Thursday, April 26, 2007

A bit of good news

The Christian Science Monitor reported on Thursday that China, the world's second-largest producer of greenhouse gases (and predicted to become #1 as soon as a year from now) is finally, if belatedly, surrendering to the weight of reality.
[O]fficials in Beijing appear to be backing away from their view that global warming is a Western problem that developed countries must solve.

While still insisting on their right to industrialize hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty, Chinese leaders are showing the first tentative signs of readiness to accept mandatory emissions-reductions targets. And they are setting themselves all kinds of green goals.
Officials are being coy about how far they will go - and how deep the commitment is, is debatable. But the government is feeling pressure from its own scientists:
The effects [of global warming] are visible and getting worse, Chinese scientists are warning.

On the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, "one quarter of the glaciers that existed 350 years ago have disappeared," Qin Dahe, a former Chinese climate-change negotiator, said Monday. At current melt rates, "another quarter will disappear by 2050."

Those glaciers, he said, "are vital to people's economy and livelihood" in most of China and South Asia. "The water from these glaciers supports life for half the world's population."
Between than and being stung by the ominous predictions of the IPCC report, the government has
set its own emissions goals. Most ambitiously, the new assessment pledges to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 80 percent by 2050. ...

Even if China reached half its goal, the resulting reductions in emissions growth would still be larger than the EU-15's Kyoto CO2 goal of cutting 682 million tons annually by 2012, according to the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington.
In other words, a significant amount. Still, the questions of both determination and perhaps more importantly technological ability remain. But it does serve to point up how cold hard facts - or maybe I should say hot hard facts - are dragging the governments of the world, often kicking and screaming but still being dragged, out of a state of denial.

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');