The Maple Leaf – a badge of shame

The Kyoto Agreement is not much, in terms of fighting climate change, but it is virtually all that we have that binds nations to emission reductions. Some nations signed up to the accord and never implemented it. Canada is such a nation. The accord required modest reduction in emissions from a 1990 base. Canada’s emissions have actually risen since Kyoto was signed by them, so Canada is now withdrawing from Kyoto to avoid being fined $13.6 billion. It shows the vacuous nature of the Kyoto accord and Canada’s commitment to fighting climate change. Continue reading

Record Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Energy in 2010

The big news of the month of May came at its very end. The International Energy Agency estimates that carbon dioxide emissions due to energy – heat and electricity – rose to a record level in 2010. In 2009 emissions from these sources fell, due to the financial crisis, but since the recovery emissions are on the rise and were 5% higher than the previous record year in 2008. These are records of shame, recording the first steps of our descent into self destruction. Continue reading

The Poznan Climate Conference

I do not think that any major climate change conference attended by virtually every country in the world has been the subject of such low expectation and such little publicity as the conference now going on at Poznan in Poland, which is being attended by delegates from 190 countries. This is the first stage in a series of meetings which will create a new Climate Change Treaty, to replace the one agreed at Kyoto, because the Kyoto Treaty expires in just four years time and the international community needs plenty of time to generate the necessary energy to turn talking and good intentions into actions. Continue reading

The temperature is rising and emissions playing the tune

Kyoto is not working. The industrial nations of the world were supposed to reduce their carbon emissions; all of them signed up to it except the United States of America. It came into force in 2005 when the requisite number of countries signed up to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2% by 2012, which would have brought them in the main to emissions to 1990 levels. That was a very modest aim, and not one which would have reversed or significantly slowly the rate of global warming, but it was a start and would have bought the planet a few valuable years. Continue reading

Climate Change Conferences and difficulties of creating climate change measures

In December, before Mr Obama takes office, the leaders from United Nations meets in Poland to discuss climate change. We all must hope that the leaders will create a new version of the Kyoto Treaty (which expires in four years time), a more modern one without the compromises and faults that are embedded in Kyoto and a Treaty to which America will place its mark.

Mr Obama will not be President when this summit takes place so it would be inappropriate for him to attend but he promises to help lead the world in global co-operation on climate change when he becomes President. Continue reading

Oh, no, not another greenhouse gas!

Thirteen years ago the Kyoto Protocol attempted to limit emissions of six types of greenhouse gases; these are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride. You can see the effect of these if you put “Global Warming Potential Index” into the search facility that good folk at WordPress have kindly provided near the top of this web page.

There are other greenhouse gases, which have only fairly recently been found to have heat trapping qualities. These are not covered by any international treaty. The most damaging of the greenhouse gases unaffected by Kyoto is nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), which looks set to become a rapidly growing greenhouse gas problem. Continue reading

Predicting the future climate

Fortune telling is the preserve of entertainers and charlatans but predicting future climate changes is a science, albeit one in its infancy and that is a paradox, considering just how complex this infant is. Nevertheless this infant science is all that our leaders have to guide them in making the decisions that they make today. Those decisions will shape our future in ways far more fundamental than decisions ever made throughout human history. Continue reading