Friends, the talk-fest in Bali is well and truly underway and has a cast of thousands. The problems of global warming are being discussed honestly by some nations, with deceit by others, and with outright stubbornness by the above mentioned nations.
While Australia has finally signed Kyoto, Rudd refuses to set emission targets until his government receives a comprehensive report in June, 2008 (but says he will do so). The other three countries, at this stage, refuse to set any targets at all and of course, ironically, this includes America, the world's biggest polluter.
It is interesting to reflect upon the sudden impact that climate change has had upon the world. The capitalist world was going gangbusters with each country trying to outdo the others in terms of manufacturing and the production of automobiles, arms, energy production, etc. Some countries were even engaging in acts of imperialism so that they could secure and control scarce resources like oil. Then a few scientists came along and threw a spanner into the works by suggesting that the heavy and increasing use of fossil fuels was destroying our world.
The capitalist world is in turmoil! There's money to be made from selling coal, oil, petrol-guzzling consumer goods, etc, huge amounts of it, but the price might be to render our world uninhabitable. What to do? What to do?
That urgent change is required is indisputable. But given the power that Big Business has over most Western governments and the fear of most politicians of a voter backlash should governments embrace and enforce quick, drastic change means that foot-dragging, purposeful procrastination, active ambivalence and downright denial will become popular activities during the next few years. It is likely that profit will continue to take precedence over prudence and plain commonsense!
Meanwhile the rapid destruction of our fragile planet will continue, perhaps past the point of no return.
Perhaps it already is!
Australia helped to get America to stop its selfish stonewalling and a kind of consensus was reached although no firm targets were set. Rudd shone on the world stage and his Ministers acquitted themselves well.
Rudd's success emphasizes just how out-of-touch sycophantic Howard really was!