Monday, February 16, 2009

Unhappy Anniversary...

In 1992 when it became obvious to many that increasing emissions of several gases, particularly carbon dioxide, were promoting adverse global climate changes, a meeting was held in Rio de Janeiro to discuss what might be done. This led to a 2005 meeting in Kyoto where a mechanism was decided upon which would help countries to lower their emissions in an effort to try to come to grips with slowing down and eventually ending the changes which were occurring. Today is the anniversary of that meeting in Kyoto.

The world map above indicates which countries have ratified the Kyoto Treaty or not. It is a bit misleading. For example, while Canada ratified the Treaty and began making provisions to lower emissions, our present government has done almost nothing. In fact, it reduced funding to the various efforts to lower emissions in Canada. Some parts of Canada like Québec, have continued to work on lowering emissions, but without a national plan, these efforts are not what they could be. Conversely, some countries which have not ratified the Treaty also have regions which have been working hard to reduce their emissions. Again, without a national program, results have been less than what they might have been working collectively.

So there's not much to celebrate on this anniversary day as nations, but I'm encouraged to read about successful efforts here and there, even when it's only a few people or businesses involved. As Red Green used to say, "We're all in this together...".

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