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Will Durban Discard Kyoto to the Dustbin?


Nobel laureate Dr. R.K. Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), speaks at Yale (4/22/08)

“Actually, to be honest, nobody over here is paying any attention to science.” ~~~ (Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair IPCC (12/7/11 – Democracy Now!)

Although you wouldn’t know it from following the US press, the most important negotiations in human history are underway right now in Durban, South Africa.

The latest round of global climate change negotiations is underway  – and thankfully, Democracy Now! is covering the “Conference of the Parties (COP17), as the event is named. Strongly recommend watching their coverage.

It appears that the Obama Administration, (representing the United States) is taking a very destructive position in the negotiations.

The US is undermining world consensus by:

  • pushing voluntary market based models (trading, offsets, etc),
  • interfering in the renewal of the Kyoto Prototcol (to which the US is NOT a signatory),
  • postponing binding negotiations until 2020,
  • continuing to oppose legally binding emissions reductions, and
  • offering a paltry reduction plan, amounting to just 3% of 1990 emissions.

Scientists insist that far more aggressive reductions are required and that emissions must peak no later than 2015, or else the world will face irreversible and catastrophic climate change (if in fact we are not locked into such a “tipping point” scenario already).

Canada seems just as bad, rejecting Kyoto targets and insisting on tar sands development.

A contingent from Canada today was ejected from the conference, and accused Canadian officials of “listening to polluters, not the people”.

So, – as Dr. Pachauri says – they are not listening to the science and as Greenpeace, Canadian, and US activists say they are not listening  to the people – just who are Governments listening to?

(of course, that’s a rhetorical question: the corporations and the warmongers, of course).

While I don’t pretend to follow these issues sufficiently closely to write about them, I will instead urge readers to do their own research AND GET ACTIVE.

It’s hard to resist the conclusion that we’re doomed, but, on a more positive note, did want to pass on an excellent interview with Dr. Pachauri on Democracy Now! today – Watch it!

(PS – hey Engenton – this is the closest your photo will ever come to a man of honor)

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