Sunday, December 03, 2006

Good News?

Well I'm in a very cynical mood today... but anyways some good news for all our friends and supporters; This very blog has been listed among the top ten blogs on climate change in this very vast but cramped web! This rating was provided by the website which is a site maintained by a coalition of groups from North America, chiefly US of A and Canada.

However in continuation of what I started with, I think maybe it's time to do something about my cynicism! Maybe flush it down the drain or something...
When I attended the Nairobi conference I had the fortune (or misfortune) of meeting some of the negotiators from India and USA, among others who I briefly chatted with. Most discussions revolved around each county's particular agenda for the Nairobi conference(in the short term) and the Kyoto process (for long term goals). Almost all delegates showed a strong lack of conviction, coupled with a strong desire to pass on the burden of resposibilities.For instance, the US said that if it committed to the present standard of committments the nation would be forced to undergo severe economic difficulties. India on the other hand said that it had little role to play in the conference as, "the protocol has not yet entered into effect. Let it run first, let us find out if it works" and "India is not required fulfill any targets (of reducing emissions)," forgetting very casually the fact that it took way more than four years of intense diplomatic efforts to convert the Rio summit dreams into something that was in the smallest possible manner, Real! The US and Australia contend that countries like India and China need to be asked to take on committments, because (and this is quite true) even if all the annexe 1 countries (those countries which are legally bound by the Kyoto protocal to reduce emissions aka Developed Nations) stopped emitting any Greenhouse gases there would still be such a substantial amount emissions that achieving the 2 degrees target would remain largely impossible. True, but there should be a fair interpretation of this crisis. It did not arise because China and India have been emitting colossal amounts of GHGs for the last century. It is because of the developed nations irresponsible attitude. However does that absolve developing nations from shouldering any responsibility? I don't think so. Countries like India and China have immense political influence in global matters and can use it to benefit all mankind. But wether they will or not is the key question.

A far more important question, however, is wether we will wake up to the responsibility that faces us as an informed youth. We have today, in front of us, one of the gratest challenges since the great ice age faced primitive mankind. All the issues we harp about as impediments to a committed fight against climate change, will not, at any point of time dissappear. Economies will not be bouyed up by global climate change. Political issues will not improve instead they will intesify. Social problems will become much larger than ever before. With reduced landmass, the ill-effects of over population will be magnified to several times that we see today. With increase in desertification, change in precipitation levels and increasing pressure on arable land food security will be non-existant for millions and millions of people.
If we don't act today, there may not be a tomorrow.

Although this might seem like a panic message, that is my least intention. A concentrated global movement, that manifests itself in the small things we do everyday, like using energy efficient bulbs, saving water, car pooling, walking short distances, producing less waste, recyling safely and smartly and taking care of a little tree that is struggling to live in some corner of our cities can reverse this. But we must start now and not wait for others... because our leaders can only do something when we impress upon them our desire for change.