Mourning becomes the Law. – Judith Butler, from Paris. VersoBooks.com

I am in Paris and passed near the scene of killing on the rue Beaumarchais on Friday evening. I had dinner ten minutes from another target. Everyone I know is safe, but many people I do not know are dead or traumatized or in mourning. It is shocking and terrible. Today the streets were populated in the afternoon, but empty in the evening. The morning was completely still. It seems clear from the immediate discussions after the events on public television that the “state of emergency”, however temporary, does set a tone for an enhanced security state.  The questions debated on television include the militarization of the police (how to “complete” the process),, the space of liberty, and how to fight “Islam” – an amorphous entity.   Hollande tried to look manly when he declared this a war, but one was drawn to the imitative aspect of the performance so could not take the discourse seriously. And yet, buffoon that he is, he is acting as the head of the army now.   The state/army distinction dissolves in the light of the state of emergency. People want to see the police, and want a militarized police to protect them. A dangerous, if understandable, desire. The beneficient aspects of the special powers accorded the sovereign under the state of emergency included giving everyone free taxi rides home last night, and opening the hospitals to everyone affected, also draws them in. There is no curfew, but public services are curtailed, and no demonstrations are allowed. Even the “rassemblements” (gatherings) to grieve the dead were technically illegal. I went to one at the Place de la Republique and the police would announce that everyone must disperse, and few people obeyed. That was for me a brief moment of hopefulness.

Source: VersoBooks.com

France bows to Obama and backs down on climate ‘treaty’

France has offered a key concession to the US on the eve of historic climate talks in Paris, saying a new global climate accord will not be called a “treaty” and might not contain legally binding emissions reduction targets. In a significant climbdown, Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, said signatories to the planned deal would still be legally required to meet many of its terms but most likely not the carbon-cutting goals underpinning the agreement. Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images Security measures are seen during final preparations for the COP21, Paris Climate Conference site on November 26, 2015 in Le Bourget, France. “The accord needs to be legally binding. It’s not just literature,” Mr Fabius told the Financial Times. “But it will probably have a dual nature. Some of the clauses will be legally binding.” Mr Fabius, who is to chair the UN climate conference, added: “Another question is whether the Paris accord as a whole will be called a treaty. If that’s the case, then it poses a big problem for President Barack Obama because a treaty has to pass through Congress.” The comments are among the first by a senior official to signal a willingness to accommodate the world’s second largest carbon emitter to achieve a successful deal. John Kerry, US secretary of state, warned in an FT interview this month that the Paris climate change summit could not deliver a treaty that legally requires countries to cut their emissions.

Source: France bows to Obama and backs down on climate ‘treaty’

This week will be the last time anyone alive experiences a CO2 level below 400 ppm.

“As a human, though, passing both the 400 ppm and (potentially) the 1°C threshold within such a short time period makes it clear we are already living in a different world. We have blown past targets that were being considered as viable when I entered graduate school. We have significantly reduced the options available to us in the future. If we aren’t going to blow past the next set of thresholds — 500 ppm and 2°C — within just a few more decades, we have a lot of work to do in Paris in two weeks and beyond.” Katharine Hayhoe, atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University responding to a question posed by Climate Central. The  Scripps CO2 measurements at the Mauna Loa Observatory on the big island of Hawaii have shown that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels climbed above the 400 parts per million (ppm). Because CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a very long time, some scientists say for millennia,  our global fever has reached the point that no one alive today, and those that follow us, will ever know a world below 400 ppm again.  Even after the horrific events in Paris, over 120 world leaders will still attend the upcoming climate conference, Though a huge march on Nov. 29 by supporters of an agreement to reduce carbon emissions has been cancelled by the French government. In Paris, the most vulnerable among humanity will be pushing for a UN climate goal of 1.5C.Such a goal would be an ambitious one. Some negotiators and onlookers already seem to have given up hope of limiting warming to less than 2°C, much less 1.5°C. Fossil fuel burning, deforestation and other climate-changing hallmarks of industrialization have elevated temperatures 1°C since the 19th century, pushing tides up more than 8 inches. Pledges submitted by nations ahead of the meeting to take steps to slow climate change could yet allow warming to soar to 3°C or more.The longing by low-lying nations to limit warming to 1.5°C has been overshadowed since 2010 by a preoccupation by many with the less ambitious goal. On Wednesday, the U.N. released the latest report to confirm that goal — to limit warming to 2°C, compared with preindustrial times — could be reached through massive globally cooperative efforts that overhaul energy supply chains and reform farming and forest management.Goddard Media simulates carbon dioxide world wide dispersal.Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources. The simulation also illustrates differences in carbon dioxide levels in the northern and southern hemispheres and distinct swings in global carbon dioxide concentrations as the growth cycle of plants and trees changes with the seasons.The carbon dioxide visualization was produced by a computer model called GEOS-5, created by scientists at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.The visualization is a product of a simulation called a “Nature Run.” The Nature Run ingests real data on atmospheric conditions and the emission of greenhouse gases and both natural and man-made particulates. The model is then left to run on its own and simulate the natural behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere. This Nature Run simulates January 2006 through December 2006.While Goddard scientists worked with a “beta” version of the Nature Run internally for several years, they released this updated, improved version to the scientific community for the first time in the fall of 2014.

Source: This week will be the last time anyone alive experiences a CO2 level below 400 ppm.

World will pass crucial 2C global warming limit, experts warn | Environment | The Guardian

Carbon pledges from 147 nations to Paris climate summit ‘are not enough to stop temperature rise’, experts conclude

Source: World will pass crucial 2C global warming limit, experts warn | Environment | The Guardian