It’s the topic of the millennium: Climate change. The earth is getting hotter and it looks like big industry is at least partially to blame. Smokestacks, exhaust pipes and cute red-brick chimneys are pouring out greenhouse gases that trap heat and warm the planet – hurricanes, droughts and rising sea-levels are just the beginning of a permanent shift in our climate unless we change our ways. We’ve already ratified Kyoto, so what’s next?
Well, actually implementing Kyoto to the full degree would be helpful. As of yet Canada does not have a long-term plan for dealing with greenhouse gases. We’ve simply ridden a wave of praise since adopting the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, without formally introducing a method of dealing with the issue. Other countries are behaving in a similar way, unfortunately. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted that a full-out adoption of the Kyoto Protocol would damage Britain’s economy. US President George Bush refuses outright to even ratify Kyoto or any similar agreement, despite the fact that the US is the number one producer of greenhouse gases in the world.
This Saturday (Dec. 3), thousands of demonstrators in Montreal said ‘No!’ to the continued lack of policy implementation world-wide concerning climate change. They marched to show their support for a significant reduction in greenhouse gases, and to try to gain the support of poorer countries like China, India and Brazil. Such countries are currently experiencing economical growth and would struggle under environmental restrictions – George Bush has said this influenced his decision not to adopt Kyoto. Nevertheless, Montreal demonstrators hope that they can persuade members of these countries to get on board and pressure their respective governments to co-operate for the sake of world climate. The purpose of the UN meeting reflects that of the thousands marching in Montreal: To entice more countries to join Kyoto and to set policies that will extend past the Kyoto ‘due date’ of 2012. The Summit wraps up this Friday (Dec. 9).
About the Montreal Climate Change Conference (CBC Website) – http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/kyoto/
Thousands March in Montreal to get UN Summit to Adopt Kyoto (CBC Website) – http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/12/03/montreal-climate-051203.html