Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the future gets a backseat in durban...

Is the the light of a positive future bright enough in Durban for the world's leaders to see what needs to be done? Right now we're in a mess and I just don't believe their eyes are open wide enough to grasp the gravity of the situation. 

China is saying they're not in unless the United States are in and the United States is saying the same thing but still they can't seem to come to a decision. Canada is asking for the Kyoto Protocol to be replaced with something more equitable and workable for the current situation. The Alliance of Small Island States is asking for some serious gumption on behalf of the largest world powers and the European Union is saying that nothing that's currently being discussed is good enough. 

In a way they are all right. China and the United States should be held under intense and equitable scrutiny as the largest emitters of climate change-causing gasses in the world. The Alliance of Small Island States is surely going to sink (I mean literally, they will sink) unless goals put forth by the European Union are taken seriously and the Kyoto Protocol punishes the world's richest nations while giving the poorer nations -- who may be, in some cases, polluting more -- a less stringent goal. In an attempt to give the big guns a break Kyoto says that richer nations can lend a hand to poorer nations in lessening their emissions and count it against their own larger and harder to reach goal. It's all a tangled web of carbon cutting loopholes. 

Things in Durban aren't looking so sweet as the 200 nations gathered start their second day of meetings.  The Kyoto protocol is up on the chopping block, some countries already wielding the ax and others shouting that we need to keep our only chance of survival intact. The protocol expires next year. So why are we keeping it held high in some senses, like the perfect savior that it is surely not. How about instead of fighting over the one thing we can't agree on, those 200 very intelligent people gathered start drawing up a new set of rules. Kyoto was drawn up 15 years ago without the knowledge we have now -- electric cars, affordable carbon capture systems and economically logical renewable energy systems to name a few -- let's keep the intentions the same but move into the future. Technology burns bright there and it will be the thing to save us. 

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