Saturday, December 18, 2004

Irony in Buenos Aires

There's some irony in the fact that global warming talks are being held in B.A. That said, this round of talks may have more impact than Kyoto could've ever hoped to have. The Bush administration has been wildly criticized for not signing Kyoto, and I'll admit that I was on that bandwagon. However, there may be some boons for the future in the rejection of that particular treaty. Bush's main objection is that it didn't constrain the "developing nations" of China and India, creating an unfair trade advantage. While China and India are emerging economies, their frail attempt to hide behind the "developing nation" title is absurd. Yes, they're in the middle of their respective industrial revolutions and tech revolutions. Yes, they will have to operate under looser rule sets than we do to continue their development. No, they're not under that "developing nations" umbrella with Pakistan and Ghana.

Now, at the moment, imposing a massive rule-set on those two nations would be disasterous, but at the rate they're trying to connect up to the global network, they'll be needing those rules very soon. In order to be effective any global treaty on pollution is going to have to include the two largest populations on earth. As usual, a graduated shift is in order, but, as governments are wont to do, it's an all or nothing deal. 2012 is the slated date for the expiration of the Kyoto Accord, and that's probably about the time we'll want to put pressure on those states to adopt more stringent rules regarding pollutants. China's not too far behind the power curve already. It's rules on cars are quite strict, but while the rules in place are apropriate, the rules don't encompass enough of their polluters. I imagine that much of this situation will be remedied internally by 2012, paving the way for more globally relavent agreements.

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