Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Cop-Out Tanka

No More Fairy Tales, XXIII
written on the eve of COP28 hosted by Sultan al-Jabe, the Oil Chief of the U.A.E., a petrostate which is one of the hottest places on Earth.

Dubai skyline
silhouetted against sunset
private jet
after private jet landing
for a climate cop-out

Note: Note: This is a sequel to my COP27 tanka below:
written to this "ridiculously photogenic" Talker, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, the fourth most polluting country per capita in 2022, a country of gas-guzzling car enthusiasts.

COP 1, 2, 3 ...
these endless climate talks 
like crows' caw-caw-caw --
between Canada's plan and action
this Nunavut-sized gap

FYI: CBC News, Nov.27COP28 host used climate talks to push for oilpatch deals, including in Canada: Leaked briefing documents reveal plans to discuss fossil fuel projects with 15 nations.

The Tyee, Nov. 29Danielle Smith Heads to COP28 to Sell Fossil Fuels: Premier plans to pitch carbon capture and Alberta’s ‘clean’ oil and gas at climate summit.

And The New Yorker, Nov. 25: The Road to Dubai: The latest round of international climate negotiations is being held in a petrostate. What could go wrong?

...There have now been twenty-seven cops; this week marks the opening of the twenty-eighth, which will be held in Dubai. Over the years, everything cop-related has grown bigger and more elaborate. This year’s session is expected to attract some seventy thousand people—enough to populate a small city...As cop has grown and grown, so, too, of course, has the problem it’s supposed to address. In 1995, global carbon-dioxide emissions amounted to twenty-three billion metric tons. This year, the total is expected to be about thirty-seven billion tons, an increase of around sixty per cent. Meanwhile, cumulative emissions—which, from a climate perspective, are what count—have doubled. Among scientists, it is widely agreed that the planet is approaching critical “tipping points,” if it hasn’t already crossed them. “Life on planet Earth is under siege,” is how a recent scientific paper put it.

...“cops are the only place where the most vulnerable countries have a seat at the table,” Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s special envoy for international climate action, told me. “And that is so important because it changes the dynamics. It forces the largest emitters to sit across the table from countries like Vanuatu and listen to what it means if we don’t act.” (Vanuatu, in the South Pacific, is another country that could easily be wiped out by sea-level rise.)

And Global News. Dec. 1A United Nations report criticized Canada last month, calling it the country with the widest gap between its promises and actual climate action. Now, Canada is pledging $16 million [merely a rounding error in the Canadian federal government budget] for a climate disaster fund. 

And The Guardian, Dec. 3COP28 president says there is ‘no science’ behind demands for phase-out of fossil fuels

I’m not in any way signing up to any discussion that is alarmist. There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C

-- Sultan Al Jaber , President of COP28 and Oil Chief of the U.A.E., a petrostate 

AddedNo More Fairy Tales, XXIV

this weight
of something un/spoken
the world's largest iceberg 
breaks free, drifting somewhere

Note: This could be read as a prequel to my tanka below:

this world of reduction: 
of fingers lost to frostbite
of lives lost to depression ...
in the morning sunshine
another polar bear drifts off

FYI: NewScientist, Nov. 27: Where is the iceberg that broke off Antarctica and is it a threat?

...An iceberg more than three [not four] times the size of New York City began drifting again after being stuck on the seafloor for nearly 40 years

Chad Greene at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California  says it is clear that icebergs are breaking off Antarctica at a faster rate than snow is adding mass to the ice, “meaning climate change is causing the Antarctic Ice Sheet to lose mass at a significant rate”.

Researchers have been shocked by recent climate extremes in Antarctica, including record-high temperatures and vast areas of missing sea ice, which serve to buffer the continent’s ice shelves from warmer water and waves.

And CTV News, Nov. 24: World's largest iceberg breaks free, heads toward Southern Ocean

It's rare to see an iceberg of this size on the move, said British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Oliver Marsh, so scientists will be watching its trajectory iceberg of this scale has the potential to survive for quite a long time in the Southern Ocean, even though it's much warmer, and it could make its way farther north up toward South Africa where it can disrupt shipping.

AddedThis Brave New World, CXIV

children's blood
flows beyond the pages
of War and Peace
my friend's loss of passion
and of her writing dream

AddedThis Brave New World, CXV
written on the eve of the ceasefire's end

the call to prayer 
a half-ruined mosque
in twilit Gaza

FYI: Reuters, Nov. 30: In Gaza, call to prayer rings out from bombarded mosque

Balanced on a steep slab of fissured concrete with rods of twisted metal poking out and the remnants of a dome slanted at a 45-degree angle behind him, a young muezzin in a baseball cap called Muslims to prayer from atop a bombarded mosque in Gaza.