can’t see the forest

DaSilva Blasts Wealthy Nations on Environmental Irresponsibility

Following a UN conference in which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reiterated that the world’s poorest peoples and nations contribute the least to but stand to suffer the most from human-aggravated climate shifts, Brazilian President Lula daSilva has struck against wealthy powers which he says are not doing nearly as much to combat the threat of global warming as his own relatively poor nation.

The BBC reports:

In a speech in Rio de Janeiro, President Lula said it was time for wealthy countries to do more to reduce gas emissions.

He called on them to stop preaching on what to do with the Amazon rainforest.

President Lula said developed nations applied a double standard in their approach to global warming.

The Brazilian president has accused wealthy countries of not doing enough on the environment before, but he has rarely been this direct.

He said they were skilful at drafting agreements and protocols, like the Kyoto treaty, to appear as if they were doing something to reverse dangerous gas emissions.

In practice, however, he said the results proved otherwise…

President Lula was most adamant on the issue of deforestation.

Developed countries, he said, had nothing to teach Brazil on the subject, adding that his country had reduced the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest by more than 50% in the last three years.

On the subject of alternative fuels, President Lula described Brazil as a world leader.

And indeed the South American country is the world’s largest producer of ethanol made from sugar cane and it has the world’s largest fleet of cars that run on alternative fuels.

The Brazilian president said he would be leading an international campaign to highlight the need for wealthy countries to reduce gas emissions.

DaSilva’s speech also comes on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, published on February 2, in which stronger language and less encouraging figures than found in previous reports have strengthened the group’s position on the severity of the threat to the environment posed by human industry. Among its findings:

  • The probability that observed and predicted rises in sea level and temperature are caused by climactic factors alone is less than 5%.
  • These rises will continue for centuries regardless of any immediate response to the threat.
  • World temperatures can be expected to rise by as much as 6.4° C (11.5° F) during the 21st Century.
  • Global atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are now higher than any values statistically or naturally recorded during the last 650,000 years and have increased markedly since 1750 as a result of human industry.

The United States is by far the world’s worst environmental offender in terms of its per capita contribution to global warming, with the People’s Republic of China fast gaining ground towards this dubious honor. U.S. President George W. Bush, in the face of mounting evidence which I would deem quite intelligible to most high school science students, continues to maintain that there is insufficient evidence linking global warming to human industrial activity.


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