Looking for a glimpse of a silver lining
I have always been pessimistic about the international climate change negotiations, because the world didn't, and doesn't, seem ready for them. So my gloom about the "informal" week-long discussions that open in Bangkok on 30 August aren't surprising. But how bleak the outlook is.
A briefing on the talks by Alex Rafalowicz on behalf of a number of climate action groups points out that industrialised countries' proposed CO2 emission targets are so low they actually represent less absolute abatement than those of developing countries; that no new money has been pledged for climate finance in 2013, and that up to 90% of the finance "provided" in 2010-2012 has simply been existing foreign aid re-packaged; and that corporate and political interests opposing action on climate change are actually gaining strength in the US and Canada.
But campaign groups are professionally required to see possibilities in even the gloomiest circumstances, so here's hoping.