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Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! (Oi! Oi! Oi!)

Kudos to newly elected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who yesterday followed through on one of his main campaign promises.  Rudd, the leader of Australia's Labour Party, which swept to power in November's national elections, ousting the utterly misnamed "Liberal Party" and its leader, John Howard, vowed throughout the campaign to add Australia to the list of signatories of the Kyoto Protocol on Global Warming.  Yesterday in Bali, at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, only a week after he took office, Rudd delivered the ratification papers.

In many ways, it was a symbolic act, since Australia was already basically in compliance with the Kyoto Protocol's carbon emissions targets.  But it was a powerful statement nevertheless; an acknowledgment that the previous government had been wrong to keep Australia out of the agreement, and a none-too-subtle reproof of the Bush Administration's continued refusal to sign on to Kyoto or to pledge support for the treaty that will eventually emerge from the current meetings.

Look, before my friends to the right jump all over me, let me say that Kyoto was not a perfect document.  Not by a long shot.  And we can only hope for the sake of the entire planet that whatever agreement comes out of Bali will recognize that China and India can no longer be considered "emerging nations" when it comes to manufacturing or carbon emissions caps.  But the failure of the current U.S. Administration to take the lead on global climate change should be an embarrassment to every American.  We are sacrificing the future of our children and grandchildren, and risking the survival of the entire planet, all out of concern for corporate profits and the preservation of un unsustainable way of life.  News flash:  if we continue to lay waste to the planet, corporate earnings and the price of the newest Hummer model will be the least of our concerns.

Today's music:  Michael Hedges (Breakfast in the Field)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 12th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
Goes well with the report I saw today on BBC news that the artic may be free of summer ice entirely by 2013 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7139797.stm). I'm wondering if we haven't reached a serious 'tipping' point in global warming.
Dec. 12th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
I agree. As much as I think we need to act, and act soon, I also feel that the best we can hope to do now is mitigate the worst of the damage, and perhaps facilitate a somewhat quicker recovery a century or two down the road. In the near term, I'm very pessimistic.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Australia, Ghost Gum
David B. Coe

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