Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The failure of Copenhagen

from w
Yesterday was so hot (about 40 and later 27 at midnight) we decided to go for a drive in the early evening, call on friends in Ocean Grive, then buy fish and chips and dabble our feet in the water at Barwon Heads. Keleta and Margaret are salt of the earth gentle people - and Keleta comes from Tuvalu, so the conversation turned to Copenhagen where the name 'Tuvalu' became the example of global warming to a very small island community in the South Pacific.

The Fiji Times editorial today speaks strongly against the countries who blocked the plan for a promise to share the earth, safeguard the earth and consider our children's and grandchildren's future. We have been given such a beautiful world, but what have we done to it!!!

Then Peceli and I left Ocean Grove and headed for neighbouring Barwon Heads where many families were enjoying the beach and the river that runs into the sea. The two bridges are changing shape though. Instead of just fixing the old bridge, they are spending millions on building a new walking bridge, then they will fix the old bridge! What a crazy committee decided that! Anyway Peceli had a swim and dried off a bit in the car on the way back to town. It was very hot at home and the lowest it got in the night was 27. Today is humid with spots of rain, and when I went to town to buy last-minute needs for Christmas it was very much like Suva!

The Fiji Times editorial:
The failure of Copenhagen
Thursday, December 24, 2009

THE United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen were a failure and an indictment of three of the world's largest economies. It will be for the United States, China and India to tell the world why we must all suffer because of their inability to reach an agreement on carbon emissions. Their selfishness and unwillingness to make concessions will mean that the rest of the world will suffer the consequences of their greed. It is a sad fact the developing countries around the globe will face the full brunt of global warming.

Tuvalu - only 180 minutes by air from Nausori Airport - has started to sink into the Pacific Ocean.

The same distance away to the west, villagers on the smaller islands of Papua New Guinea have been forced to move to higher ground as sea water seeps through their plantations, ruining food and destroying homes.

Erosion also threatens several coastal communities in Fiji, including villages on Vanuabalavu who have lost up to two metres of foreshore.

Yet the economies of the US, China and India continue to pump millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. They appear to care little about what happens to smaller nations who depend on them for aid or technical and military support. To add insult to injury, these countries flood the world with products which people in developing nations buy.

In a sense it is the developing nations which - through purchases and reliance on developed economies - help fund the industrialised world. By doing this, smaller nations ultimately pay for the US, India and China to kill smaller countries with limited resources.

The bigger economies of the world have grown so large that they cannot afford to slow down. To do so would lead to the inability to support current lifestyles in those countries. The failure of world leaders to make any real progress on saving the planet will be debated for several years. China, the US and India will all have an opinion on who is to blame. United States President Barack Obama unwisely attempted to institute independent monitoring of China and India's emissions.

In doing so, he put these two economic powerhouses offside and opened a backdoor from which they could exit the talks and avoid taking a major role in reducing their energy consumption.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao showed such disdain for the rest of the world that he did not bother to attend the final phase of talks. President Obama refused to commit the US to any change in emission policies . Indian Environment Minister Jai Ram Ramesh admitted that he backed China and his country's right to faster economic growth. This shows that these economies think only of themselves. We must each bear that in mind when we choose next to shop.



Blogger annie said...

THANKS, Wendy..Yes, it's $$$$ talking every time, isn't it? I am backing away from my soapbox or this comment would be longer than yours. It is irritating how some Big Guns from big countries can't go to an international gathering and help toward solving some of the environmental problems that will affect ever one of us in time.

6:15 AM  
Blogger annie said...

PS I just read a great quote that fits here. It is from the comment page to Lin's View From The Oak. 12-27-09, post, "Northern Lights." Sent in by Lorraine.

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit."
--Nelson Henderson

11:31 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Annie,
What a lovely quote. So true to think of the grandchildren and strangers in the future.

11:59 AM  

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