Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 Durban Climate Conference: No New Ground Broken?

Might be hailed by pundits as a renewed commitment to renew the global campaign to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, does the 2011 Durban Climate Conference really offer significant improvement over the 1997 Kyoto Protocol set to expire in 2012?

By: Ringo Bones

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabana who was appointed president of this year’s Durban Climate Conference might had managed to fast track herself for future Nobel Peace Prize nominations if you truly believe the hype surrounding the alleged success of the 2011 Durban Climate Conference. But like most hardcore environmentalists that has been subjected to vituperation by the American Evangelical right since 1995 when it comes to whether climate change is real, I highly doubt it if this year’s climate conference is really a step beyond the 1997 Kyoto Protocol set to expire next year. After all, India, Mainland China, and the United States – today’s top three generators of greenhouse gasses via industrial activity – were never signatory’s of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The only positive outcome of the 2011 Durban Climate Conference is that the “lucrative” business of carbon credits born out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol can still be able to maintain their bottom lines thanks to “token agreements” reached in the very last minutes of the Durban Climate Conference when it comes to how much polluters must pay to continue to pump out carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our overloaded sewers in the sky in order to maintain their industrial bottom line. After all, we’re technically still in a global economic recession, aren’t we?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The 2010 Nagoya Biodiversity Conference: No New Ground Broken?

Despite of providing "undocumented" trillions of dollars to the global economy, are the powers-that-be squandering the world’s biodiversity at our own peril?

By: Ringo Bones

2010 has been very much dominated by the US-China Currency War, joblessness issues and the vanishing middle class, not to mention lack of “social mobility” that has always been the hallmark of the post World War II global economy, but is our powers-that-be been ignoring the issue of biodiversity for so long now that it threatens all mankind? Though biopiracy concerns had been seriously discussed – i.e. multinational pharmaceutical companies profiting from herbs used by indigenous folks without cutting them a share of the profit, governments around the world seem to lack the political will to legislate and enforce binding agreements on how to maintain their various countries biodiversity and environmental protection.

A healthy biodiversity probably contributes ¼ of the global GDP – same as the consumer electronics industry – and yet the trillions of dollars contributed by a healthy biodiversity in the agricultural sector had been ignored at everyone’s peril. Most crops are very dependent on various insects for pollination and fruit-bearing, while some can only thrive when the microbiological diversity of the soil they are growing on is at optimal levels. And recent studies have shown that a healthy biodiversity also plays a part in sequestering carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the soil ands out of the atmosphere when they can exacerbate global warming. If the important steps to secure biodiversity are taken in 2010, maybe results – for the better – will start to show in 2011.