Some Good News On the Environment

It’s nice to post a good news story for a change! According to a group of scientists from Australia’s Antarctic Division, the ozone hole over Antarctica is now shrinking. This must surely to be a direct result of the Montreal Protocol to ban chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which caused the ozone hole in the first place. I think this clearly demonstrates two things: human activity can indeed have serious effects on the global climate, and human co-operation and positive action can solve those problems. Imagine if George W. Bush were the President at the time. Would the Montreal Protocol have been agreed to? I’ll bet it wouldn’t have—he would have said there was no proof that CFCs damaged the ozone layer, and that the Protocol would have a negative effect on business, jobs and the economy.

Which brings me to the next part of my good news story. At the recent G20 summit, the leaders of the top 20 economies in the world agreed to a very simple measure that I feel will have far reaching consequences—to end fossil fuel subsidies. I’ve always felt it was both extraordinary and ridiculous that—when we really need to encourage the development of alternative energy—the governments of the world are still subsidising fossil fuel production. I am also proud to say that Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spearheaded these changes, even though our economy is currently very highly dependant on fossil fuel exports (particularly coal and gas). It’s hard to imagine that just a few short years ago, both Australia’s Prime Minister and the American President denied climate change, and refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Once again, if they were still in government, it is hard to imagine that the lifting of fossil fuel subsidies would ever have been agreed to (for the reasons cited above).

Of course, that isn’t the only good news to some out of the G20 summit: it is also good to see such widespread co-operation in dealing with the economic crisis (which already appears to have averted another great depression), and that they are taking affirmative action to try and prevent corporate greed from creating such a situation again (such as the measures to control executive salaries).

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Oh yes: you might notice that we’ve finally added a long overdue feature where you can be emailed when new comments are added to a post you comment on. Hopefully this will stimulate discussion!

  
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I have said this on other sites, so I apologise for any redundancy. If the oil and the auto companies had had the brains to get into alternative energy twenty years ago, they could have been heroes. Instead, they chose to cling to outmoded ideas and continue to utilise expensive and dangerous methodologies to obtain coal, oil and other fossil fuels. How many oil riggers and coal miners might be alive today had they chosen otherwise?

  
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Supplement for Sachiko’s presentation — background and hard data on G20…

Beforehand, July 27, 2009:
http://www.acus.org/publication/us-china-cooperation-nuclear-power

…a different emphasis from earlier in the year (note the pedantic monetary focus burdened by an assumed reliance upon a now-failing IMF, or globalized money system), April 1:
http://blog.taragana.com/n/india-china-cooperation-sought-at-g20-summit-24345/

…and finally, see which G20 nations are indeed the most progressive in new energy techologies. (Why these?)
Check this..

http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2250119/south-korea-china-lead-g20

the “businessgreen page” states early on –

“The UNEP report, released yesterday, puts South Korea at the top of the list, with 79 per cent of its total economic stimulus spending earmarked for green initiatives.” And,
“It was followed by China with 34 per cent and Australia with 21 per cent. France, Germany and the US rounded out the top five, with each nation committing less than 20 per cent.”

  
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