The UN Climate Change Conference ended, not with a bang, but a whimper. The Kyoto Protocol has been extended until 2020, but that will make no difference to a problem that will continue long after 2020. Rich nations have sort of promised to compensate poor nations for climate change. China and India will continue to be able to create emissions unfettered by even the piecrust promise of a so called binding treaty and the world will continue much as before, with a chorus of fears for the future global warming but with very few willing to do anything to remedy the problem.
We all know what the medicine is, but that medicine is too unpalatable and tastes too bad for anyone to take it. Some even hold that the medicine is worse than the disease that afflicts the planet.
The poor nations have used the conference at Doha to extract a non-binding promise that they should receive $10 billion over the next seven years to help tackle climate change. That seems to sum up the appetite for nations of the world to tackle climate change; they identify the problem and talk about it, even talking about the possibility of giving away some money in the way that they talk about reducing emissions.
The only rationale for a nation is to protect those who live within its borders. The threat of climate change seems to me to merit protection, as much as the threat of war or crime or any of the other problems that inflict humanity. The generation that now controls the world has failed to protect it in many ways; it has squandered its inheritance, both its economic inheritance and its environmental inheritance.
Unfortunately future generations will not be able to refuse to accept their inheritance. They will simply have to cope with whatever we leave them.
Filed under: carbon emissions, climate change, global warming, United Nations Climate Change Conference | Tagged: climate, climate change conference, Doha, environment, Kyoto Protocol, piecrust promises, UN Climate Change Conference |