Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on September 24, 2008
Just incase you missed the massive in-depth up to the second coverage of the G8, we thought we would do a recap. Yes, we know it happened in July, but it seems like no one really noticed, so here it is again.
I suppose we have to look at this year’s G8 summit as somewhat of a success. However porous the language may be, however ineffectual cutting current emissions levels 50% by 2050 ultimately will be, and even though that figure could not be agreed upon by the emerging economies of the world, at least it’s a step in the right direction. At least we have the dirty little secret about carbon polluting out into the worldwide open. Right?
After the G-8 (the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Britain and Russia) agreed to the 50 by 50 “deal”, eight other countries were invited to hang out with the cool, rich countries for the afternoon. Five emerging economies—China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa—as well as the major trading nations of Australia, South Korea, and Indonesia were given special invites to a meeting (it has not been confirmed whether or not they also got invited to the post-summit meet and greet.) After all the pomp and circumstance, the five emerging economies would not sign onto the 50/50 pact until more aggressive steps are undertaken by the richer nations to curb their own vast emissions.
But so what if we don’t have any sort of binding agreement? And who cares that the only-partially agreed upon agreement will cut levels too little and too slowly to save ourselves from incineration, flooding and starvation? At least it’s a step in the right direction, right? To get two nations to agree on something is a feat in its own right. To get 16 nations to agree there’s a global disaster coming down the pipe, which will take the globe’s teamwork to fix, that’s a minor miracle.
Though it hurts me to say, let’s applaud our president for once. Okay stop, that’s enough of that. But it was none other than our environmentally disgraceful (or leave out the environmentally part if you’d prefer) president who organized the session in the first place. Could Georgie the Industrial Giant have gone from greenhouse denier to global protector? Though I’m sure most of his attempt to coral emissions comes from some sort of Geo-political positioning, at least the Geo benefits in the process.
These are scary times. It’s easy to look at the negative. It’s easy to fear the devastation we’ve been forewarned about. We know we must take action. We know these meetings merely produce more rhetoric. And certainly rhetoric doesn’t help ease our fears in the way that action’s certitude would. But at least it’s rhetoric in the form of a conversation.