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The other Global leader’s conference

11 July 2008

As he prepared to leave Japan on the last day of the G8 summit, President Bush “signed off with a defiant farewell over his refusal to accept global climate change targets at his last G8 summit”:

…He told his fellow leaders: “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.

President Bush made the private joke in the summit’s closing session, senior sources said yesterday. His remarks were taken as a two-fingered salute from the President from Texas who is wedded to the oil industry.

Think Progress

The “G-8” nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have been meeting in Sapporo, Japan — supposedlY “working for real commitments” on cutting carbon emissions.  The best they could come up with was a vague promise to maybe cutting emissions by half… sorta, kinda:

A statement from an environmental coalition including Friends of the Earth International explained the key flaws. “First, the G8 formula is a global cut,” not imposing particular responsibility on the rich, high carbon-polluting countries. Second, “the cut has no clear baseline. It was revealing that in announcing it, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda initially said it was from 1990 levels, then had to take back that statement and subsequently mentioned a 2000 baseline.” Third, the statement is not binding, and “indeed, the G8 announcement reinforces the G8 as a site for climate action that rivals the UN process [for climate change negotiations] and effectively subverts it.”

The G-5 (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) — which you hear much less about — was also meeting in Japan. The G-5 nations want an 80% cut in emissions by 2050, with a 25 to 40 percent cut in 1990 emission levels by 2020.

The G8, G5 and Australia, Indonesia and South Korea are collectively responsible for about 80 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases. The G-8 account for the bulk of these emisions.  How the G-5 nations are, as Felipe Calderon said in a joint statement, “take into account historical responsibility and respective capacities as a fair and just approach”, was left unsaid.

Brazilians, Chinese, Indians, Mexicans and South Africans have begun to enjoy the “good life” — and why not?  What makes you think Brazilians and Chinese and Indians and Mexicans and South Africans don’t want cars and refrigerators and air conditioners?  How many Canadians, or Frenchmen or US people would WANT to live with regular water shortages or power outages?  How many want to take the bus, or walk to the supermarket (or shop at the corner grocery every day because they only have a tiny refrigerator)… or… only run the air conditioner an hour or two at a time?  To even reach the G-8 “voluntary” goals, it’s either going to require the G-5 and other nations to stop their development, or for the G-8 nations to make radical changes in their own societies.

In some ways, the G-5 nations may be in a better position.  Public transit systems never deteriorated in these countries (they’ve improved) and there are less wasteful old technical systems (like oversized refrigerators) to re-engineer.  I noticed a long time ago that Mexican refrigerators and washing machines were built for a country with water and electrical shortages (and electricity is relatively pricey in Mexico — heavy consumers pay more, not less per kilowatt hour) — and family homes are much smaller than in the “advanced” countries.  But, the G-5 are the supposedly “developing” countries, and their development is going to continue.  They can’t sacrifice their own citizens because of the wasteful habits used by others in the past.

We’re in for a bumpy ride.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Rushing permalink
    12 July 2008 11:49 am

    People seeing how bad fuel prices have gotten in Europe are les willing to attempt to “save the planet”. People in the US are demanding that McCain start talking about drilling for more domestic oil and building known alternative energy plants that actually work (i.e. nuclear power). The man made religion of global warming is nothing more than the government attempting to control your life. The stupidity of telling developing nations that they can not have what we have is absurd. Why should the human race downsize? Why should we not try to develop more technology? Energy efficiency is fine when people choose it for themselves, it is ugly when the government gets involved. The sad thing is that George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, TX is more eco-friendly than Al Gore’s Tennesse mansion. Why do people wall for this hog wash? More and more people are seeing the scam for what it really is and they are re-evaluating their position on man made global warming.

    The human race will die off and go extict at some point anyway, why not enjoy life and explore as much as possible?


  1. “The best lack all conviction…” The Climate Change conference « The Mex Files

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