This was a follow-up to the 2009 Copenhagen conference. What came out of Cancun was an agreement for the wealthiest nations to finance a “Green Climate Fund” that will provide $100 billion annually to compensate poor countries for the costs of reducing their emissions. The fund would also compensate the poorer nations for preserving their rainforests (you know, the ones that are being leveled in order to provide the wealthy countries with wood and with the crops being planted in their stead). In addition, it would provide for a United Nations monitoring system for emissions reduction.
The first problem with this agreement is that it doesn’t have to go into effect until 2020. Second, will this go the way of so many other agreements that never quite happen, as in, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”?
So, while somewhere off in the distant future lies a vague promise of doing some stuff related to reducing some of the destruction caused by our need for fuel, lumber, crops, meat, roads palm oil and who knows what-the-hell, nobody seems to be dealing with 800-pund gorilla sitting on top of the elephant in the room.
The Kyoto Protocols did little if anything. Same for Copenhagen. Now this. After all, is the U.S. Congress ever going to fund worldwide climate programs when it will barely even restrict pollution in America? And even if we reduce our per capita consumption in the industrialized world, what good will that do if the human population keeps growing?
No one – but no one – seems to be talking about the number one cause of climate change, or global warming, or catastrophic atmospheric conditions or whatever you want to call it. It’s people. We’re destroying the planet. But politicians are flat-out chicken when it comes to talking about baby making.
There are too many of us already, especially in the industrialized nations – you know, the ones who are going to compensate the developing nations for financing the reduction of their emissions.
Hybrid cars, fluorescent bulbs and “Energy Star” appliances aren’t going to do the trick. What might do the trick is cutting the world’s 7 billion population in half. Last night we saw a PBS News Hour report on efforts to help Ethiopian women get better natal survival rates. How ironic that western societies are working to help people who live in squalor and abject poverty to have greater neonatal survival, while doing little to provide meaningful family planning. For eight years President George W. Bush stopped all funding for U.S. Agency for International Development family planning programs. He did the same for the United Nations Population Fund.
Our politicians, particularly in Congress, are beyond cynical. In the name of small government or conservatism or free enterprise, they will gamble that our environment – the very air we breathe and water we drink – could go to hell . . . but paved with good intentions.
Happy New Year to all.