Monday, April 10, 2006

Kyoto and the much needed cultural shift

There are so many topics that I want to write about, but I think "Kyoto and Global Warming" is a never-ending controversy.

There is no denying when it comes to The Global Warming and the future Energy Crisis. However, considering the scientific facts, there is very little the developed world can do to stop them. That is where the controversy lies: how little is too little?

As I pointed out last year, China, India, the Middle East and South American countries are responsible for a bigger portion of Fossil Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions than the developed world. However, due to insufficient financial resources, the "developing world" has almost no obligation toward the reduction of their emissions. Therefore, the efforts of the developed countries can't and won't be considered very significant. All that said, some experts argue that no effort is insignificant when it comes to mitigating a catastrophe, and as Canadians we should do our part. The next question is how much is too much for Canada to spend on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol?

Let's just say Emissions Trading and the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions work best only for Europe and Japan. The North American lifestyle, i.e. "the bigger, the better" concept, is not so conforming to little electric cars, bikes, and "no air conditioning". Long distances between the cities, monstrous highways built to accommodate the coast-to-coast transportation of goods in large trailers, and a nation that is in love with SUVs and pick-up trucks are standing between us and the Kyoto. Considering that, United States bowed out long time ago. The exit of our biggest trading partner and industrial competitor puts us even at a greater economic disadvantage.

However, financial reasons cannot relieve us from our international environmental obligations. It took about a decade to plan and create the Kyoto Protocol. Considering that, any other immediate plan to replace Kyoto won't be without major flaws.

Moreover, the significance of Kyoto ratification in Canada goes beyond an international obligation and becomes a national priority when we consider the associated cultural shift. Kyoto will not stop the Global Warming, but it will lead us toward a more sustainable way of living, i.e. it will teach us that when it comes to consumption, less is more!

Public transportation, small electric cars, insulated residential establishments with minimum air-conditioning needs, minimizing commodity transportation and optimizing industrial processes are the steps we need to take to reach sustainability, whether or not Kyoto is there to reward or punish us.

And we all know what happens to creatures that continue to live a "large" and "unsustainable" lives. They become extinct.

Still think Kyoto is too pricy? I guess that is a question only our P.M can answer.

However, what I want from my government is to lead me through the much needed cultural shift that guarantees my survival, by supporting our industry (to consume less fossil fuels and create less waste), creating more means of public transportation and making energy conservation a Canadian priority. No price is too high when it comes to a nation's survival through an environmental catastrophe.


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