, the energy industry is moving on; it doesn’t want to, but it may not have much of a choice as renewables become more competitive and decarbonisation policy picks up speed. One major correction to the article – this is NOT a US-centric issue; it’s not even ‘western/EU’ . With China now firmly committed to boosting renewables, this has momentum I work in the oil & gas industry and I’m witnessing this first hand…………

  19. In middle school I was taught that the Scientific Method required a progression through three stages:
    1) Hypothesis
    2) Theorem
    3) Law
    This progression is to proceed only by surviving healthy but heavy skepticism and open debate, with complete access to all relevant data, by all parties. The burden of proof is to lie with he who makes the hypothesis and it is he who must usher it through the heirarchy.

    I submit that Anthropogenic Climate Change is just a hypothesis and I am very skeptical of it ever becoming anything more. The likes of Mann’s “proprietary data,” and the condescending put-downs of anyone who might question the hypothesis, are anathema to science. They are, in fact, more akin to the Inquisition mindset, when the intellectuals firmly believed that the sun revolved around the Earth and anyone questioning this was branded a heretic.

    I have survived many snide putdowns and tireless lectures as to my skepticism on many issues. I was ridiculed for not falling in line with the notion of “Peak Oil” back during the Carter Administration. Yet again it was to be “The end of Western Civilization as we know it today,” and there was of course the need for greatly expanded government to manage this devolution back to a preindustrial existence.

    Well, here we are. I could list other doomsday scenarios I have survived. The ’60’s population bomb comes to mind.

    So in spite of overweight, over-the-hill politicians writing books about it and lefties lecturing me and insulting me about it, I remain a skeptic. Some day I might be proven wrong, but it will be by cogent arguments from real scientists.

    • For all your careful, three step analysis, you seem to be quite prepared to accept the proposition that some Court decision issued out of British Columbia debunking man made climate change science (i.e. the Canuck Scopes Monkey Trial …decided for the monkey?), without apparently having seen such a thing.

      And dude, what you just described as the Scientific Method is not the Scientific Method.

      • Never made an analysis, and this court decision thing is your invention, not mine. The only thing I have to accept is that the big-time proponent of climate change again refuses to let his data see the light of day. Based on this I am a skeptic, as anyone not blinded by lefty ideology should be. If I am wrong show me the data.

        And dude, maybe you know more about science than I do, but I don’t think so.

          • Thanks, but no need. I have been in court as an expert witness, and I suspect you may be a lawyer with courtroom experience. Anyway I hope there are no hard feelings and, in all sincerity, I have enjoyed sparing with you and I respect your intelligence.

            Piece. And here’s to a free and democratic Venezuela.

  20. “Well, that is just your opinion. One that you try to impose in the most chavista way possible. Either agree with me or accept you are totally wrong!”

    Have you got some examples or just talking out of your ass? Before responding to you I made a total of 2 posts to this thread, neither questioning her right to post subject matter most appear to think is silly under our current circumstances.

  21. One more example of a newbie to CC who has no problem expressing strong opinions without good documented reasons for those opinions- and/or who has no idea about the context of the comments he finds so objectionable. Think “…Whiskey..”

    While it is good to have new readers to CC, the new readers would be advised to better understand the context of the comments (for example, you point out that CC writers have no problem with handing out insults in THEIR comments- which long-time CC readers realize. Think “slackjawed rightwing simplemindedness.”) .and to also take more care in writing comments. A quickly written comment is not necessarily an articulate, logical or knowledgeable comment. I am reminded of a quote sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”

    Though “NicolasRipe” is a pretty good blog name.

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