Year 2, Month 7, Day 3: Painful.

The June 18 issue of the China Daily sounds an alarm:

Christiana Figueres, the official responsible for overseeing United Nations organized climate negotiations in Bonn, has admitted that a gap in enforcing the emission reduction regime is already unavoidable. Even if countries are willing to sign up to new reduction targets in December, they will still require legislative ratifications by governments around the world, which is unlikely to be completed by 2012.

The discrepancy between the stance adopted by developed and developing nations makes reaching an agreement extremely uncertain. While poor nations have put a high priority on renewing the Kyoto Protocol, some industrialized countries, such as Japan and Canada, have voiced a clear intention to walk away and build up a new architecture for global emission cuts, and the United States, the world’s largest economy and carbon polluter, did not ratify the protocol in the first place.

But the time we have to save the planet from the disastrous consequences of global warming is fast ticking away.

I have been thinking long and hard on the nature of our collective insanity these days. Not much fun. It would be nice to have more music.

Sent June 18:

In the year 3000, as humanity continues its fight to recover from the effects of a huge increase in atmospheric carbon a thousand years before, scholars of ancient history will be baffled by the inability of the world’s nations to act in a timely fashion to avert a grave catastrophe. They will look back and wonder, noting that we had ample notice of the consequences of the greenhouse effect; ample time to change our energy infrastructure, keeping millions of years’ worth of fossil carbon in the ground instead of burning it. They will shake their heads in amazement at the failure of our communications systems — at the globe-spanning media that remained focused on trivialities and gossip rather than a civilizational threat requiring concerted action. For all the technological and cultural accomplishments of this time in human history, we will probably be remembered, and reviled, for what we failed to do.

Warren Senders

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