Saturday, February 3, 2007

World Responds to Climate Report

While the Bush Administration endorsed the UN Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change report released February 2, they rejected demands for mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, the administration said President Bush would rely on his plans to develop more renewable fuel and require more efficient vehicles, according to the Mecury News.

Meanwhile, according the Australian publication The Age, Prime Minister John Howard has used the report to push his nuclear plan.

And in France, President Chirac called for "a revolution," according to the Canadian publication The Gazette.
“Faced with this emergency, the time for half measures is finished,” Chirac said at the opening session of an international conference on the environment.
“It is time for a revolution,” the French president added. “A new industrial revolution, that of sustainable development, lies before us.”
Chirac proposed that this revolution would be led by transforming the existing United Nations Environment Program into a new United Nations Environment Organization, with a political mandate to propose common efforts to deal with climate change.
“We must build global governance for the environment,” Chirac said. “Multilateralism is the key to sustainable development.”
Sir Nicolas Stern, a British expert on climate change applauded Chirac's proposal, saying, “a global problem requires a global response.”

According to the Jackson Hole Star Tribune from an AP report,

Officials in Indonesia and the Maldives, two archipelagos threatened by rising sea levels, said they feared for the future of their lands. Others said the threat was not simply to the environment, but to international peace, prosperity and development.South Africa's Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said failure to act would be "indefensible."

India, which along with China is developing rapidly with a quickly-expanding population, faces the challenge of how to develop economically without ruining its environment. A senior ecology official noted that the climate change panel is "a network of scientists" that cannot set policy."This is a group of climate experts attempting to reach a scientific consensus. It doesn't commit governments to any course of action," said the official, Pradipto Ghosh, of India's Ministry of Environment and Forests.

But beyond the responses of world leaders, perhaps the most eloquent response to this report in the AP article came from a mother in Spain.

"I am worried for him more than anything," said Maite Leon, gesturing toward her 6-month-old. "By myself I cannot do anything, but if we each do our little bit, maybe we can change things. We have to do it all together."

On the NPR radio program Talk of the Nation, several segments dealt with energy alternatives.
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