For Many, the #GlobalWarming Confab That Rose in the Egyptian Desert Was a Mirage — Inside Climate News

SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT – NOVEMBER 09: Two conference participants from Tuvalu take a lunch break as they attend the UNFCCC COP27 climate conference on November 09, 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The conference is bringing together political leaders and representatives from 190 countries to discuss climate-related topics including climate change adaptation, climate finance, decarbonisation, agriculture and biodiversity. The conference is running from November 6-18. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on Inside Climate News:, a nonprofit, independent news organization that covers climate, energy and the environment. It is republished with permission. Sign up for their newsletter here.  Click the link to read the article on the Inside Climate News website (Bob Berwyn):

Amid fighting over croissants and climate, the UN’s COP27 mirrored a world that can’t come together to break free of fossil fuels and avoid a catastrophic future.

The madness of COP27 started at the airport, where 50 diesel buses idled under the hot sun with doors wide open and air conditioners blasting until they headed out, often with just a handful of attendees aboard, delivering them to a far-flung network of hotels sprawled along the reef-fringed coast of the southern Sinai Peninsula. 

Each day the fleet of buses drove hundreds of miles in endless rounds, spewing thousands of tons of carbon dioxide and soot into the air as they rolled past expanses of partly excavated desert, where more resort hotels and strip malls continue to spring up.

The carbon footprint of last year’s COP26 in Glasgow was 102,500 tons of carbon dioxide. At a price of $100 per ton that adds up to more than $10 million dollars. Might investing that money in green infrastructure upfront, before the conference, leave a lasting legacy better than the mountains of plastic waste produced at the talks each year? That conversation isn’t on the agenda.

The buses rolled on. Police cars clustered at the intersections where the bus doors open to admit new riders with their COP27 credentials flapping in the desert wind. Every quarter mile or so, black-suited men carrying clipboards stand along the road, seeking out shade under scruffy palm trees, monitoring who knows what. 

The final approach to the conference halls was through an industrial district lined by miles of tall chain link fences with surveillance cameras clearly visible every few hundred feet—we are watching you, and we want you to know it, the Egyptian government seemed to be saying, a reminder that COP27 was held in an authoritarian state that has jailed thousands of people for speaking out against the government, and that reportedly installed spyware in the official app for the conference.

Holding the global climate conference here at a time when the links between human rights and climate justice are becoming clear felt like a slap in the face to some climate and justice activists. 

“This dystopic COP laid bare the steep challenges, but also the inherent connections, between climate justice and human rights,” said Jean Su, energy and justice director and senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The credibility of these climate talks are at stake when they are hosted in countries that violate basic human rights and continue fossil fuel expansion in spite of climate science.”

COPs have previously been criticized for greenwashing, said Matt Henry, an assistant professor of environmental humanities at the University of Wyoming who studies climate justice. “But this year’s meeting under a repressive authoritarian regime amounts to the greenwashing of human rights,” he said. 

Food Fights and Climate Justice

It’s Monday, Nov. 14, the start of the second week of climate talks, and I’ve joined about 40,000 people who have gathered in this unlikely location to discuss the fate of the world, and, perhaps, to finally take decisive climate action. Most of the delegates know the latest climate science reports say that, without immediate and deep greenhouse gas emissions cuts, the planet is heading toward a hellishly hot future, with certain death for thousands and indescribable suffering for millions more from heatwaves, floods, fires and crop failures.

To avert the worst, the world has to stop the unchecked burning of fossil fuels, but so far, after six days of talks behind closed doors, in plenaries and corridors, not much has happened, so some news reports instead focused on shortages of snacks and cold beverages, a manifestation of the sense of entitlement that is one of the many roots of the climate crisis.

The food fights represented a concerning lack of collegiality that can hamper progress in negotiations, said Cara Augustenborg, an assistant professor of environmental studies at University College Dublin, Ireland, who attended COP27 as a member of Ireland’s climate change Advisory Council.

“I was in a line where the snacks were running out,” she said. “People got very aggressive and cut the line to try and get to the last croissant. I couldn’t help think, ‘Wow, if this is how we treat each other for a croissant, how on earth are we supposed to negotiate a global climate treaty?’”

The scuffle over snacks hints at some of what is at the root of the climate crisis, said Amit Singh, a climate activist in the United Kingdom. Research shows that the richest 10 percent of people produce half the world’s individual-based greenhouse gas emissions, and they always want more, he said.

“Greed and power have been built together,” he said. “There’s a long history of it and it comes from a geographical set of locations. It comes from places that have colonized the world, such as Europe, the U.K., and are still colonizing the world right now.”

At a Monday event about halting deforestation, carbon offset traders roamed the U.S. Center of the climate summit handing out business cards as they sought to cash in on the millions of dollars earmarked for such schemes in the Inflation Reduction Act. Outside, forest defenders and Indigenous groups protested, warning that the programs will result in more displacements of Native peoples.

Returning Indigenous Lands Helps the Climate, But Native Peoples Can’t Negotiate Without It

Negotiators released draft texts on Tuesday morning, Nov. 5, but they dealt with issues deep in the weeds that have little to do with the big questions of whether to phase out fossil fuels more rapidly to maintain a chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or how to help developing nations that are being hit with the worst climate disasters but have done little to cause them. Nonetheless, experts parsed every word for meaning and signs of progress, while pundits explained how world events like the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine affected the climate talks.

Maybe the conferences have just grown too large to tackle the issue. The directory mapping the venue shows how participation in the climate talks has ballooned over the years. It lists countries, regions within countries, cities within regions, associations of cities, associations of countries and industries, international associations of sub-associations, all of them bringing their own representatives to participate in the climate side events that seem to dominate the space at the expense of focusing on the actual talks.

The entrance plaza was swarmed by Indigenous people from around the world, once again unified in response to weak global climate policy. Passionate speeches and angry faces broadcast impatience with the U.N.’s grinding bureaucratic process. Nearly everyone is wearing red to protest land taken by colonizers, and stolen Indigenous children. Those with no red of their own got a bright scarlet sash that they tie on their heads or hands.

Indigenous leaders rallied in the main plaza at the Sharm el-Sheikh to put a spotlight on the need for climate justice at COP27. Credit: Bob Berwyn

“What do we want? Land back!” was a call-and-response mantra. Speakers representing tribes from every continent but Antarctica explained how science shows that restoring Indigenous control of land that was stolen from them is crucial to building a more just world that will also help stabilize the climate with more sustainable use of resources, a concept that is now even supported by the World Bank, hardly a hotbed of radical activism.

Yet, within the COP27 process, there is little room for meaningful Indigenous participation, said Eriel Deranger, a Dënesųłiné climate and civil rights activist and director of Indigenous Climate Action from Alberta, where Indigenous lands have been exploited for fossil fuels.

“There’s flowery language to recognize human rights and Indigenous Peoples’ rights,” she said. “But it’s watered-down, weak language with no processes or mechanisms … that actually give us seats at the table. Right now it’s just a lot of hot air.”

Currently Indigenous people also don’t always have the ability at home to challenge false climate solutions or projects that violate Indigenous rights, she added.

“Our independent sovereign nations, as defined by the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, are not being respected or recognized,” she said. “We have to fight tooth and nail to get accreditation to participate in these spaces. We’re still observers, and not true decision makers.” 

One of the biggest challenges, she said, “is that, in order to be recognized as a nation by the U.N., Indignous people must have land.

“Our people have been dispossessed of our land through different forms of colonization, she said. “Until our people have land back and are able to assert ourselves as sovereign nations with land, the U.N. will never recognize us. So I think it starts at home in our states, to rematriate or lands back to our peoples.”

Mixed Messages

Fossil fuel lobbyists were reported to arrive at COP27 in record numbers. They roamed every nook and cranny of the conference searching for new prospects, especially in the Global South, where they see vast and as-yet untapped reserves and hungry markets in the rapidly developing countries of Africa and Asia. With fossil gas, they promised those countries they can have a safe climate and economic growth at the same time. But many of the lobbyists’ prospective customers, even in the Global South, say science shows that is more a fairytale than a solution.

But it’s clear from the hordes of lobbyists and their messaging that they have not given up on efforts to write the narrative for the negotiations, which calls into question the U.N.’s idea that the industry most responsible for the problem can somehow be part of the solution.

TOPSHOT – Climate activists deploy banners as they stage a protest inside the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, during the COP27 climate conference in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of the same name, on November 12, 2022. (Photo by JOSEPH EID / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images)

Activists from Africa said they want energy, yes, but many of them want to leapfrog past fossil fuels to a renewable energy future. They accused their own governments of making deals with oil and gas companies that will benefit ruling classes at the expense of people who depend on forests and coastal fisheries for their livelihoods.

Still, only a tiny percentage of the thousands at the conference watched the raucous protests in the main plaza. Most days there were more people clustered around the coffee shops at various pavilions, smiling,taking selfies and enjoying the Starbucks vibe, while nearby, scientists described the coming apocalypse, showing, for example, how much of the Nile Delta, Egypt’s breadbasket, will be under water in 2100 even if all greenhouse gas emissions miraculously ceased today.

Why go outside into the bright heat when you can stay inside the wonderful climate mall, where the air is cooled by row upon row of car-size air conditioners that are hidden out of sight except from the local workers taking cigarette breaks. There, the units hum and groan and creak and the air swooshes in and out and it feels like the last gasp of a dying planet.

Little Progress Over Decades at a Time When Every Year Counts

On Friday, an end times atmosphere settled over the proceedings. Global solidarity seemed to have frayed, as some countries started to blame others for the lack of progress, while official communiques from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change gloss over the tensions with diplomatic language. Vast waves of information wash over the attendees—more data, verbiage, images and messages than a single human could reasonably process in a year, much less a couple of weeks. Any expectations for a last-minute save-the-climate plan are fading.

Instead of asking themselves why the process has struggled for 30 years, delegates blamed the host country for running an unorganized conference. There’s talk of backing off the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and no sign that negotiators will formally acknowledge that the only way to reach that goal is to end the uncontrolled use of coal, oil and gas.

The final language needs approval from every country at the table, and there are a handful that have made it clear, publicly and privately, that they intend to keep producing fossil fuels until the bitter end. A comment attributed to a Saudi official urges the world not to target sources of energy, but to focus on emissions.

Petrostates from every region of the Global North were in Sharm el-Sheikh—Norway from Europe and Canada from North America—that have all blocked language critical of fossil fuels at one time or another.The United States has been blocking effective climate policy since it failed to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and more recently, when the Trump administration used the COP process to try and advance the interests of U.S. fossil fuel industries, so the blame-Egypt card seems misplayed.

A reminder of the choices that global society has to make about the climate: Delaying action on reducing emissions commits the world to live with severe consequences. Rapid action now means a more habitable world for all. There is no going back. Choose wisely. Credit: Ed Hawkins via via his Twitter feed

Community Agriculture Alliance: The Colorado Water Plan — Steamboat Pilot & Today #COWaterPlan

The eight major river basins, plus the Denver metro area, are shown on this map from the South Platte River Basin Roundtable. Each basin has its own roundtable, made up of volunteers, to address local water issues. Credit: Colorado Water Conservation Board

Click the link to read the article on the Steamboat Pilot & Today website (Patrick Stanko). Here’s an excerpt

You cannot look at the news today and not see a story on the Colorado River and its low flows and levels of the two major reservoirs in the United States…The goal of the nine Colorado roundtables is to drive solutions from the bottom up for this and the other eight compact demands Colorado is facing. To find out more about all of Colorado Interstate Water Compacts, please visit

Your local roundtable is the Yampa-White-Green Basin Roundtable (YWG BRT), which brings together 36 local water users and stakeholders to drive local solutions up to the state and federal levels. These stakeholders represent water providers, municipalities and industrial, recreational, environmental and agricultural communities. They work together to collaboratively find solutions to water supply gaps using a committee structure. The Big River committee reviews the issues facing the Colorado River and how it would affect the Yampa, White and Green Rivers and provides the full YWG BRT with positions and white papers. The Grants Committee reviews Colorado State grant requests for projects that could help reduce the water supply gaps within the basin. This funding has helped projects like the Maybell Canal, the city of Craig White Water Park, the White River Algae study, Walker Ditch Headgate, the Crosho Simon Dam outlet replacement and other projects. Please refer to the YWB BRT website at

The YWG BRT drives this bottom-up collaboration to the state level through the Basin Implementation Plan and the Inter-basin Compact Committee (IBCC). The Basin Implementation Plan (BIP) was released by the YWG BRT back in 2015 and updated in 2021. The BIP has the eight goals of the YWG BRT to reduce the water supply gaps in the basin. Also included in this plan are the activities to meet those goals, the changing challenges in the basin, and a list of projects that if implemented could reduce the supply gaps the basin is facing…

All this local collaboration has led to the update to the Colorado Water Plan, which is scheduled to be released on Jan. 24. The Colorado Water Plan has four action areas — vibrant communities, thriving watersheds, resilient planning and robust agriculture. CWCB also in the plan has identified 50 CWCB partner actions that can help support the water plan and 50 agency actions that CWCB and collaborating agencies will take to support local projects, conservation and wise-water development.

Colorado Water Plan 2023 update cover. Click the image to go to the CWCB website for the update.

The Water in You: #Water and the Human Body — USGS

​​​​​​​Water serves a number of essential functions to keep us all going. Sources/Usage: Public Domain.

Click the link to read the article on the USGS website:

Think of what you need to survive, really just survive. Food? Water? Air? Facebook? Naturally, I’m going to concentrate on water here. Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms, up to 90% of their body weight comes from water. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water.

According to Mitchell and others (1945), the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.

Each day humans must consume a certain amount of water to survive. Of course, this varies according to age and gender, and also by where someone lives. Generally, an adult male needs about 3 liters (3.2 quarts) per day while an adult female needs about 2.2 liters (2.3 quarts) per day. All of the water a person needs does not have to come from drinking liquids, as some of this water is contained in the food we eat.

Water serves a number of essential functions to keep us all going

  • A vital nutrient to the life of every cell, acts first as a building material.
  • It regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
  • The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream;
  • It assists in flushing waste mainly through urination
  • acts as a shock absorber for brain, spinal cord, and fetus
  • forms saliva
  • lubricates joints

According to Dr. Jeffrey Utz, Neuroscience, pediatrics, Allegheny University, different people have different percentages of their bodies made up of water. Babies have the most, being born at about 78%. By one year of age, that amount drops to about 65%. In adult men, about 60% of their bodies are water. However, fat tissue does not have as much water as lean tissue. In adult women, fat makes up more of the body than men, so they have about 55% of their bodies made of water. Thus:

  • Babies and kids have more water (as a percentage) than adults.
  • Women have less water than men (as a percentage).
  • People with more fatty tissue have less water than people with less fatty tissue (as a percentage).

There just wouldn’t be any you, me, or Fido the dog without the existence of an ample liquid water supply on Earth. The unique qualities and properties of water are what make it so important and basic to life. The cells in our bodies are full of water. The excellent ability of water to dissolve so many substances allows our cells to use valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals in biological processes.

Water’s “stickiness” (from surface tension) plays a part in our body’s ability to transport these materials all through ourselves. The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream. No less important is the ability of water to transport waste material out of our bodies.

Sources and more information:

#Drought news (November 25, 2022): Early-season #snowpack remained mostly favorable west of the Continental Divide

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of drought data from the US Drought Monitor website.

Click the link to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:

This Week’s Drought Summary

Cold, dry weather prevailed nearly nationwide, with a few exceptions. Notably, mid-November snow squalls developed downwind of the Great Lakes, resulting in localized totals of 2 to 6 feet or more. In addition, precipitation fell in parts of the South, East, and Midwest, primarily early in the drought-monitoring period, although most liquid-equivalent totals were under 2 inches. Snow broadly blanketed the Midwest and interior Northeast, especially on November 15-16, although amounts were mostly light to moderately heavy. Meanwhile, deep snow from a previous storm remained on the ground in much of Montana and North Dakota. As the period progressed, rain lingered in the western Gulf Coast region. Elsewhere, negligible precipitation fell across the western half of the country. On the Plains, the combination of cold weather and soil moisture shortages maintained significant stress on rangeland, pastures, and winter wheat. Weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F below normal nationwide, except in the Desert Southwest and along the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts…

High Plains

Following the previous week’s storm, snow and ice remained on the ground in parts of Montana and the Dakotas. In Bismarck, North Dakota, where the snow depth peaked at 17 inches on November 11, nine inches remained on the ground 10 days later. The freezing and frozen precipitation provided beneficial moisture for rangeland, pastures, and winter grains. Still, drought concerns persisted, especially in drier areas across the southern half of the region. On November 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted topsoil moisture ranging from 63% very short to short in North Dakota to 87% in Nebraska. On the same date, at least 40% of the winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition in Colorado (52%), Kansas (40%), and Nebraska (40%). Although any changes in the drought depiction were relatively minor, worsening conditions were noted in a few areas. Drought stress on vegetation was aggravated by very cold weather, which led to several record lows. In Kansas, for example, record-setting lows for November 19 plunged to 8°F in Garden City and 11°F in Medicine Lodge…

Colorado Drought Monitor one week change map ending November 22, 2022.


Like much of the rest of the country, the West experienced a full week of cold, dry weather, leading to minimal changes in the drought depiction. Fog, air stagnation, and low temperatures plagued the Northwest. Daily-record lows for November 17 included -16°F in Butte, Montana, and -3°F in Burns, Oregon. On November 18-19, Big Piney, Wyoming, collected consecutive daily-record lows of -15°F. Other Northwestern locations reporting a pair of daily-record lows on November 18-19 were Eugene, Oregon (21 and 18°F); Olympia, Washington (17 and 18°F); and Montana’s Bozeman Airport (-14 and -16°F). On the 18th, lows plunged to -22°F in Butte, Montana, and -21°F at Lake Yellowstone, Wyoming. Early-season snowpack remained mostly favorable west of the Continental Divide, but a return to stormy weather will soon be needed to sustain the promising start to the water year that began on October 1…


Significant rain fell in parts of the western Gulf Coast region, but most of the remainder of the South experienced cold, dry weather. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma and Texas were tied for the regional lead on November 20 with topsoil moisture rated 67% very short to short. On the same date, very poor to poor rating were observed in Texas for 58% of the rangeland and pastures; 52% of the oats; and 49% of the winter wheat. Similarly in Oklahoma, 41% of the winter wheat and 75% of the rangeland and pastures were rated very poor to poor. Amid the cold, dry regime, generally minor changes were introduced, except where heavy rain fell near the Gulf Coast…

Looking Ahead

Across much of the country, milder weather will replace previously cold conditions. By November 24, Thanksgiving Day, a storm system will begin to take shape across the south-central U.S. Late in the week, portions of the southern Plains should receive much-needed precipitation, including possible wet snow. Farther east, 5-day rainfall totals from the southeastern Plains to the southern Appalachians could total 2 to 4 inches or more. Late-week rain (locally 1 to 2 inches) may also spread into portions of the East and lower Midwest, including the Ohio Valley. Meanwhile, periodic precipitation will spread inland from the Pacific Northwest to the northern Rockies. Much of the remainder of the country, including an area stretching from California to the northwestern half of the Plains and the upper Midwest, will receive little or no precipitation during the next 5 days.

The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for November 28 – December 2 calls for the likelihood of below-normal temperatures across the northern Plains and much of the West, while warmer-than-normal weather will prevail east of a line from the southern Rockies to Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, near- or below-normal precipitation in much of the southern and eastern U.S. should contrast with wetter-than-normal conditions from the Pacific Coast to the northern half of the Plains, Midwest, and mid-South.

US Drought Monitor one week change map ending November 22, 2022.