domingo, 20 de diciembre de 2009



By Felipe Argote

In Copenhagen, Denmark since last December's 17 is taking place the United Nations conference on climate change. This meeting aims to develop an argument to stop the causes of global warming and its disastrous effects on humanity. The cause of global warming is primarily the product CO2 from burning fossil fuels especially coal and oil.

Accumulating CO2 in the atmosphere forms a layer that traps heat from the sun and raises the temperature of the earth. These temperature increases is already causing extensive and have melted polar areas. That large chunks of ice separating from the melting polar cap are slowly moving through the ocean freely. This raises the sea level and therefore endangers coastal cities.

To get an idea of how it affects us directly Panamanians just give you an example. It is considered that the elevation of only 30 centimeters in sea level would determine the need to evacuate the city of Colon. Follow his trend to global warming by 2050 is expected to raise sea level by 70 centimeters. But sea level rise would not only have effects on flood coastal cities also raise levels of salinity of ground water and reducing the volume of potable water for human consumption and agriculture. Additionally would be catastrophic for mangroves and spawning areas for many marine species. It is estimated that in 50 years could be lost 30 percent of the species follow this trend.

The major plants are producing energy from fuel annually emitted 2500 million tones of CO2 gas emissions and vehicles annually emit 1,500 million tons of CO2. Currently the United States are responsible for 25% of the issue CO2 in the world despite having only 4% of world population. In contradiction was one of the few countries not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. It was not ratified during the Bill Clinton administration in which Al Gore; Nobel Prize for his fight against climate change was his vice president. Wasn’t ratified during the Bush administration, where in addition the U.S. withdrew from the protocol.

This Kyoto Protocol was an agreement signed on 11 December 1997 in which industrialized countries pledged to reduce by 2012 to 5% of their emissions over 1990 levels. This includes not only CO2 but also methane and nitrous oxide in addition to three industrial pollutants.

But twelve years later there seems no political will to implement the commitment. The largest issuer through his foreign minister instead of Hilary Clinton pledging to reduce emissions of gases undertakes to contribute U.S. $ 100,000 million annually beginning in 2020 when neither Hilary nor Obama will be on the U.S. government. These grants would have the receivers to the poor countries to mitigate the devastating effects. That will actually accept that the climate on these countries will change instead of trying to stop it. China, another big issuer and with the greatest tendency to increase gas emissions in the future, says there is no time to compromise and that should leave the conference with a political statement. So with a politic manifesto this does not land on anything specific or compromise anyone to nothing.

However Brazil has been very aggressive in its commitment to reduce its emanations between 36.1 and 38.9 percent for 2020. The president Lula Da Silva pushed for industrialized countries responsible for the warming commit to reduce by at least 25% over the same period. He recalled that Brazil is a leader in biofuels and that "This summit is not a game where cards can be stored in the sleeve," said Lula, who said there was no room for complacency and it is time to act because "the verdict of the History will not save those who do not take responsibility. "

At last he pushed an agreement on precise gaseous reduction rather than a political manifesto. The agreement set aside by the United States, China, India and South Africa has more emphasis on economic aid against the disaster to prevent catastrophe. China refuses to accept any international body to verify their emissions considering it an intrusion on their sovereignty.

In this connection see what the agreement said John Sauve, executive director of Greenpeace in the UK:

"It seems that few politicians capable of seeing beyond their own interest and even less to worry about the millions of people facing the threat of climate change,"

"It is clear that combating climate change requires a radically different political model that what have shown in Copenhagen".

While politicians avoided the issue, representatives of the Maldives, one of the first places to disappear underwater watched impassively as the world does nothing to prevent their disappearance.

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