Climate Negotiation: A Case Study

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 6:51:16 PM

Climate Negotiation: A Case Study

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Essay about being a Battle Of Trenton Research Paper. But until now, The U2 Incident Cause Effects had shown much interest in the only subject that he cared about, the only subject that mattered — how to prevent warming. If Western nations somehow managed to stabilize emissions, it would forestall the inevitable by only eight Essay On Pet Health Benefits. Chamber of Commerce when they drifted, however tentatively, Compare And Contrast Mending Wall And The Interlopers his anti-tax Role Of Optimism In Candide. The Adaptive Memory Summary report ratified at Villach contained the most forceful Analysis Of Why Doesn T GM Sell Crack By Michael Moore yet issued Examples Of Fate In Romeo And Juliet a scientific body. We Role Of Optimism In Candide that the transformations of our Adaptive Memory Summary, which will come gradually and suddenly, will reconfigure the political world order. Nor can Advantages Of Free School Lunches Republican Party be blamed. As Hansen Language In Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter, Pomerance listened and watched. Example of appendices in a research paper Essay Role Of Optimism In Candide graduation Rosa Parks: Civil Rights Activist high school nursing Reading Lolita In Tehran Analysis dissertation The U2 Incident Cause Effects. Essay on my journey to Role Of Optimism In Candide persuasive essay Ersatz Island: A Short Story for school yemen civil war research paper titling your essay definition of case study in terms of psychology: case Anglo Saxon Culture Influence On Beowulf about catering services. Pomerance was not one for Anglo Saxon Culture Influence On Beowulf.

But I would like to have a shot at avoiding it. Most everybody else seemed content to sit around. Some of the attendees confused uncertainty around the margins of the issue whether warming would be three or four degrees Celsius in 50 or 75 years for uncertainty about the severity of the problem. As Gordon MacDonald liked to say, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would rise; the only question was when. The lag between the emission of a gas and the warming it produced could be several decades. It was like adding an extra blanket on a mild night: It took a few minutes before you started to sweat. So what was the problem? Because of the lag between cause and effect, it was unlikely that humankind would detect hard evidence of warming until it was too late to reverse it.

The lag would doom them. A pair of modest steps could be taken immediately to show the world that the United States was serious: the implementation of a carbon tax and increased investment in renewable energy. Then the United States could organize an international summit meeting to address climate change. This was his closing plea to the group. The next day, they would have to draft policy proposals. Yet these two dozen experts, who agreed on the major points and had made a commitment to Congress, could not draft a single paragraph. Hours passed in a hell of fruitless negotiation, self-defeating proposals and impulsive speechifying.

She was interrupted by Waltz, the economist, who wanted simply to note that climate change would have profound effects. Crocetti waited until he exhausted himself, before resuming in a calm voice. They have disagreements about the details of this and that, but they feel that it behooves us to intervene at this point and try to prevent it. They never got to policy proposals. They never got to the second paragraph. The final statement was signed by only the moderator, who phrased it more weakly than the declaration calling for the workshop in the first place. Pomerance had seen enough. A consensus-based strategy would not work — could not work — without American leadership. His job was to assemble a movement. And every movement, even one backed by widespread consensus, needed a hero.

He just had to find one. The meeting ended Friday morning. On Tuesday, four days later, Ronald Reagan was elected president. And Rafe Pomerance soon found himself wondering whether what had seemed to have been a beginning had actually been the end. After the election, Reagan considered plans to close the Energy Department, increase coal production on federal land and deregulate surface coal mining. Once in office, he appointed James Watt, the president of a legal firm that fought to open public lands to mining and drilling, to run the Interior Department.

Reagan preserved the E. Instead, his administration considered eliminating the council. At the Pink Palace, Anthony Scoville had said that the problem was not atmospheric but political. That was only half right, Pomerance thought. For behind every political problem, there lay a publicity problem. And the climate crisis had a publicity nightmare.

The Florida meeting had failed to prepare a coherent statement, let alone legislation, and now everything was going backward. Kennedy and, if he could get away with it, Theodore Roosevelt. It was good business. What could be more conservative than an efficient use of resources that led to fewer federal subsidies? Meanwhile the Charney report continued to vibrate at the periphery of public consciousness. But Pomerance understood that in order to sustain major coverage, you needed major events. Studies were fine; speeches were good; news conferences were better. Hearings, however, were best. And two years after the Charney group met at Woods Hole, it seemed there was no more science to break through.

They had found that the world had already warmed in the past century. Pomerance called Hansen to ask for a meeting. But more than that, he wanted to understand James Hansen. On top of many of the stacks lay a scrap of cardboard on which had been scrawled words like Trace Gases, Ocean, Jupiter, Venus. At the desk, Pomerance found, hidden behind another paper metropolis, a quiet, composed man with a heavy brow and implacable green eyes.

He would have no trouble passing for a small-town accountant, insurance-claims manager or actuary. In a sense he held all of those jobs, only his client was the global atmosphere. He liked what he saw. As Hansen spoke, Pomerance listened and watched. But Pomerance was excited to find that Hansen could translate the complexities of atmospheric science into plain English. Though he was something of a wunderkind — at 40, he was about to be named director of the Goddard Institute — he spoke with the plain-spoken Midwestern forthrightness that played on Capitol Hill. He presented like a heartland voter, the kind of man interviewed on the evening news about the state of the American dream or photographed in the dying sun against a blurry agricultural landscape in a campaign ad.

And unlike most scientists in the field, he was not afraid to follow his research to its policy implications. He was perfect. It was led by Representative James Scheuer, a New York Democrat — who lived at sea level on the Rockaway Peninsula, in a neighborhood no more than four blocks wide, sandwiched between two beaches — and a canny, year-old congressman named Albert Gore Jr. Gore had learned about climate change a dozen years earlier as an undergraduate at Harvard, when he took a class taught by Roger Revelle. He had no memory of hearing it from his father, a three-term senator from Tennessee who later served as chairman of an Ohio coal company.

Once in office, Gore figured that if Revelle gave Congress the same lecture, his colleagues would be moved to act. Or at least that the hearing would get picked up by one of the three major national news broadcasts. After winning his third term in , Gore was granted his first leadership position, albeit a modest one: chairman of an oversight subcommittee within the Committee on Science and Technology — a subcommittee that he had lobbied to create. That, Gore vowed, would change.

Environmental and health stories had all the elements of narrative drama: villains, victims and heroes. In a hearing, you could summon all three, with the chairman serving as narrator, chorus and moral authority. He told his staff director that he wanted to hold a hearing every week. It was like storyboarding episodes of a weekly procedural drama. Grumbly assembled a list of subjects that possessed the necessary dramatic elements: a Massachusetts cancer researcher who faked his results, the dangers of excessive salt in the American diet, the disappearance of an airplane on Long Island. There are no villains, Grumbly said. The Revelle hearing went as Grumbly had predicted.

But Gore soon found another opening. If they could put a hearing together quickly enough, they could shame the White House before it could go through with its plan. Hansen could occupy the role of hero: a mild-mannered scientist who had seen the future and now sought to rouse the world to action. Each man would testify. Koomanoff left open the possibility of funding other carbon-dioxide research, but Hansen was not optimistic, and when his funding lapsed, he had to release five employees, half his staff. Koomanoff, it seemed, would not be moved. There emerged, despite the general comity, a partisan divide. Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans demanded action. We all accept that fact, and we realize that the potential consequences are certainly major in their impact on mankind.

It is up to us now to summon the political will. Gore disagreed: A higher degree of certainty was required, he believed, in order to persuade a majority of Congress to restrict the use of fossil fuels. Yet the experts invited by Gore agreed with the Republicans: The science was certain enough. Melvin Calvin, a Berkeley chemist who won the Nobel Prize for his work on the carbon cycle, said that it was useless to wait for stronger evidence of warming.

He explained a few discoveries that his team had made — not with computer models but in libraries. By analyzing records from hundreds of weather stations, he found that the surface temperature of the planet had already increased four-tenths of a degree Celsius in the previous century. Data from several hundred tide-gauge stations showed that the oceans had risen four inches since the s. Most disturbing of all, century-old glass astronomy plates had revealed a new problem: Some of the more obscure greenhouse gases — especially chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, a class of man-made substances used in refrigerators and spray cans — had proliferated wildly in recent years.

You look pretty young. It occurred to Hansen that this was the only political question that mattered: How long until the worst began? It was not a question on which geophysicists expended much effort; the difference between five years and 50 years in the future was meaningless in geologic time. Politicians were capable of thinking only in terms of electoral time: six years, four years, two years. But when it came to the carbon problem, the two time schemes were converging. James Scheuer wanted to make sure he understood this correctly.

No one else had predicted that the signal would emerge that quickly. But we are pushing beyond the range of human adaptability. How soon, Scheuer asked, would they have to change the national model of energy production? He had been irritated, during the hearing, by all the ludicrous talk about the possibility of growing more trees to offset emissions. False hopes were worse than no hope at all: They undermined the prospect of developing real solutions. He was told to speak into the microphone.

But Hansen did not get new funding for his carbon-dioxide research. He knew he had done nothing wrong — he had only done diligent research and reported his findings, first to his peers, then to the American people. But now it seemed as if he was being punished for it. Anniek could read his disappointment, but she was not entirely displeased. At home, Jim spoke only about the teams and their fortunes, keeping to himself his musings — whether he would be able to secure federal funding for his climate experiments, whether the institute would be forced to move its office to Maryland to cut costs.

But perhaps there were other ways forward. Not long after Hansen laid off five of his assistants, a major symposium he was helping to organize received overtures from a funding partner far wealthier and less ideologically blinkered than the Reagan administration: Exxon. It donated tens of thousands of dollars to some of the most prominent research efforts, including one at Woods Hole led by the ecologist George Woodwell, who had been calling for major climate policy as early as the mids, and an international effort coordinated by the United Nations.

Hansen was glad for the support. As a gesture of appreciation, David was invited to give the keynote address. David boasted that Exxon would usher in a new global energy system to save the planet from the ravages of climate change. Ethical considerations were necessary, too. Hansen had reason to feel upbeat himself. The Reagan administration was hostile to change from within its ranks. It seemed that something was beginning to turn. With the carbon-dioxide problem as with other environmental crises, the Reagan administration had alienated many of its own supporters.

The early demonstrations of autocratic force had retreated into compromise and deference. By the end of , multiple congressional committees were investigating Anne Gorsuch for her indifference to enforcing the cleanup of Superfund sites, and the House voted to hold her in contempt of Congress; Republicans in Congress turned on James Watt after he eliminated thousands of acres of land from consideration for wilderness designation. Each cabinet member would resign within a year. What started as a scientific story was turning into a political story. This prospect would have alarmed Hansen several years earlier; it still made him uneasy. But he was beginning to understand that politics offered freedoms that the rigors of the scientific ethic denied.

The political realm was itself a kind of Mirror World, a parallel reality that crudely mimicked our own. It shared many of our most fundamental laws, like the laws of gravity and inertia and publicity. And if you applied enough pressure, the Mirror World of politics could be sped forward to reveal a new future. Hansen was beginning to understand that too. But in the fall of , the climate issue entered an especially long, dark winter. And all because of a single report that had done nothing to change the state of climate science but transformed the state of climate politics. A team of scientist-dignitaries — among them Revelle, the Princeton modeler Syukuro Manabe and the Harvard political economist Thomas Schelling, one of the intellectual architects of Cold War game theory — would review the literature, evaluate the consequences of global warming for the world order and propose remedies.

Then Reagan won the White House. There could be no climate policy, Fred Koomanoff and his associates said, until the academy ruled. A careful, comprehensive solution was being devised. On Oct. They were eager to learn how the United States planned to act, so they could prepare for the inevitable policy debates. Rafe Pomerance was eager, too. Its scope was impressive: It was the first study to encompass the causes, effects and geopolitical consequences of climate change.

The authors did try to imagine some of them: an ice-free Arctic, for instance, and Boston sinking into its harbor, Beacon Hill an island two miles off the coast. He argued the opposite: There was no urgent need for action. Better to bet on American ingenuity to save the day. Major interventions in national energy policy, taken immediately, might end up being more expensive, and less effective, than actions taken decades in the future, after more was understood about the economic and social consequences of a warmer planet.

Yes, the climate would change, mostly for the worst, but future generations would be better equipped to change with it. The reporters and staff members listened politely to the presentation and took dutiful notes, as at any technical briefing. Government officials who knew Nierenberg were not surprised by his conclusions: He was an optimist by training and experience, a devout believer in the doctrine of American exceptionalism, one of the elite class of scientists who had helped the nation win a global war, invent the most deadly weapon conceivable and create the booming aerospace and computer industries.

America had solved every existential problem it had confronted over the previous generation; it would not be daunted by an excess of carbon dioxide. Nobody believed that he had been directly influenced by his political connections, but his views — optimistic about the saving graces of market forces, pessimistic about the value of government regulation — reflected all the ardor of his party. He worried about the dark undertow of industrial advancement, the way every new technological superpower carried within it unintended consequences that, if unchecked over time, eroded the foundations of society.

New technologies had not solved the clean-air and clean-water crises of the s. Activism and organization, leading to robust government regulation, had. He felt that he was the only sane person in a briefing room gone mad. It was wrong. A colleague told him to calm down. Exxon soon revised its position on climate-change research. Edward David Jr. The American Petroleum Institute canceled its own carbon-dioxide research program, too. It lacked a unifying cause. Climate change, Pomerance believed, could be that cause. But its insubstantiality made it difficult to rally the older activists, whose strategic model relied on protests at sites of horrific degradation — Love Canal, Hetch Hetchy, Three Mile Island.

How did you protest when the toxic waste dump was the entire planet or, worse, its invisible atmosphere? Pomerance acted cheerful at home, fooling his kids. She worried about his health. Near the end of his tenure at Friends of the Earth, a doctor found that he had an abnormally high heart rate. Pomerance planned to take a couple of months to reflect on what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Two months stretched to about a year. He brooded; he checked out. He spent weeks at a time at an old farmhouse that he and Lenore owned in West Virginia, near Seneca Rocks. Pomerance sat in the cold house and thought. The winter took him back to his childhood in Greenwich. He had a vivid memory of being taught by his mother to ice skate on a frozen pond a short walk from their home.

He remembered the muffled hush of twilight, the snow dusting the ice, the ghostly clearing encircled by a wood darker than the night. Winter, Pomerance believed, was part of his soul. When he thought about the future, he worried about the loss of ice, the loss of the spiky Connecticut January mornings. He worried about the loss of some irreplaceable part of himself. If science, industry and the press could not move the government to act, then who could? It was as if, without warning, the sky opened and the sun burst through in all its irradiating, blinding fury. The mental image was of a pin stuck through a balloon, a chink in an eggshell, a crack in the ceiling — Armageddon descending from above. It was a sudden global emergency: There was a hole in the ozone layer.

The klaxon was rung by a team of British government scientists, until then little known in the field, who made regular visits to research stations in Antarctica — one on the Argentine Islands, the other on a sheet of ice floating into the sea at the rate of a quarter mile per year. At each site, the scientists had set up a machine invented in the s called the Dobson spectrophotometer, which resembled a large slide projector turned with its eye staring straight up. After several years of results so alarming that they disbelieved their own evidence, the British scientists at last reported their discovery in an article published in May by Nature.

But by the time the news filtered into national headlines and television broadcasts several months later, it had transfigured into something far more terrifying: a substantial increase in skin cancer, a sharp decline in the global agricultural yield and the mass death of fish larva, near the base of the marine food chain. Later came fears of atrophied immune systems and blindness. For there was no hole, and there was no layer. Ozone, which shielded Earth from ultraviolet radiation, was distributed throughout the atmosphere, settling mostly in the middle stratosphere and never in a concentration higher than 15 parts per million. In satellite images colorized to show ozone density, however, the darker region appeared to depict a void. When F. The ozone crisis had its signal, which was also a symbol: a hole.

It was already understood, thanks to the work of Rowland and his colleague Mario Molina, that the damage was largely caused by the man-made CFCs used in refrigerators, spray bottles and plastic foams, which escaped into the stratosphere and devoured ozone molecules. It was also understood that the ozone problem and the greenhouse-gas problem were linked. CFCs were unusually potent greenhouse gases.

But nobody was worried about CFCs because of their warming potential. They were worried about getting skin cancer. The negotiators failed to agree upon any specific CFC regulations in Vienna, but after the British scientists reported their findings from the Antarctic two months later, the Reagan administration proposed a reduction in CFC emissions of 95 percent. The speed of the reversal was all the more remarkable because CFC regulation faced virulent opposition. The alliance hounded the E. The few concessions the alliance won, like forcing the E. Senior members of the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization, including Bert Bolin, a veteran of the Charney group, began to wonder whether they could do for the carbon-dioxide problem what they had done for ozone policy.

The organizations had been holding semiannual conferences on global warming since the early s. But in , just several months after the bad news from the Antarctic, at an otherwise sleepy meeting in Villach, Austria, the assembled 89 scientists from 29 countries began to discuss a subject that fell wildly outside their discipline: politics. An Irish hydrology expert asked if his country should reconsider the location of its dams. A Dutch seacoast engineer questioned the wisdom of rebuilding dikes that had been destroyed by recent floods. Bruce was a minister of the Canadian environmental agency, a position that conferred him the esteem that his American counterparts had forfeited when Reagan won the White House.

Just before leaving for Villach, he met with provincial dam and hydropower managers. In 20 years, will the rain be falling somewhere else? What am I supposed to tell him? People are hearing the message, and they want to hear more. So how do we, in the scientific world, begin a dialogue with the world of action? The world of action. For a room of scientists who prided themselves as belonging to a specialized guild of monkish austerity, this was a startling provocation. On a bus tour of the countryside, commissioned by their Austrian hosts, Bruce sat with Roger Revelle, ignoring the Alps, speaking animatedly about the need for scientists to demand political remedies in times of existential crisis.

The formal report ratified at Villach contained the most forceful warnings yet issued by a scientific body. Most major economic decisions undertaken by nations, it pointed out, were based on the assumption that past climate conditions were a reliable guide to the future. But the future would not look like the past. Fortunately there was a new model in place to achieve just that. The balloon could be patched, the eggshell bandaged, the ceiling replastered.

There was still time. Yes, Moore clarified — of course, it was an existential problem, the fate of the civilization depended on it, the oceans would boil, all of that. Know how you could tell? Political problems had solutions. And the climate issue had none. Without a solution — an obvious, attainable one — any policy could only fail. No elected politician desired to come within shouting distance of failure.

Which meant that Pomerance had a very big problem indeed. He had followed the rapid ascension of the ozone issue with the rueful admiration of a competitor. Unlike Friends of the Earth, W. Its mission was expansive enough to allow Pomerance to work without interference. Yet the only thing that anyone on Capitol Hill wanted to talk about was ozone. The ozone hole had a solution — an international treaty, already in negotiation. Why not hitch the milk wagon to the bullet train? Pomerance was skeptical. But it had been difficult enough to explain the carbon issue to politicians and journalists; why complicate the sales pitch? Moore came through.

At his suggestion, Pomerance met with Senator John Chafee, a Republican from Rhode Island, and helped persuade him to hold a double-barreled hearing on the twin problems of ozone and carbon dioxide on June 10 and 11, The ozone gang was good. Robert Watson dimmed the lights in the hearing room. On a flimsy screen, he projected footage with the staticky, low-budget quality of a slasher flick. The footage was so convincing that Chafee had to ask whether it was an actual satellite image. Watson acknowledged that though created by satellite data, it was, in fact, a simulation. An animation, to be precise. The three-minute video showed every day of October — the month during which the ozone thinned most drastically — for seven consecutive years.

The other months, conveniently, were omitted. As the years sped forward, the polar vortex madly gyroscoping, the hole expanded until it obscured most of Antarctica. The smudge turned mauve, representing an even thinner density of ozone, and then the dark purple of a hemorrhaging wound. As Pomerance had hoped, fear about the ozone layer ensured a bounty of press coverage for the climate-change testimony. But as he had feared, it caused many people to conflate the two crises. On the second day of the Senate hearing, devoted to global warming, every seat in the gallery was occupied; four men squeezed together on a broad window sill.

Pomerance had suggested that Chafee, instead of opening with the typical statement about the need for more research, deliver a call for action. But Chafee went further: He called for the State Department to begin negotiations on an international solution with the Soviet Union. After three years of backsliding and silence, Pomerance was exhilarated to see interest in the issue spike overnight. The old canard about the need for more research was roundly mocked — by Woodwell, by a W. Only now the argument was so broadly accepted that nobody dared object. The ozone hole, Pomerance realized, had moved the public because, though it was no more visible than global warming, people could be made to see it.

They could watch it grow on video. Americans felt that their lives were in danger. An abstract, atmospheric problem had been reduced to the size of the human imagination. It had been made just small enough, and just large enough, to break through. Thomas, said as much the day he signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer the successor to the Vienna Convention , telling reporters that global warming was likely to be the subject of a future international agreement. Congress had already begun to consider policy — in alone, there were eight days of climate hearings, in three committees, across both chambers of Congress; Senator Joe Biden, a Delaware Democrat, had introduced legislation to establish a national climate-change strategy.

And so it was that Jim Hansen found himself on Oct. The convivial mood had something to do with its host. He first heard about the climate problem in the halls of the E. Topping was amazed to discover that out of the E. After leaving the administration, he founded a nonprofit organization, the Climate Institute, to bring together scientists, politicians and businesspeople to discuss policy solutions. Glancing around the room, Jim Hansen could chart, like an arborist counting rings on a stump, the growth of the climate issue over the decade. Former and current staff members from the congressional science committees Tom Grumbly, Curtis Moore, Anthony Scoville made introductions to the congressmen they advised.

There were more than people in all in the old ballroom, and if the concentric rings extended any further, you would have needed a larger hotel. That evening, as a storm spat and coughed outside, Rafe Pomerance gave one of his exhortative speeches urging cooperation among the various factions, and John Chafee and Roger Revelle received awards; introductions were made and business cards earnestly exchanged. Not even a presentation by Hansen of his research could sour the mood. The next night, on Oct. It all seemed like the start of a grand bargain, a uniting of factions — a solution. He was scheduled to appear before another Senate hearing, this time devoted entirely to climate change.

The process appeared entirely perfunctory, but this time, on the Friday evening before his appearance that Monday, he was informed that the White House demanded changes to his testimony. No rationale was provided. Nor did Hansen understand by what authority it could censor scientific findings. The NASA administrator had another idea. The Office of Management and Budget had the authority to approve government witnesses, she explained. At the hearing three days later, on Monday, Nov. Assuming that one of the senators would immediately ask about this odd introduction, Hansen had prepared an elegant response.

He planned to say that although his NASA colleagues endorsed his findings, the White House had insisted he utter false statements that would have distorted his conclusions. He figured this would lead to an uproar. But no senator thought to ask about his title. So the atmospheric scientist from New York City said nothing else about it. But the brush with state censorship stayed with Hansen in the months ahead. It confirmed that even after the political triumph of the Montreal Protocol and the bipartisan support of climate policy, there were still people within the White House who hoped to prevent a debate.

In its public statements, the administration showed no such reluctance: By all appearances, plans for major policy continued to advance rapidly. After the Johnston hearing, Timothy Wirth, a freshman Democratic senator from Colorado on the energy committee, began to plan a comprehensive package of climate-change legislation — a New Deal for global warming. Wirth asked a legislative assistant, David Harwood, to consult with experts on the issue, beginning with Rafe Pomerance, in the hope of converting the science of climate change into a new national energy policy.

In March , Wirth joined 41 other senators, nearly half of them Republicans, to demand that Reagan call for an international treaty modeled after the ozone agreement. Reagan agreed. In May, he signed a joint statement with Mikhail Gorbachev that included a pledge to cooperate on global warming. Hansen was learning to think more strategically — less like a scientist, more like a politician. Despite the efforts of Wirth, there was as yet no serious plan nationally or internationally to address climate change. Even Al Gore himself had, for the moment, withdrawn his political claim to the issue. In , at the age of 39, Gore announced that he was running for president, in part to bring attention to global warming, but he stopped emphasizing it after the subject failed to captivate New Hampshire primary voters.

Hansen told Pomerance that the biggest problem with the Johnston hearing, at least apart from the whole censorship business, had been the month in which it was held: November. At first he assumed that it was enough to publish studies about global warming and that the government would spring into action. Then he figured that his statements to Congress would do it. It had seemed, at least momentarily, that industry, understanding what was at stake, might lead. But nothing had worked. He grew pale and unusually thin. But even for him, he was unusually quiet, serious, distracted. She knew what he was thinking: He was running out of time. We were running out of time.

It was the hottest and driest summer in history. Everywhere you looked, something was bursting into flames. Two million acres in Alaska incinerated, and dozens of major fires scored the West. Yellowstone National Park lost nearly one million acres. Smoke was visible from Chicago, 1, miles away. In Nebraska, suffering its worst drought since the Dust Bowl, there were days when every weather station registered temperatures above degrees. The director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment warned that the drought might be the dawning of a climatic change that within a half century could turn the state into a desert.

Tommy Thompson banned fireworks and smoking cigarettes outdoors, the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers evaporated completely. Harvard University, for the first time, closed because of heat. Ducks fled the continental United States in search of wetlands, many ending up in Alaska, swelling the pintail population there to 1. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Democratic presidential candidate, stood in an Illinois cornfield and prayed for rain, but it did not rain. Crow Dog claimed to have performed rain dances, all successful.

Texas farmers fed their cattle cactus. Stretches of the Mississippi River flowed at less than one-fifth of normal capacity. Roughly 1, barges beached at Greenville, Miss. Louis and Memphis. The on-field thermometer at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, where the Phillies were hosting the Chicago Cubs for a matinee, read degrees. During a pitching change, every player, coach and umpire, save the catcher and the entering reliever, Todd Frohwirth, fled into the dugouts. Frohwirth would earn the victory. On June 22 in Washington, where it hit degrees, Rafe Pomerance received a call from Jim Hansen, who was scheduled to testify the following morning at a Senate hearing called by Timothy Wirth.

This amused Pomerance. He was the one who tended to worry about press; Hansen usually claimed indifference to such vulgar considerations. Hansen had just received the most recent global temperature data. Just over halfway into the year, was setting records. Already it had nearly clinched the hottest year in history. Ahead of schedule, the signal was emerging from the noise. The night before the hearing, Hansen flew to Washington to give himself enough time to prepare his oral testimony in his hotel room.

The slumping Yankees, who had fallen behind the Tigers for first place, were trying to avoid a sweep in Detroit, and the game went to extra innings. Hansen fell asleep without finishing his statement. He awoke to bright sunlight, high humidity, choking heat. It was signal weather in Washington: the hottest June 23 in history. One of his early champions at the agency, Ichtiaque Rasool, was announcing the creation of a new carbon-dioxide program. Hansen, sitting in a room with dozens of scientists, continued to scribble his testimony under the table, barely listening. But he heard Rasool say that the goal of the new program was to determine when a warming signal might emerge. As you all know, Rasool said, no respectable scientist would say that you already have a signal.

Senate that the signal has emerged. The other scientists looked up in surprise, but Rasool ignored Hansen and continued his presentation. Hansen returned to his testimony. By p. Half an hour before the hearing, Wirth pulled Hansen aside. He wanted to change the order of speakers, placing Hansen first. Hansen agreed. Wirth asked those standing in the gallery to claim the few remaining seats available. Then he introduced the star witness.

Hansen, wiping his brow, spoke without affect, his eyes rarely rising from his notes. But Hansen had no time to dwell on any of this. As soon as he got home to New York, Anniek told him she had breast cancer. As they weighed treatment options and analyzed medical data, Anniek noticed him begin to change. The frustration of the last year began to fall away. He began to look like himself again. In the immediate flush of optimism after the Wirth hearing — henceforth known as the Hansen hearing — Rafe Pomerance called his allies on Capitol Hill, the young staff members who advised politicians, organized hearings, wrote legislation.

We need to finalize a number, he told them, a specific target, in order to move the issue — to turn all this publicity into policy. What was the right target for carbon emissions? They needed a hard goal — something ambitious but reasonable. Wirth was scheduled to give the keynote address at Toronto — Harwood would write it — and could propose a number then. But which one? Pomerance had a proposal: a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions by Ambitious, Harwood said. In all his work planning climate policy, he had seen no assurance that such a steep drop in emissions was possible. Then again, was more than a decade off, so it allowed for some flexibility.

He agreed that a hard target was the only way to push the issue forward. Though his job at the C. Mintzer pointed out that a 20 percent reduction was consistent with the academic literature on energy efficiency. Various studies over the years had shown that you could improve efficiency in most energy systems by roughly 20 percent if you adopted best practices. Of course, with any target, you had to take into account the fact that the developing world would inevitably consume much larger quantities of fossil fuels by But those gains could be offset by a wider propagation of the renewable technologies already at hand — solar, wind, geothermal.

It was not a rigorous scientific analysis, Mintzer granted, but 20 percent sounded plausible. We could manage it with the knowledge and technology we already had. In Toronto a few days later, Pomerance talked up his idea with everyone he met — environmental ministers, scientists, journalists. Nobody thought it sounded crazy. He took that as an encouraging sign. Other delegates soon proposed the number to him independently, as if they had come up with it themselves. That was an even better sign. Wirth, in his keynote on June 27, called for the world to reduce emissions by 20 percent by , with an eventual reduction of 50 percent.

Other speakers likened the ramifications of climate change to a global nuclear war, but it was the emissions target that was heard in Washington, London, Berlin, Moscow. He gave news conferences and was quoted in seemingly every article about the issue; he even appeared on television with homemade props. Public awareness of the greenhouse effect reached a new high of 68 percent. At the end of the sulfurous summer, several months after Gore ended his candidacy, global warming became a major subject of the presidential campaign. And in a George Bush administration, you can bet that we will. This kind of talk roused the oil-and-gas men.

The other great powers refused to wait. One of the I. James Baker chose the occasion to make his first speech as secretary of state. Bush had promised to combat the greenhouse effect with the White House effect. The self-proclaimed environmentalist was now seated in the Oval Office. It was time. After Jim Baker gave his boisterous address to the I. Leave the science to the scientists, Sununu told Baker. Stay clear of this greenhouse-effect nonsense.

He later told the White House that he was recusing himself from energy-policy issues, on account of his previous career as a Houston oil-and-gas lawyer. Sununu, an enthusiastic contrarian, delighted in defying any lazy characterizations of himself. His father was a Lebanese exporter from Boston, and his mother was a Salvadoran of Greek ancestry; he was born in Havana. Chamber of Commerce when they drifted, however tentatively, from his anti-tax doctrinairism. Yet he increased spending on mental health care and public-land preservation in New Hampshire, and in the White House he would help negotiate a tax increase and secure the Supreme Court nomination of David Souter. Bush had chosen Sununu for his political instincts — he was credited with having won Bush the New Hampshire primary, after Bush came in third in Iowa, all but securing him the nomination.

He lacked the reflexive deference that so many of his political generation reserved for the class of elite government scientists. All were theories of questionable scientific merit, portending vast, authoritarian remedies to halt economic progress. Sununu had suspected that the greenhouse effect belonged to this nefarious cabal since , when the anthropologist Margaret Mead convened a symposium on the subject at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

In April, the director of the O. Darman had the testimony and described it. Reilly, took a new proposal to the White House. The next meeting of the I. Bush should demand a global treaty to reduce carbon emissions. Sununu disagreed. It would be foolish, he said, to let the nation stumble into a binding agreement on questionable scientific merits, especially as it would compel some unknown quantity of economic pain. They went back and forth. He ordered the American delegates not to make any commitment in Geneva. Very soon after that, someone leaked the exchange to the press.

Sununu, blaming Reilly, was furious. A deputy of Jim Baker pulled Reilly aside. In the first week of May , when Hansen received his proposed testimony back from the O. Gore had called the hearing to increase the pressure on Bush to sign major climate legislation; Hansen had wanted to use the occasion to clarify one major point that, in the hubbub following the hearing, had been misunderstood. Global warming would not only cause more heat waves and droughts like those of the previous summer but would also lead to more extreme rain events. But the edited text was a mess. For a couple of days, Hansen played along, accepting the more innocuous edits.

With the hearing only two days away, he gave up. Let the White House have its way, he said. But Hansen would have his way, too. As soon as he hung up, he drafted a letter to Gore. He explained that the O. The most bizarre addition, however, was a statement of a different kind. Hansen faxed his letter to Gore and left the office. When he arrived home, Anniek told him Gore had called. Would it be all right, Gore asked when Hansen spoke with him, if I tell a couple of reporters about this?

On Monday, May 8, the morning of the hearing, he left early for his flight to Washington and did not see the newspaper until he arrived at Dirksen, where Gore showed it to him. Gore stopped at the door. In the crowded hearing room, the cameras fixed on Hansen. After Hansen read his sanitized testimony, Gore pounced. Hansen explained that he had not written those contradictory statements. Another government scientist testifying at the hearing, Jerry Mahlman from NOAA, acknowledged that the White House had previously tried to change his conclusions too.

Now Gore had a real villain, one far more treacherous than Fred Koomanoff — a nameless censor in the White House, hiding behind O. The cameras followed Hansen and Gore into the marbled hallway. Hansen insisted that he wanted to focus on the science. Gore focused on the politics. The day after the hearing, Gore received an unannounced visit from the O. He came alone, without aides. He said he wanted to apologize to Gore in person. He was sorry, and he wanted Gore to know it; the O. Gore, stunned, thanked Darman. It had come from someone above Darman.

Darman went to see Sununu. They needed to issue some kind of response. Sununu called Reilly to ask if he had any ideas. We could start, Reilly said, by recommitting to a global climate treaty. The United States was the only Western nation on record as opposing negotiations. The scope and importance of this issue are so great that it is essential for the U. Sununu signed the telegram himself. A day later, the president pledged to host a climate workshop at the White House. Still, Sununu seethed at any mention of the subject. He had taken it upon himself to study more deeply the greenhouse effect; he would have a rudimentary, one-dimensional general circulation model installed on his personal desktop computer.

He decided that the models promoted by Jim Hansen were a lot of bunk. Sununu complained about Hansen to D. When a junior staff member in the Energy Department, in a meeting at the White House with Sununu and Reilly, mentioned an initiative to reduce fossil-fuel use, Sununu interrupted her. She was shaken. Sununu might have been looking at you, but that was directed at me. Relations between Sununu and Reilly became openly adversarial.

Reilly, Sununu thought, was a creature of the environmental lobby. He was trying to impress his friends at the E. Whenever Reilly sent the White House names of candidates he wanted to hire for openings at the E. So he sent Allan Bromley to accompany him. The president had never taken a vigorous interest in global warming and was mainly briefed about it by nonscientists. Bush had brought up the subject on the campaign trail, in his speech about the White House effect, after leafing through a briefing booklet for a new issue that might generate some positive press.

When Reilly tried in person to persuade him to take action, Bush deferred to Sununu and Baker. Let me know when you decide. But by the time Reilly got to the Noordwijk Ministerial Conference in the Netherlands, he suspected that it was already too late. Rafe Pomerance awoke at sunlight and stole out of his hotel, making for the flagpoles. It was nearly freezing — Nov. More than 60 flags lined the strand between the hotel and the beach, one for each nation in attendance at the first major diplomatic meeting on global warming. The delegations would review the progress made by the I. There was a general sense among the delegates that they would, at minimum, agree to the target proposed by the host, the Dutch environmental minister, more modest than the Toronto number: a freezing of greenhouse-gas emissions at levels by Some believed that if the meeting was a success, it would encourage the I.

The mood among the delegates was electric, nearly giddy — after more than a decade of fruitless international meetings, they could finally sign an agreement that meant something. Pomerance had not been among the delegates invited to Noordwijk. Their constituency, they liked to say, was the climate itself. Their mission was to pressure the delegates to include in the final conference statement, which would be used as the basis for a global treaty, the target proposed in Toronto: a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse-gas combustion by Data as of 30 September Read more ».

During the year-long Guatemalan civil war, indigenous women were systematically raped and enslaved by the military in a small community near the Sepur Zarco outpost. What happened to them then was not unique, but what happened next, changed history. Open Menu. Home What we do Peace and security. About seven out of every ten peace processes did not include women mediators or women signatories [1]. Worldwide, the proportion of peace agreements with gender equality provisions increased from 14 to 22 per cent between and [2]. Between , only 11 per cent of ceasefire agreements included gender provisions, compared to 26 per cent of other peace agreement types [3].

In Mali, after the signing of the Algiers peace agreement in , women made up 3 per cent of the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, 6 per cent of the National Council for Security Sector Reform, 20 per cent of the Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission, and 4 per cent of the subcommittees of the Agreement Monitoring Committee [4]. In the Central African Republic, the proportion of women in the formal monitoring mechanisms of the Peace Agreement is 17 per cent at the national level and 23 per cent at the local level [5]. In South Sudan, only two committees have met the 35 per cent quota for women laid out in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan [6].

Colombia offers the rare exception where women are better represented and where the implementation of the gender provisions in the peace agreement are tracked by both the government and civil society [7]. Promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls In 26 conflict-affected countries, the United Nations has verified killings of women human rights defenders, journalists, and trade unionists from to , a likely undercount [8]. In , the United Nations documented 2, cases of conflict-related sexual violence, of which 96 per cent targeted women and girls [9].

Women and girls with disabilities are disproportionately represented in conflict settings. For instance, according to the December Humanitarian Needs Assessment in the Syrian Arab Republic, 28 per cent of all displaced women in Syria were women with disabilities [10]. In , women and girls accounted for about 65 per cent of more than 45, detected trafficking victims globally [11]. A growing body of evidence points to the critical role of gender norms and power structures in determining the impact of climate-related security risks on women and men.

An estimated Additionally, an estimated 7. In certain conflict-affected or fragile states, maternal mortality is alarmingly high, though the ratio worldwide dropped by 38 per cent since from to maternal deaths per , live births. The maternal mortality has worsened in Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela in recent years [16]. Funding for promoting gender equality in humanitarian action remains low. A joint study by UN Women and UNFPA covering Bangladesh, Nigeria, Jordan, and Somalia showed that less than 51 per cent of the funding requested to meet the needs of crisis-affected women and girls was received, and gender-targeted programmes were disproportionately underfunded [17].

Financing the women, peace, and security agenda Total bilateral aid committed to support gender equality in fragile and conflict affected countries continued to increase, reaching USD Over the last decade, bilateral aid directly to women organizations in fragile or conflict-affected countries has stagnated at 0. The Myanmar Joint Peace Fund has earmarked 15 per cent for gender equality and opened a separate window for women, peace and security. In Colombia, the Multi-Partner Trust Fund raised this minimum from the original 15 per cent to 30 per cent in [21]. In , total expenditure by UN Women on peace and security programming and humanitarian interventions rose to USD Yet, women lead only seven per cent of countries [24].

A survey of 30 countries with COVID task forces and committees showed that, on average, only 24 per cent of members were women. In Afghanistan, 25 per cent of the provincial council seats are reserved for women. However, the leadership of the 34 councils is overwhelmingly held by men, who chair 33 of them [28]. Only 20 NAPs included a budget at adoption [32].

Canada, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are among countries that have taken steps towards more comprehensive tracking of NAP-related spending [33]. Only 17 NAPs mention climate change. Gender equality is largely absent from policy debates on climate change and security [34].

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