November 5th, 2004 by Hafiz Noor Shams
Just less than an hour ago, Reuters broke to the world that Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, took the last historic, necessary effort to turn the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change into a reality. With Putin’s signature, as I have put it in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the Russian ratification is complete. It will take 90 days for parties of the Protocol – 126 nations in total – to adhere to the greenhouse gases cap through three methods stated in the Protocol.
With Bush in the White House for four more years, I am sure this is some kind of a pain reliever to many who care for the environment. And within the next 24 hours, I am sure all the greens will be sending out congratulatory messages to each other.
Let me be the first one to congratulate all of you who supported or criticized the Protocol. If you supported it, it’s obvious that you care for Gaia. If you criticized it, you helped push for a better Protocol.
Kyoto is flawed, no doubt; it has its weaknesses but many will agree that Kyoto is the only effective way to combat accelerated climate change at this moment. Unless there is a better option, Kyoto currently is our only hope. Each day of inaction will cost us and our children billions and trillions of dollars. Every day of inaction eventually will lead to destruction of our planet. The cost of inactive will be unbearable in the future. I am glad that we didn’t stay idle. We fought and stayed on the table despite all the differences.
Now, all eyes are on the US, Australia and possibly China. US and Australia will no doubt come under heavy pressure to bend. China on the other hand, will enter the international environmental pact by 2010.
p/s – this week as I understand, the Arctics nations, the US included, met in Berlin, Germany to discuss the increase in temperature in the Arctics. Already, the US is being impossible and disagreeable.