The Kyoto Protocol on climate change

AS IT APPEARS - Lorenzo Paradiang Jr. -

The Kyoto Protocol signed by big United Nations in 1997 drew a roadmap to alleviate climate change. But the ensuing natural events for over a decade now rendered the initial big bang into a whispering whimper.

Firstly, the U.S.A. as then Number 1 carbon dioxide emitter opted to stay out from the Kyoto Protocol. Secondly, China that is now the leading country in CO emission is developing its industrial hegemony without any concern for its hugely CO-emitting factories, aggravating the destruction of the ozone layer. Thirdly, the Kyoto Protocol-committed countries have sadly failed to meet the limitations or curbs in their CO emissions.

For instance, Canada as original signatory is now quitting the Kyoto Protocol, alleging that “cutting carbon emissions was preventing the world from effectively tackling climate change.” Under the agreement, Canada committed to reduce its CO emissions to 6.0 percent below the 1990 levels by 2012, but its gas emissions are sharply increasing the fragile climate system. In short, like other signatories, Canada has failed to meet the 6.0 percent reduction.

Thus, Canada is quitting “to avoid paying penalties of up to $13.6 B for missing its targets. Its Environment Officer Peter Kent decries that “to meet the targets… would be the equivalent of either removing every car, truck, ATV, tractors, ambulance, police car, and vehicle of every kind from Canadian roads, or closing down the entire farming and agricultural sector and cutting down heat to every home, office, hospital, factory, and building in Canada.”

Meantime, Canada, on its own, continues to reduce emissions curb from 2006 levels by 2020. Other united countries lately agreed in South Africa on a modified roadmap, “that will bring all major greenhouse emitters under a single roof.” However, environment experts called it “porous.”

And so, what NOW? NOW is a continuing grim history of Nature’s wrath. Japan is still recovering from the triple whammies hitting three prefectures with earthquake, tsunami, and destruction of its nuclear facilities… Several mid-states of U.S.A. are razed to the ground by hurricanes and tornadoes, while the eastern seaboard is always under destructive threats of natural disturbances… Thailand is groggy from months of flooding resulting from the typhoons ravaging the inundated Central Luzon… Northern Mindanao is still reeling from the downpours of “Sendong”… Coastline countries face imminent dread of rising sea level, such that, the Dutch have poured filling materials equal to 200 football fields because of rising sea level.

 Mountains of icebergs in Antarctica, say, that 100 kilometers long gigantic iceberg and others, are thawing fast. Voluminous melted ice goes to the Pacific Ocean where its warm air and water mixes with the cold melted ice water breeds the 20 typhoons annually ravaging the Philippines.

So far, few barangay LGUs have material recovery facilities (MRF) for solid waste disposal. Altogether, the LGU programs to combat global warming are literally a mote in the eye. Factory smoke-stacks spew heavy black smoke, and the overall disaster risk reduction measures lip service, are but minuscule in significance. Meantime, unusual rains are getting heavy and heavier that go with the cliché: “when it rains, it pours.”

The national leadership just gives out repeated bans against illegal uncontrolled logging which are more honored in the breach than in actual observance and compliance. Ergo, watersheds and forest covers are denuded, again, breeding floods and destructions.

(P.S. The bereaved family of the late Atty. Pompio A. Paradiang, who will be interred on January 5, is thanking all those who condoled with them, and for their prayers, sympathetic gestures and tokens of graces and spiritual solace.)

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