Sunday, June 6, 2010


The harmful effects of green house gas emissions are well known and the Copenhagen summit last year was supposed to have addressed this problem for arriving at a global consensus. But the issue of mandatory emission cuts was mired in controversy with a vertical divide between the "haves" and "have nots" of this unfortunate planet. Countries like China, Brazil and India on the threshold of high developmental achievements require enormous energy for fulfilling the aspirations of their people who were suffering for decades due to poverty and low income levels. For the economic super powers with practically flat growth trajectory, sacrifice is not a word in their lexicon. Other wise what rationale there is in their demand on these countries for drastic reduction of emissions which can be accomplished only by shelving or slowing down many of their human development programs. Against such a back ground comes the refreshing stand taken by the premier scientific body in the US asking for eduction in emissions for the the welfare of its own people

"The academy says that between 2012 and 2050 the nation should produce no more than a total of 200 billion tons of greenhouse gases, ideally considerably less. (At the current rate of seven billion tons a year, the country would produce 266 billion tons.) The longer we wait to begin reducing emissions, the academy adds, the harder and more costly it will be to reach the target. It recommends putting a price on emissions as well as investments in energy efficiency, alternative fuels and developing cleaner technologies".

China and India voluntarily declared steep cuts in their emission rate, though such a gesture will cause lot of hardship to their people. It is appalling that Even the small decrease of less than 15% from their already high emissions, seems to be "painful" to the richest country of the world, the US where maximum number of wealthy people in this planet are concentrated. Is there still hope that mankind will come out of this "emission trap" in the foreseeable future? That depends on the attitude of the self anointed "arbitrators" sitting in Tokyo, Paris, Rome, London, Berlin, Washington DC and Canberra, members of the super rich club, G7.

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