[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Kyoto Protocol: "You talk the talk, but...

Friday, March 04, 2005

Kyoto Protocol: "You talk the talk, but...

...can you walk the walk?"

Let's face it, global warming is happening. Melting polar ice caps are weakening the North Atlantic Drift that provides Ireland with the warmth that literally plays hard to get. The sea is slowly eroding the Irish coast. Yes we know Ireland is quite 'brrrrr' at this time of the year, but it also chills me to know that my future kids will probably have to wear eskimo gear just to avoid catching a cold. Dr. John Sweeney of the NUI calculates that our situation will deteoriate significantly in the next 40 years according to current CO2 levels. By the end of the century, Ireland could hit a new ice age, so make sure to buy your grand kids skis for Christmas.

The Kyoto Protocol came into effect on February 19th, the so-called D-Day for climate change. It is indeed a victory of environmentalists, albeit a small one. It does really have a more style than substance kind of thing. As for its effect, it dosen't really matter how many countries joined since the Yankers (Yanks+wankers, get it?) have opted out, while booming China & India are exempt. Why??!! Both countries account for 1st and 3rd leaders of worldwide car sales respectively (US is second). And what really grabs me by the balls is that the US can use this opportunity to out-do other nations with its non-restrictive industrial capacity, particularly to those in Europe. Russia who at first rejected Kyoto, scrambled to ratify the protocol after EU negotiations allowing it to sell its 'emissions credits' to other countries. And we know how desperate the Ruskies are in selling; Ak-47s, uranium, Russian brides...

As for our li'l 'ol green emerald isle that's slowly becoming more brown, we have agreed to limit our CO2 emissions to 13% of 1990 levels by 2012. I asked Ciaran Cuffe TD Green Party and Pat Grian of the Green House Action Network (GRIAN) if we can meet our targets in time. Both duly suggested a big no-no. My God, what ever will we do? "The protocol *allows* you to miss your target----you just have to buy enough credits in the emissions trading marketplace to make up your shortfall. This is pretty much the current government's strategy," says Pat. Ah so I see where Russia comes in. Quite an ingenious money making scheme. Putin must be sitting on a leather arm chair stroking his furry white cat Boris by now. A Carbon Tax scheme was introduced but recently scrapped due to intense pressure from the elite business minority groups. I guess I see where their priorities lay. Each step forward is another two steps backward. Ironically I once did a mock press conference in college for the launch of the scheme. Probably one of my biggest regrets. Oh well at least I got a good grade.

Back to square one I guess, what crazy scheme will the bigwigs think of now? Whatever it is, you can bet your top euro that it's gonna sink deep into your coin purses. So what about recycling and sustainable uses of our energy as shown by just that guy and horny aul one from the 'Reduce Reuse Recycle' ad campaign? I mean their heart's in the right place but I believe that it will never get enough public consensus. Just look at the rubbish situation on our streets, I mean if people can't be bothered to but their garbage in the bins then how can we rely on their ability to 'RRR'? Alternative energy sources such as wind power could be a key solution. But if I remember correctly, some wind power stations were protested against by some villagers because they 'looked ugly' and might damage tourism. WTF? Oh we're really sorry for building clean energy sources now that it might affect your sales of minature cottages to tourists!

I was going to finish by a rousing soliloquay about changing our ways and stopping the damage done by neoliberalism & industrialisation. But we've heard this song way too many times and frankly it's beoming one of those annoying tunes you can’t get out of your head. So maybe we should just accept our inevitable fate of much colder and turbulent weather in Ireland for years to come. Just a few pointers, I suggest we build much more durable houses, have flood warning systems installed, build underground shelters, more indoor sports complexes and buy those neats hats with umbrellas attached to them because frankly I hate carrying them.
Kyoto will simply slow down the Global Warming train a little. It can never be stopped. Instead we should prepare and buckle up for the long haul.

Read more criticism about the Kyoto Protocol from this sanctimonious Yanker
(This article also published on Indymedia: )