The Paris climate change agreement has received rather more praise than detailed explanations. Public discussion during the meeting seemed remarkably muted, perhaps for fear of reawakening ghosts of acrimonious disagreement from Copenhagen, 6 years earlier. I was in Paris on leave for the last few days of the meeting and far more media attention focused on European immigration, Syrian refugees, and the widely expected resurgence of the far-right National Front in local elections. The National Front lost, the Paris agreement was applauded: everyone sighed with relief and switched attention to Christmas and Star Wars 8. Climate Change quickly vanished as exhausted delegations left Paris.
Galleries Lafayette had this stunning Christmas play on Star Wars among
elaborately decorated windows to draw crowds of shoppers.
I believe that the Paris Agreement will soon re-emerge as one of the most significant developments influencing engineering in this century. It may not have received much media attention yet, but it demands close attention from all of us.
This agreement places enormous responsibilities on us as engineers and the world’s expectations are daunting. Continue reading