Thursday, 09 July 2009

UN's Ban Ki-moon Critical of G8 Emissions Targets

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Ban Ki-moonOn July 8, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized leaders of the Group of Eight industrial nations for failing to make more substantive commitments to reducing so-called greenhouse-gas emissions.

"The policies that they have stated so far are not enough, not sufficient enough," Ban told reporters gathered at the G-8 summit meeting in the earthquake-damaged city of L'Aquila, Italy. "This is the science. We must work according to the science. This is politically and morally imperative and a historic responsibility for the leaders for the future of humanity, even for the future of planet Earth."

"I sincerely hope and I urge, and I'm going to urge, that the leaders of G-8 are responsible to lead this campaign," Ban continued. "They should be able to provide financial support, technological support" so that developing countries can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The Group of Eight (or G-8) is comprised of Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, and the United States, but invitations had also been extended to the so-called G5 nations — Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and South Africa — as well as Egypt, a special invitee. Climate issues are a major topic for discussion at such forums and discussions held in Italy are geared to pave the way for the December climate conference, which plans to negotiate a new climate-control pact to replace the 1987 Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

According to AP, the G-8 statement issued on July 8 established a goal for the world's major economies to take "robust" reductions on their way to making 80 percent reductions in carbon emissions by 2050. A UN panel has alleged that global emissions must be reduced between 25 percent and 40 percent by 2020 to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels 150 years ago.

BBC News reported that the G8 leaders said "rich" nations should cut emissions by 80 percent by 2050, while the world overall should reduce them 50 percent by the same year.

However, the summit's host, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, stated that any such deal should be all-inclusive. "It would not be productive if European countries, Japan, the United States, and Canada accepted cuts that are economically damaging while more than five billion people in other countries carried on as before," he said.

A different viewpoint was expressed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who said developing countries wanted a "fair and balanced" negotiation with industrialized countries on curbing greenhouse gas emissions that takes into account poorer countries' need to grow, particularly during the economic downturn. "I say fair and balanced because it has to treat both the reduction of emissions and adaptation from climate change in the same way," said the Egyptian leader. Mubarak urged the G-8 leaders to support financing plans that will transfer low-emission technology to the developing world and to help them confront the impact of so-called global warming.

CBC News said the Secretary-General Ban called the G-8's plan on climate change unfair because it doesn't help developing countries to fully cut their own emissions. The Canadian network also quoted from Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who called this year's resolution a "much stronger statement" than last year's G-8 climate-change communique, while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called it "historic" and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was a "clear step forward."

Lost in these discussions, and in the reporting about them, is any willingness to listen to a large group of respected scientists and climate experts that global warming — if it exists at all — may be a natural phenomenon that threatens neither the Earth nor the creatures (including humans) that inhabit it. Furthermore, any increase in average global temperatures has not been demonstrated to be anthropologic: caused by human activities.

For that matter, an increase in global temperatures, from any causes, is uncertain. A report compiled by Roy Spencer, Ph.D., a climatologist and former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center states that data that he and colleague John Christy compiled from the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) flying on NASA's Aqua satellite indicates that average global temperatures have actually declined in recent years!

As award-winning NASA astronaut/geologist and moonwalker Jack Schmitt, who flew on the Apollo 17 mission and was formerly a member of the Norwegian Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey has stated: "The 'global warming scare' is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making."

Make that control over all human's lives, not just Americans.

It strikes this writer as somewhat arrogant that many human beings think they have the power to change the climate of the Earth, a body that dwarfs human beings by its immense mass and vastness. Yes, I have heard the theory about the flap of a butterfly's wings in the Brazilian rainforest setting off a tornado in Texas, but that's all it is — a far-fetched theory.

If we must reference stories, there is another one that better exposes the madness of the "sky is falling," global-warming doomsayers. It is about King Canute.

Canute had learned that his flattering courtiers claimed he was "so great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back." The wise king had his throne carried to the seashore and sat on it as the tide came in, commanding the waves to advance no further. Of course, the tide rolled in as usual.

His point made, King Canute stated a lesson for all the fools who believed that mortal men had the power to change the laws of nature, and of the God who made those laws: "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings. For there is none worthy of the name but God, whom heaven, earth, and sea obey."

Just like the tide, global temperatures have risen — and fallen — since the beginning of time. The world's leaders that gathered at the G-8 conference would do well to learn the moral found in this tale.

Photo: AP Images