Smoke and mirrors

Efforts to curb world climate change will get nowhere until China and India fall in line


Who would have thought weather, that most banal of subjects, would become intensely politicized and a subject of furious debate?
World leaders grandstanding at the G-8 summit in a heavily guarded German Baltic resort spent much of their time trying to hammer out agreement on how to deal with global warming. They pretty much failed, papering over deep differences with the usual post-summit platitudes.
G-8 members represent 63% of world economic activity and produce much of the carbon pollution causing global warming. In Europe, glaciers are melting and summers increasingly torrid.
Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, is under voter pressure to achieve long-term targets for reducing greenhouse gases. Global warming has become the European Union's most important political issue. The EU leads the world in enlightened environmental policies and effective emission controls.
Enter President George W. Bush. Until lately he dismissed scientists' warnings of global warming as false alarms from "tree huggers." But faced by American's fast growing concern over global warming, Bush and fellow Republicans had to do something. So Bush just offered a nebulous plan designed to placate voters by urging yet more studies and talks. His real agenda was to stave off the original Kyoto accord.
Meanwhile, the White House ignited a major fracas with Moscow over Bush's daft plan to implant anti-missile defences in Central Europe against non-existent Iranian missiles.
Conjuring up Cold War rivalries with Russia is a way to divert Americans from Bush's debacle in Iraq and rekindle patriotic support for sinking Republicans. On cue, Vladi Putin reacted with predictable fury and threats to Washington's challenge.
Still, President Bush is right about one thing. No environmental accords make sense without inclusion of China and India.
China is due to build 240 coal-fired power plants. India refuses to take serious action to control its growing pollution. Indonesia has become the world's third largest carbon producer after the U.S. and China. Each spring the criminal burning of its Borneo forests blankets South Asia in a miasma of smog.
"You polluted the atmosphere for the last 150 years during your industrial revolutions," Third World emitters scold the developed world, "now it's our turn." Not so.
A mere two and a half centuries ago, people considered it normal to throw their garbage and human waste out the window into the street. Herds of pigs were occasionally brought in to eat the refuse. Cholera, typhoid and a legion of other diseases resulted.
Until recently, most of us thought it proper to dispose of our industrial waste by pumping it into the atmosphere we breathe. In recent years, however, a new, international awareness has developed that dumping filth into the air is as dangerous and uncivilized as throwing feces into the street.
Europeans are furious at the Bush Administration for its persistent efforts to derail plans to reduce carbon emissions. But Bush, as usual, is playing to his core Republican supporters.
Vice-President Dick Cheney's hunting pals in Fortune 500 companies bitterly oppose costly emission controls and efforts to save forests and wildlife. Many Conservative Republicans think hunting -- the act of slaughtering defenceless animals -- and pillaging nature as somehow manly. They believe efforts to protect the environment are a sinister leftist plot.
Many Bush supporters on America's loopy Christian far right believe the world is about to be destroyed in Armageddon, so there's no need to conserve air, water, trees or anything else.
China, India and Indonesia, rushing headlong to industrialize, couldn't care less. They refuse to take meaningful action.
We understand their desire to industrialize and end poverty. But earth faces an emergency. If the G-8 won't take effective action, consumers worldwide can. Boycotting products from nations that refuse to stop polluting our air would force them to begin enforcing emission controls and implementing new clean air technology.
Consumers of the world, unite!
Scott Free
The G8 blame emerging industrialized countries for global warming? That figures. The G8 countries pour out toxins for hundreds of years and then blame poor countries. Typical.

It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Your headline should read: G8, nothing but pathetic rich thugs.

I'm surprised they didn't find some way to blame Chavez for global warming.
No, blame Chavez for eradicating democracy in his country.
Scott Free
He was elected.

The rich selfish people don't like him. It is little wonder North Americans can so well identify with them.

Democracy is only currently vogue because the WTO finds it easier to bribe and manipulate (actual report). The reality is that business prefers fascism.
Thats the reason Kyoto will ultimatly fail to achieve its goal. China will add to the atmosphere enough CO2 in a couple of weeks to make up for anything we can save in a year. Any 'accord' that does not include all the players isn't worth the non-recycled paper its written on. Whats worse, is the existence of this accord precludes a real agreement on climate change with all players.

One thing the US did right was not signing on to the hypocracy. Too bad we went for the photo-op.
This is why any initiatives to reduce global warming and Co2 emission will fail. No one will get together on the cause, the method to reduce or that there is even a problem at all.
Quote: Originally Posted by Scott FreeView Post

He was elected.

So was Hitler.
Scott Free
Quote: Originally Posted by AvroView Post

So was Hitler.

So were Bush and Harpur, so what's your point?

You only support democracy if the elected leader represents the 20% you like and not the 80% grubby masses that put him there?

Maybe you need to take the silver spoon out of your mouth?
Before anyone get's to feeling all self-righteous about them Chinese and them Indian's developing manufacturing and marketing industries...and decides they ought to take steps now to address global climate change....

Who's buying their goods? When a Chinese manufacturer gets an order for fifteen million plastic sandals from an American "Beachwear" conglomerate like Old Navy or The Gap....or WalMart or any of hundreds of commerical ventures, who's responsible for the carbon dioxide and pollutants produced?

Look around your house and your stores, locate the amount of merchandise with "Made in China" printed embossed or painted on a hidden surface of these products....

Never mind that millions of gasoline powered walkway trimmers, hedge trimers, weed-wackers, leaf blowers, snow blowers and lawn mowers are spewing sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide into the say nothing of snowmobiles boats cars trucks motocycles and "liesure products". It hasn't been the Chinese or the Indian people who embraced consumption regardless of consequences as their credo...if not their anthem celebrating "freedom" for the past sixty years....

It hasn't been the Indian people or the Chinese people or the people of Bangladesh or Sri Lanka who've been conditioned to believe that unfettered competition for dollars is the hallmark of democracy and the pulse and character of "free" people.....They have been answering the call from North American and European markets however, to feed the appetites of other nations whose people are unwilling to work for a few cents a day and work building trinkets and devices that they themselves couldn't afford to puchase...

We all want our Play Stations and our cell phones, and our cheap shirts and and and and....

But now that our appetites have created the potential for cataclysmic climate change....let's forget all about the fact that it was our appetites that spawned sweatshops and enormous industrial enterprise that, it was our greed and our facades of pride and grandiose efforts to mimic the elite of our societies who spend without thought and consume without regard for anything but their own satisfaction. China India and many other nations of the world are responding to and have responded to the call for ever-greater consumption by the wealthy nations of the world. Like the Taliban created in response to the clamor for access to fossil fuel markets by the Russians and the Americans, the responsibility for what's going on in the world is comfortably characterized as "change taking place" in some distant land where we're not even really sure where it is....but they're the bad guys....

Am I suggesting that these developing nations be given a "pass" on climate responsbility..?


What I am suggesting is that the consumer pay the piper. Products manufactured in China or any third world nation should be subject to a climate tax. A tax that reflects the damage phenol benzyl pyrene and carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide and toxins of all kinds that are produced by manufacturing and then flushed into the waterways and air of a planet forced to come to terms with its unbridled greed and thoughtless consumption. When Union Carbide decided they could forgo safety training and the officials in Bohpal bent the rules to let another American manufacturer set up shop in that nation...the largest industrial accident in the world was born. But an American better the devastation created was limited to Bohpal and not some neighborhood in Cincinnati or Pittsburgh....

While tuna, cod and whales are harvested to extinction to feed the wealthy of the world, marine bio-systems are devastated....not by the poor nations fishing and doing the damage directly but by consumers in wealthy nations greedily gobbling up the planet and looking for more....

With any luck, tornados, hurricanes and severe ocean surges will wreck the consequences of thoughtlessness on the people of America and Canada and Europe who created the great imbalances of the world in the first place.

Americans, because the highest ideal to an American is "make a buck" regardless of the consequences,deserve to have the greatest share of destruction caused by their appetites for conspicuous consumption coupled with the temerity to then blame the manufacturers in third world nations for their difficulties.....

People are profoundly stupid and disconnected from the understanding that everything in this world is connected to everything else in this world. You can't harvest marine life from a common ocean and not expect there to be consequences....You can't burn billions of barrels of oil and expect there won't be any effect....You can't continue to live disposable life-styles with unbridled appetites without some dynamic change in everything from government and societies to planetary climate and weather systems....

But the larger proportion of idiot Canadians and Americans and Europeans somehow think that we're not all participating in consuming the resources of the same planet....and fouling the same planet and same atmosphere that everyone shares....

Pathetic that humanity will greed itself to death before any willingness is demonstrated to actually paying attention to the primary dynamics that are the cause of the problems....
If China has a CO2 limit, ultimatly the consumer would be doing his part by increased price for goods. Blaming our greed for China's pass on Global Responsibility is pretty lame to me.

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