Friday, July 10, 2009

G8 climate talks -- sandbox power struggle

Do your kids get into each other's space and start to bicker incessantly? Mine do. And inevitably it ends up in "Mama, he hit me" or "Mama, she pinched me". I always say to them to work it out on their own, but they come back with "he started it" or "she started it". And I, as patiently as I can (not always very patiently), come back with "it takes two to tango". And by now they know I do not care who started it, but hold them both responsible and expect each to take his and her piece of the responsibility. Wouldn't you think that diplomats can do this?

Well, think again. NPR today reported that the G8 climate talks are essentially gridlocked. The developing nations, with China as the biggest producer of Co2 emissions, claim that they cannot afford to cut just now, as they are hooked on the cheap fossil energy fueling their explosive growth. And the developed world, responsible for a disproportionate share of the pollution, thinks that the targets requested of it are too aggressive in the short term. Are they kidding?

Some scientists think that we are already beyond the point of no return, and that we are on an irrevocable trajectory to destruction. But as a scientist myself I understand that their models are just probabilities of future events based on their current assumptions. And probabilities are never absolute (until they happen, of course). So, I prefer to be an optimist and be proven a fool rather than a pessimist and be proven right (this is my fortune cookie wisdom). So, I believe that there is still time for us to act at least to mitigate if not reverse this environmental debacle. And the world politicians are engaged in a sandbox power struggle of "who started it"? I find this appalling!

I appeal to everyone to do their part. Tell your Members of Congress, tell President Obama, tell your boss, tell your family that we are all in this together and we need to act now before it is too late! I will pledge to continue to work towards reducing the carbon footprint of medical waste, in addition to that of myself and my family and friends. I will call and write to my elected representatives, including Mr.Obama. What are you going to do?

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