Sunday, December 11, 2005


Global warming- slightly more cheerful news

Three recent posts contain elements which have led me to post on global warming. Firstly I refer to my remarks on that topic blamed USA for blatantly and selfishly resisting the clear evidence of scientific research and with-holding support from any concerted international action to check the deleterious effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Like most other concerned watchers of this particular part of the news kaleidoscope, I had little hope the USA would change its mind at the recent Montreal conference on this topic. Anyway, it now seems US delegates have relented and have joined the final clarion call to the world to cooperate, expressed in the conference's statement. Clearly US government leaders- they might even include George Bush- has been observing developments within their own country which has seen northeast states accept all the arguments and begin to limit emissions. Public opinion in the country at large is not far behind either.

Cuts of up to 30% by 2050 have been demanded by the EU but, say the scientists, we need cuts of double that to stabilise climate deterioration by the same year. Also encouraging is that developing countries India and China- both pouring out polluting gases as their economies go exponential- are keen to join in joint measures, even though they have not yet enjoyed the material plenty we accept and regard as our right.

Secondly I wrote recently of our 'unconscious guilt' for Iraq, arguing that our unstated but implicit adherence to a high energy lifestyle was impelling US/UK goverments to prosecute a war designed to maintain access to shrinking energy reserves. Such a view was too cynical I now think and this leads on to my third post in which I suggested there were more reasons to be depressed than cheerful when assessing the future of the human race. If even the US and the develoiping nations can rein in their consumption just a little and then agree to talk about more of the same, then there is some hope for us all- but I still think complacency is the last thing in which we we should indulge.

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