I have often written about the catastrophic failure of world leaders, how they have done nothing meaningful to stop climate collapse. In fact, their failure has been consistent and total. While some policy makers have been outright hostile towards the climate, even the “good” politicians have done more posturing and have made no meaningful improvement—EVER.
This is why we need to stop looking to our “leaders” to fix things. They never will. In some cases, this may be by design—many owe their power and wealth to bribes from fossil fuels profiteers. (Don’t make me laugh by calling that money “donations.”) And some, no doubt, sincerely intend to save the climate. But they won’t.
This is why I have propagated A Climate Declaration, and have begun a number of initiatives including production of Climate Samizdat to promote a broader climate movement worldwide, Virtual Climate Parties to encourage small activist groups to meet regularly and strategize and ACT, silent climate vigils at sunset to bring people together and grow awareness of what’s at stake.
But here I simply want to graphically show the consistency of this failure by “leaders” so we can dismiss their absurd posturing once and for all—and get to work fully, ourselves.
UN Climate Framework
The United Nations first climate agreement, a nonbinding framework called The United National Framework Climate Convention (UNFCC) goes into effect—whatever that means. The agreement sets no targets and only proposes that countries meet regularaly to talk about climate issues.
Kyoto Protocol Signed
The first binding climate agreement is signed to much fanfare. Signatories ultimately fail to meet targets and C02 emissions continue to rise unabated.
SCOTUS Choses Oil Profiteer As President
The majority of American voters chose Al Gore, a passionate environmentalist, as their president but the United States Supreme Court installed George W. Bush—who lost the popular vote by more than a million votes—as leader of the world’s biggest C02 emitter.
George W. Bush Pulls Out of Kyoto Agreement
The Court-selected American President withdraws from the (toothless) Kyoto Protocol, deciding to not even pretend to do anything about the climate crisis.
Kyoto Protocol Takes Effect Without U.S.
The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect but has absolutely no effect. C02 emssions continue to rise. The United States is not a member of the Protocol but that is probably not relevant because signed papers have never been followed by meaningful action.
Copenhagen Agreement Fails Completely
Leaders meeting in Copenhagen do not even sign papers promising to do something about the climate crisis. The ongoing record of failure continues.
Landmark Paris Agreement Signed
During a historic meeting in Paris, 96 countries agree to set targets to reduce C02 emissions. They fail to actually do so.
Children Strike For Climate
Following decades of consistent failure by “adults,” children begin an ongoing strike, staying home from school on Fridays to protest inaction. While leaders do nothing, young people recognize the crisis and refuse to keep silent.
C02 Level Reaches 500 PPM
Year after year, C02 emissions continued unabated. In 2019, it reached a landmark of 500 PPM. In 1985, it had been 400 PPM.
Trump Withdraws From Paris Agreement
Following a similar path to George W. Bush, Trump withraws from the Paris Agreement. The agreement has had no meaningful effect anyway. But this signals that the United States is openly hostile to doing anything to stop climate collapse.
Biden Rejoins Paris Agreement
The new President reverses course and rejoins the Paris Agreement. It doesn’t seem to matter. The next year, he signs into law the Inflation Reduction Act which is billed as the most important climate legislation ever. The law offers financial incentives to reduce C02 emissions. It also includes provisions approving more drilling on public lands by oil companies.