U.N. chief’s tepid sense of urgency


San Francisco Chronicle – July 31, 2007

Interesting op-ed piece regarding the UN Secretary-General and his recent comments on global warming.  According to the piece, the UNSG blames the US for much of the world’s problems but doesn’t come up with a plan for fixing the problem in light of current pollution levels or anticipated pollution levels.

IF YOU REALLY believe that the planet is at the tipping point on global warming and the consequences will be fatal for people around the world, especially the poor, then all industrialized nations need to curb their greenhouse-gas emissions. If the United States must sacrifice, so must China, which is fast emerging as largest producer of industrial greenhouse gases on Earth

This is a difficult issue, the US had much of its industrial growth when the rest of the world was basically agrarian. Now that much of the world has moved down the road of industrialization, the pollution levels of the combined output are concerning for all. This can be considered an unfair advantage for the US because of our “first mover” advantage.

…industrialized nations – read the United States – have a “historical responsibility” to cut emissions, which are “almost to the saturation point,” while China and India, two superpowers that were not bound to reduce emissions as part of the 1997 Kyoto global warming pact….

I understand the social justice argument: America has produced more industrial greenhouse gases than any other nation, hence Americans should have to cut back more than other countries. But who knew in 1910 that global warming would be an issue?

Unlike Ban, I know many scientists who don’t think the science is conclusive as to whether global warming is caused by man. But if the tipping point is near, you’d think Ban would talk as tough on China as he does with President Bush. According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, China’s coal-fired plants are increasing their emissions annually by double the total emissions growth of all the world’s industrialized economies combined.

“Given the emissions growth rate of China, if the United States drops its emissions 25 percent over the next 20 years, it simply won’t be noticed,” Cato’s Michaels noted. “Everyone who’s looked at this knows that.”

There are many more opinions in the source article and I suggest you click through here to read it.

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2 thoughts on “U.N. chief’s tepid sense of urgency”

  1. Tarun Juyal says:

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  2. admin says:

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