Stephen Lewis: The Week in Review 99 – Forecasting the future


This is my last commentary of 2015, and I’ll be back again in the New Year. But I feel I would be negligent if I didn’t, at least, make some reference as time goes by to the fascinating conference in Paris now
on climate change– that extraordinary international conference. I’m gonna try to do it as though
I were some kind of clairvoyant, if you will forgive me, and tell you exactly what is going to happen. I’m taping this on Thursday, December the 10th. The results of the conference will emerge on December 12th and 13th,
a weekend, and I’ll tell you what to expect. The first week of the conference– See, these conferences
are really rigid and predetermined. The first week of the conference is always given over to the heads of state
and heads of government who engage in self-congratulatory,
rhetoric describing how, individually, they will save the world. Then the second week goes to the lesser mortals, to the cabinet ministers and the negotiators to see if they can get an agreement. And you have heard and you will continue to hear a lot of caterwauling and hand-wringing
and teeth gnashing and moaning and groaning and weeping about how tough it all is and how they’ll never be able to bridge the divide between the developed and the developing world and raise the money that’s needed. And worse, martyrdom. They’re gonna have to work through the night
once or twice in order to reach an agreement by the weekend. But let me tell you something. There will be an agreement reached. It will be called a triumph.
It will be called a victory. I can absolutely assure you with certitude, I would bet on it that an agreement will emerge. And it will have two components. There will be a very small component which says that the recommendations
must be implemented. In other words, a small mandatory component. But most of the agreement will be voluntary. The countries will be left to themselves to decide whether or not
they will implement the recommendations. In other words, it’s really all up to the countries, and who knows what they will do? And that leads to three comments. First, it’s clear that the world is developing
the significant awareness that the dependence on fossil fuels
and the discharge of carbon is putting the planet at risk. Finally, everyone seems to see that. Second, there’s a determination
to do something about it. And third, and this is what grates. No matter what comes out of Paris, I can assure you that the results
will not keep us within the additional two degrees Celsius as a target, beyond which we cannot go
in rising temperature or the world will self-immolate. But alas, after this conference, despite what they say, we will still be on the brink of a bottomless chasm. But I don’t want to end the year
in such a doomsayer mode. So, let me wish you all
a good end-of-year holiday spirit. And, by the way, if you want to travel, then regardless your nationality, your ethnicity, your race, your sexual orientation,
or most important, your religion, you’re welcome to come to Canada. That was last year. I’m Stephen Lewis.

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