A shrug of the shoulders at the G8

Limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees is a good objective because above that amount the likelihood of runaway climate change (melting of Greenland and the Arctic; release of methane from permafrost in the North) is really serious. So this news that the US is not interested in this issue is depressing. Not that communiques coming out of the G8 should be believed anyway, but these guys are not even interested in appearing to do the right thing.

Why? Perhaps because, to the extent they believe that climate change is happening, the worst outcomes will happen in the poorest countries, mostly in Africa. And we all know the G8’s record in Africa: the Global Fund on AIDS remains woefully underfunded despite promises a few summits back (the US spending on the Iraq War makes the Global Fund look like small change).

A leaked draft of the Communique I saw a month ago had it more focussed on expanding investor rights through pressing for greater liberalization of Southern markets and ever-stronger protection of intellectual property rights. At the risk of sounding too cynical, this is what the G8 summits are really about; the other humanitarian and human rights stuff that gets the headlines (like canceling the debts of the poorest countries) is fluff for the final public group hug that they never intend on delivering on.

One comment

  • It seems our “governing” tories here in Canada are too busy ensuring eco-friendly groups such as the Suzuki Foundation are constantly being audited and harassed in ways that truly are embarrassing. Imagine being audited 3 times since 1991, this is such shat and a complete waste of resources.

    Realistically speaking, we will not get the required level of action until more disaster occurs. It is such irony that the for a culture that has held science up with such religious zeal, that when even this holy grail gets in the way of profits, wealth and other bastions of un-innovation and maintaining the status quo, that it too can become cannibalized as it becomes inconvenient.

    I would love to see David Suzuki come out of this latest assault on his foundation with
    some kind of truce agreed upon by the henchmen on the Hill. We need to have more public accountability to such apparent arms length processes, to ensure the utmost integrity. We have got to get the political and business leaders in this country quit playing us and our institutions as some kind of the bush league, banana republic. From the SEC to the Banking system why is this country held up in the international community as such a shining beacon. I believe that with the failure of Kyoto, we are finally being exposed for the bush league country we are, and have let the ruling elite have their way with. Our failure on the environment is just the tip of the ice berg. Maybe we need another round of Wally Clement and John Porter to get our focus sharpened.

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