Thursday, December 8, 2011


(Reuters) - Economic crisis and the top three polluters China, the United States and India, loomed as obstacles to a new global deal at the start of a second make-or-break week of U.N. climate talks in the South African city of Durban.  After preliminary discussion, serious doubt hangs over the future of the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period on tackling climate change expires at the end of next year.  The other major issue is how to drum up finance to help poorer nations adapt to a warmer planet, while the developed world wrestles with sovereign debt problems. China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, gave a lift to the climate talks at the end of last week by suggesting it might sign up to a legally-binding deal to cut emissions, but it has set conditions.  “China has talked about a legally binding deal after 2020. The question is if China will be legally-bound,” Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Commissioner said.  China failed to answer that question at a news conference.

China’s conditions include that other big emitters sign up and that finance is provided under a Green Climate Fund agreed at talks last year in Cancun.  The U.S. special envoy for climate change said China’s conditions were not acceptable.  In the U.S., the second largest global emitter, environmental issues have become a flashpoint for argument between Democrats and the Republicans.  A reluctant upper house, which failed to pass a climate bill last year, would block any deal to revive Kyoto. One of its issues is that the boundaries between developed and developing nations have shifted and all big emitters should now be included on an equal basis in any new agreement.  India, the third biggest carbon emitter, has also stated it is not ready for a new binding agreement.  It argues its economic development is not as strong as China’s and it should not be asked to take on legal targets for cutting emissions.

A mood of gloom is descending over the negotiations to salvage the Kyoto climate treaty.  Several developing nations called for the extension of the Kyoto Protocol, saying that the pact was the only hope for securing a global commitment to fight climate change.  Without a new commitment period, the agreements do not enforce action on lowering carbon dioxide emissions.  Even in a weak global economy, emissions - which hit record levels last year - were still rising.  Politicians and scientists made proposals but spiritualists have the solutions.
We can save the earth from further deterioration only when we can understand the root cause of the present environmental disaster. ... Recently, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization issued a report stating that the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. The Humane Society of the United States has taken up the issue as well, running ads in environmental magazines that show a car key and a fork. 'Which one of these contributes more to global, warming?' the ads ask. They answer the question with 'It's not the one that starts a car,' and goes on to cite the UN report. It is high time to eliminate the four major sins and our unlimited greed to strive for the real aim of gaining transcendental loving devotional service to God in His spiritual abode. God created the earth and God alone can save the earth.

Śrīla Bhakti Swarup Tirtha Mahārāja :
“Only God Can Save This Earth”
Discourse at Maryland University, USA
Gaudiya Vaishnava Association

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