When you think of Americans who have done a lot for Climate Change, current president George W. Bush doesn’t spring to mind. The guy he beat for the current spot, Al Gore, definitely springs to mind; I like to think of GBW as the anti-Gore.
Over the past week rumors and rumblings about a climate plan underway in the current and fading Whitehouse have emerged. Thankfully, it all seems a bit “disappointing.”
Seventeen nations have come together in Paris for two days in the latest round of climate warming talks, under the heading of the Major Emitters Meeting. The South African delegation was the one to label Bush’s proposals – to halt a rise in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 – as disappointing. “There is no way whatever that we can agree to what the U.S. is proposing,” South African Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said in a statement.
According to Bush’s plan, “the growth in emissions will slow over the next decade, stop by 2025, and begin to reverse thereafter, so long as technology continues to advance.” This is just fantastic, considering that according to the U.N. Climate Panel, emissions will have to peak – worldwide – within 10 to 15 years – and then fall sharply if we are to avoid floods, droughts and rising seas.
Greenpeace also took a swing at Bush, though with their well-known for inaccuracy and fervent ignorance. In response to Bush’s plan, Greenpeace said that “Yes, for another 15 years the country that has spewed more emissions into the atmosphere than any other country on Earth will continue to emit more and more.”
It seems an innocuous statement, but you have to wonder at the timing just days after China was named the world’s biggest emitter. There’s some math to be done there, for sure, but who has released more emissions? Either way, they know how to make a splash.
That being said, when targeting George W. Bush, no one really seems to mind except for the Bush fans (and those on Digg.com).
I’ll finish this article with what the brilliant Noble Peace Prize Laureate, Desmond Tutu, has to say about the rich west and their point of view on climate change.
“Many rich world leaders have not, so far, responded to the climate crisis with the urgency required. Cushioned and cosseted, they have had the luxury of closing their minds to the real impact of what is happening in the fragile and precious atmosphere that surrounds the planet we live on.
“I wonder how much more anxious they might be, if they depended on the cycle of mother nature to feed their families. How much greater would their concerns be if they lived in slums and townships, in mud houses, or shelters made of plastic bags? In large parts of sub-Saharan Africa, this is a reality. The poor, the vulnerable and the hungry are exposed to the harsh edge of climate change every day of their lives. …
“At the Major Economies Meeting in Paris, developed countries must commit to immediate action against climate change. The United Nations need to deliver an action plan to save the planet at the climate change conference in 2009. There is no time to be distracted from the urgent task to deliver this global rescue plan. The world is watching, and those who are feeling the impacts of climate change today, are expecting decisive action – now.”
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