Chris Wood: Look to the books, not diplomacy, for the climate game-changer

Hundreds of Australians buried their heads in the sand at Bondi Beach to protest Australia's climate change policy. Photo from
Hundreds of Australians buried their heads in the sand at Bondi Beach to protest Australia’s climate change policy. Photo from

Natural Security columnist Chris Wood is not impressed with this week’s much-trumpeted deal between China and the United States. He writes: “optimists greeted with hosannas the announcement that the Presidents Obama of the United States and Xi of China had agreed to a common statement setting out their respective goals to contain and eventually reduce their combined greenhouse gas emissions. The popular headline word was “game-changer.”


Chris Wood

“Sorry, but it was nothing of the sort. As numerous pundits pointed out, in restating China’s intention to allow GHG emissions to rise until 2030 before they begin to decline, and putting into words the reductions that are anticipated from U.S. actions already taken, the statement quite literally changed nothing.”

Change is indeed afoot — but it is coming from an entirely different direction, Wood argues. Excerpt of his new column, The Real ‘Game-Changer’ was not in Beijing. Has the ‘Anglosphere’ lost its Mojo?

Once upon a time an amalgam of rigorous, inquisitive candor about the physical world, and a deep delusion about superior racial entitlement, delivered control of two of the four continents that were up for colonial grabs in the 18th century to Britain.

Britain’s legal and political philosophy, its English language, and to a large extent genetic descendants of its families, dominate North America and Australia to this day. Europeans, Latin Americans, and others outside this socio-political clan have resented their exclusion and berated the ‘anglo’ model of cut-throat corporate permissiveness — what used to be called laissez-faire and is now re-branded for global distribution as neo-liberalism.

That fewer descendants of Empire persist in their delusions of racial superiority is a welcome development. But it’s worrying to see the Anglosphere also abandoning its realism about the physical world.

Exhibit A in this regard is climate change. … log in to read column  (paywall*)

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