At the beginning of February, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the first part of its report Climate Change 2007. The report affirms that there is “a greater than than 90% likelihood” that human activities (largely combustion of fossil fuels) are related to the increase in greenhouse gases, and subsequent global temperatures. Citizens around the world are repeatedly listing climate change as a serious concern that needs to be addressed.
Despite the irrefutable evidence that we are responsible for climate change and the concern of the global community – UN climate talks are stagnating. Many of the countries emitting the largest quantities of greenhouse gases are hesitant to talk about mandates or commitments.
“Bush has shown no sign of wavering in his belief that Kyoto would harm the U.S. economy and wrongly omits 2012 targets for developing nations. Poor countries in turn feel no pressure to act when the world’s richest economy is outside Kyoto.”
It seems that the U.S. federal government is not going to be implementing any revolutionary policies in the immediate future – and we must pressure our state and local governments to get the results we need. This is not necessarily a surprise, but one would hope that such a strong cautions from the world’s scientific community would result in some sort of quick response.
132 U.S. cities have independently ratified the Kyoto Protocol, despite the federal government’s refusal to do so. While it is obviously troubling that governments are not saying “yes” to current climate change legislation, it is motivating to know that the government’s refusal to take concrete action is not slowing down the momentum of forward thinking regions and millions of people.