20 November 2006

Climate Change: More Hot Air from Nairobi; or Why We Deserve to Fry

We deserve to fry and have our planet heat up to a point where our life-support systems collapse and we can't survive.

It's time to buy land in the far north -- I hear there are still good deals to be had on the slopes of the Brooks Range -- and start building the bunker to keep out the hordes of climate refugees who will storm our shores and knock at our doors. Time to stockpile canned goods, nonperishable items, and arms like some wacko from Waco.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little extreme. But it's pathetic how hopeless we are as a species. So intelligent and yet so asinine. We're worse than the proverbial frog in the pot of slow-boiling water.

Am I being unfair? Faced with the greatest single threat to our well-being since nuclear proliferation, we choose to do nothing. Nothing, but talk. And talk about what? About having more talks!

Forget the UN Climate talks. It's a waste of time. Posturing and pontificating is getting us nowhere. Oh, sorry, that's too harsh. The talks ended with an agreement to review the Kyoto Protocol by 2008, including the targets for 2012 when it is set to expire. And that represents progress?

We need to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at between 500 and 550ppm and we do what? We talk about taking another look at the Kyoto Protocol...?

I'm ashamed. The cost of the UN Climate talks: US $4M. The fund that was established to help developing nations adapt to climate change: US $3M. Richard Branson's commitment to address climate change, made at the Clinton Global Summit two months ago: US $3B. What's wrong with this picture?

Now I understand and am even beginning to support President Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol. It's just a lot of hot air. Everyone knows the cuts are not enough to make a dent in the impending climate disruption, but no one wants to admit failure. Of course, if the review determines the cuts are not enough, then we need a whole new round of talks to set new targets. And that will no doubt be scuttled by the next president, even if it is John McCain.

If environmentalists won't take on climate change, it's time for President Bush to turn his global legacy around by tackling climate change with a five-point plan:

1. Launch a market-based greenhouse gas permit trading program, modeled on the acid-rain trading program.

2. Call for a mandatory greenhouse gas reduction program, as well as voluntary "deep emissions cuts" by industry.

3. Dramatically increase the incentives and subsidies for and reduce barriers to alternative energy development, including zero-greenhouse gas technologies such as wind, solar, nuclear, and zero-emission coal-burning power plants, with the goal of reducing the costs of existing technologies and fostering R&D to develop new low or no-carbon technologies.

4. Convert all US government fleets to hybrid or clean-diesel vehicles and ensure all US government departments are carbon-neutral by 2010.

5. Refuse to allow US government officials to produce any more CO2 by flying to another UN Climate session.

Your move, George.

Categories: , , ,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes. Kyoto is useless. A waste of time and money. But most proposals to deal with greenhouse gases are equally useless: carbon credits, carbon taxes, sequestration by technology and tree planting, biofuels, the whole flipping lot. They all reprsent illusionary hopes to continue business as usual, consuming too much of our planet with too many people. It won't work. Non-renewables are running out. No amount of money or technology can revive extinct species, replant rainforests, replenish emptied aquifers. Ridiculously inadequate emissions reduction goals. Meanwhile our idelologues in politics and business and academia continue to preach the religion of economic growth. How stupid can people be.