The apocalyptic revelation in the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) about the cataclysmic alteration that is occurring in the earth’s climate, and about the fact that the most important contributor to this change is the human being, ideally should have been an eye-opener for the civilised world. Yet, far from that, even a layman can predict that something is terribly wrong with the climate. Increased thunderstorms, iceberg melting, flash floods in Indonesia, prolonged winter in otherwise warm regions, and temperature above 20 degree Celsius in New York in January are not just natural affairs.
The release of the IPCC report, however, was greeted by a world that remains disjointed as ever. The US, as the emitter of almost 36% of greenhouse gases (GHGs), remains as a non-signatory to the Kyoto Protocol (for reduction of GHG gases 5.1% below the 1990 level). The system of ‘carbon credits’ have ensured that the rest of the prime polluters get away from the sin of pollution by virtue of their financial muscle. Curiously, the First World was quick to ban the Ozone depleting substances when Ozone holes over their countries was confirmed as causing skin cancer to their citizens. But, when it comes to other facets of global warming, developed countries including the US hide behind phoney arguments.
The prime excuse – that efforts to reduce carbon emissions would hamper their development and that China and India should share the burden – is nothin but hypocrisy of the highest order.