Through the looking glass: Costa Rica and collective madness

Costa Rica has just announced the ambitious goal of banning all fossil fuels by 2021. Costa Rica admits there are challenges, despite getting 99% of energy from renewables – many cars and trucks in the nation still rely on gas and diesel, and getting that many people to buy new cars is unlikely by that date. Nonetheless, it’s a start. Many people around the world, especially other world leaders, may say that’s crazy, and impossible.

In Simon Pirani’s new book, Burning Up, he said about our failure to address climate change over the last 29 years as “[i]n a century’s time, when the impacts of global warming will be much more ruinous than they are today, people may look back at this failure as collective madness.”

A new article today announced “‘Precipitous’ fall in Antarctic sea ice since 2014 revealed.”

And a few days ago the OHCHR Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights released a draft report humbly entitled, “Climate change and poverty.”

The Special Rapporteur, Philip Alston, also a professor at New York University, wrote that;

“Even if current targets are met, tens of millions will be impoverished, leading to widespread displacement and hunger,” …

“Climate change threatens to undo the last 50 years of progress in development, global health, and poverty reduction.” … “It could push more than 120 million more people into poverty by 2030 and will have the most severe impact in poor countries, regions, and the places poor people live and work.”

“Most human rights bodies have barely begun to grapple with what climate change portends for human rights, and it remains one on a long laundry list of ‘issues’, despite the extraordinarily short time to avoid catastrophic consequences,” Alston said. “As a full-blown crisis that threatens the human rights of vast numbers of people bears down, the usual piecemeal, issue-by-issue human rights methodology is woefully insufficient.”

Is that enough information? Our Paris targets are insufficient, our traditional methods for dealing with problems are also insufficient, “woefully” so.

Costa Rica may be the only non-mad country on Earth.

 

 

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