COP28: When will the World say “Enough!” to this ludicrous Annual Trade Fair?

A blog by Kimberley Hare

So, here we are at the end of another COP meeting – this time in Dubai, chaired by the CEO of an oil company. There’s been a record 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists attending this COP, outnumbering official indigenous representatives 7 to 1.

It’s been evaluated by some in the mainstream media as ‘historic!’

Hysterical, more like.

Apparently, we’re supposed to be grateful that the words‘fossil fuels’ were ‘allowed to be mentioned’ for the first time this year? (After 28 COP’s?)

Bill McKibben, climate scientist, has described the final wording of the agreement akin to: “in an effort to reduce my headache, I am transitioning away from hitting myself in the forehead with a hammer.”

Nate Hagens (see ‘The Great Simplification), remarked that one could imagine a benevolent alien landing on Earth – and after looking at all the graphs, concluding that it was the COP meetings themselves that are actually CAUSING the emissions to rise!  

I’ve been keeping a tally of all the catastrophic records that were broken in 2023:

  • Total atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide
  • Total CO2 emissions
  • Highest daily global temperature anomaly (higher than 2C above pre-industrial levels)
  • Hottest year
  • Hottest months
  • Highest Sea Surface Temperatures
  • Lowest Antarctic Sea Ice extent
  • Highest Earth Energy Imbalance

As if all that isn’t bad enough, here’s the 2023 State of Nature Report.  The UK’s bio-diversityis in big trouble:  Infographic – State of Nature

Here are two recent video clips that summarise how inadequate the outcome of COP28 is:

Kevin Anderson:  COP28 – A Great Success, just not for YOU!

Rupert Read on Times Radio:

Rupert Read on the inadequate outcome of CoP28, and how citizens should respond | Climate Majority (

I was recently involved in commissioning an IPSOS poll, exploring attitudes in the UK to climate change, which was published in November 2023.

Download the report at

In the foreword to this new report published by and entitled: How afixation with implausible climate targets is postponing required action, Professor Sir Bob Watson elaborates on his position. He labels global climate targets “fantasies” which “protect all of us – but especially those who are inside the climate bubble – from accepting the reality that it is now too late to ‘fix the climate’ within the confines of business-as-usual”.

Quoting here from People Get Real: It is revealing of a disturbing dynamic of the mainstream consensus of climate action. Simply put, by toeing the consensus line publicly trusted institutions and individuals are inadvertently suppressing the prospects for the meaningful response to climate breakdown they say is so urgent.

The report asserts this dynamic is rooted in a culturally sanctioned insistence that there is (always) time to fix things when it comes to climate breakdown. For those publicly upholding the existing consensus, it is nothing short of an optimism imperative.

You may even recognise the script: no matter how much time has been lost to inaction, no matter how implausible the pathways for meeting climate goals become, nobody puts anything in the rearview mirror. It is why the window never quite closes on an implausible climate target and the metaphorical midnight hour never seems to arrive.

The impact on the general public is neither effective nor benign when it comes to instilling urgency. That’s because the consensus view of climate action, once sheared of scientific warning and emergency mode messaging, is really one of underlying reassurance. And therein resides inadvertent permission for the public to continue minimising the reality of climate breakdown.

The absence of widespread and deeper public support for a meaningful response to climate breakdown also has a rebound effect – one welcomed by most politicians and elites. It allows those in positions of power to tell themselves that the public isn’t on board with major policy interventions. And so it goes… Everyone ends up with the story they need to render life unchanged.

Contrary to what mainstream media would have you believe, this latest poll shows that over one in five (21%) UK adults already believe it is now too late for the IPCC’s March 2023 topline of ‘urgent climate action can securea liveable future for all’.

Equally revealing, the poll provided no evidence to support the optimism imperative undergirding climate communications. The national survey revealed that while optimism is held as important by half of UK adults (51%) when being given ‘bad news’ by trusted messengers about climate change, significantly more – nearly seven in 10 – said it is important ‘bad news’ is shared whether there are solutions or grounds for optimism or not (68%).  

Most people realise we are not being ‘levelled with’.

This is a very thoughtful piece by Wolfgang Knorr, climate scientist:

Wolfgang Knorr – When Fear of Defeat becomes Self-Fulfilling- Brave New Europe

Knorr concludes: “If we want to escape the cycle of self-defeating promises coupled with hidden fears, we need to be the ones to start defeating what holds us back, no matter what the chances are of eventual success.

We need to acknowledge the mechanism of denial, sit with the pain caused by admitting it, and then clear the way for looking at the real issue, which is impending death and destruction at the hands of the same business as usual mindset that we take part in.”

There are now no non-radical futures.

“The future is already here – it’s just unevenly distributed” William Gibson.

This is where we find ourselves right now, collectively, as we witness the unravelling of our biological and social systems. The dominant culture’s norms (especially in the Global North) are endangering life on Earth, forcing us into a time of unparalleled change and uncertainty.

Antionio Gueterres, Secretary General of the UN, said in a recent speech:

“We are on the highway to hell, with our foot on the accelerator”. 

He’s right about this, but as the late Michael Dowd used to add:

“We are on a highway to hell, about to go over the cliff.  But the trouble is, most of us are tied up and gagged in the boot of the car!”

I believe a big part of the reason for that is the continued insistence on the optimism narrative.  It’s no longer ‘Five to Midnight’ – we are now well into the early hours of the morning.

We must all act – and find what is ‘ours to do’.  I’ve just completed writing a book about this called “At The Edge”, which will be out in 2024.

But I’m sorry to tell you that, no matter what we do now, things will continue to get worse for some considerable time. We must gather all our courage and walk forward together, guided by our resilience, our wisdom, and our love for all of Life.

“Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Vaclav Havel


Kimberley Hare

December 2023


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