India wants per capita emissions because it has a growing population. China wants credit for reducing its population and being the workshop of the world. Australia wants credit for being hot. Russia wants credit for being cold. The US argues it is too rich to cut emissions; the Africans that they are too poor. The list goes on.
The only spark of optimism is that China is said to be fully aware of the destabilizing effects of climate change and supposedly realizes that per capita arguments will doom it as much as everyone else. If China makes the first move I think India will be hard pressed not to follow.
It’s no longer a question of morality or entitlement and I think that reality is spreading. The studies released earlier this year that calculated the remaining carbon carrying capacity of the atmosphere introduces a new and essential way of approaching the problem.
That said, do I think we’ll reach an effective consensus? I really don’t. As Gwynne Dyer and others have pointed out so well, every nation’s global warming experience will be much different than most other nations.
India and China are going to be hit by the retreat of the Himalayan glaciers and in a big way. Canada and parts of Russia may actually benefit. Other places will have a relatively neutral experience. When the impacts vary so much, country to country, it’s going to require unprecedented sacrifice on the part of the “last and least” affected (aka “Us”)in order to meaningfully help the others.
Hell, a lot of Americans see this as a plot to implement the long dreaded “World Government.” How many of that type ddoes it really take to derail American leadership?
Oh well, at least I’m sliding into my “golden years.”
Of course as global famine hits they will all discover that no one is ‘too anything’ to participate
We need leadership that puts aside “what’s in it for me” and is committed to “let’s find common ground NOW”
Anybody using the excuse that it’s just too damn expensive? The ol’ BS cost-benefit argument is the worst!