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Reader Opinion: Much ado about nothing

The Paris Climate Conference began with a bang as a thousand jets roared into Paris with 40,000 hopeful delegates and visitors. It ended with a whimper as a toothless final climate agreement was laid on the table.

The Paris Climate Conference began with a bang as a thousand jets roared into Paris with 40,000 hopeful delegates and visitors. It ended with a whimper as a toothless final climate agreement was laid on the table.

Gone were firm commitments for emission reductions, now replaced by allowing nations to set their own voluntary CO2 targets and policies without any legally binding caps or international oversight.

Gone are carbon taxes which would allow erratic and low density renewable energies to compete with fossil fuels.

Gone is the proposed International Climate Tribunal with the power to monitor and enforce emission pledges.

Gone are many firm pledges to the Green Climate Fund which was to provide financial aid to less developed countries as they met the challenge of climate change.

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The new agreement acknowledges international reality and politics. Neither developed nations nor developing nations were prepared to accept emission reductions that would damage their economies or economic expansion programs.

There is reason for hope. We are not likely to see major decarbonization programs that do damage economies and enhance world hunger by limiting plants supply of CO2. It is also not clear from climate history that one part in 2,500 of atmospheric CO2 has any effect on global surface temperature.

Rolf Westgard

St. Paul

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