It certainly is a scary thing. It has always been said that countries get the leaders they deserve. So with Bush leading the way on environmental issues it comes as no suprise that they will agitate, cajole, intimidate and generally do whatever they need to do to disrupt the talks that start in Toronto today. The talks will cover all aspects of global climate change and what needs to be done to combat it. Member nations of the existing Kyoto treaty (of which the US was one until Bush came to power) will work at setting down a frame work for a new accord to replace the Kyoto protocol when it expires at the end of the decade.
The US govt is not planning any sort of subterfuge, they are being very open about their efforts to oppose any sort of agreement across nations on the issue of climate change “We’re going to resist it, obviously” Harlan Watson, head of the U.S. delegation said.
Critics believe that the other nations should ignore the US and continue to work towards accords that will give the environment, and future generations a fighting chance. Unfortunately:
The U.S. spews a quarter of world’s greenhouse gases. This year it enlisted five other big polluters — Australia, China, Japan, India and South Korea — in an “Asia-Pacific Partnership” to promote its view that voluntary measures and new technologies will eventually solve climate change.
So no matter what is decided by the committed smaller nations their efforts at reduction will pale in comparison to the major contributors above who are taking the stance that there is nothing to be done at the moment apart from voluntary reductions and burying your head in the sand in the hope that some future technology will fix everything we break today.
To inject some sense into the discussion the soon to be retiring retiring president of Britain’s elite science body, the Royal Society, said progress at the Montreal meeting was essential for the future of humankind.
In a farewell speech delivered today, Lord May of Oxford said the potential effects of climate change invite comparison with “weapons of mass destruction.” Hurricanes made more severe by global warming could make the U.S. Gulf Coast “effectively uninhabitable by the end of the century,” he warned, adding countries must recognize the need to sever the link between economic growth and increasing emissions of greenhouse gases.
I can’t see it happening. Five of the largest global polluters in this new Asia-Pacific [Pollution] Partnership are not in the foreseeable future going to be making much in the way of emmission reductions. Each of the countries is experiencing huge economic growth and this is the be all and end all of a successful consumption driven country/economy. The $ signs are all that seem matter and unless things get impossibly worse then these ‘chosen’ leaders will unfortunately continue steering the world climate into a spiral of chaos all for the sake of their greed.
- Qutoes taken from: The Toronto Star