Gore goes full bore
Don't Cook the Climate - a polar bear sends a vital message to delegates of the UN Climate Change conference in Bali, Indonesia. (C) Greenpeace/Rante 2007
Addressing a packed side event at the Bali climate conference,
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore, urged delegates to raise their
level of ambition, saying that, "The maximum now considered
possible is the minimum and falls far short of what we need."
He tore into the United States for the blocking role the Bush
Administration is playing in Bali.
Gore reminded delegates, jaded by nearly two weeks of wrangling
with text, that change will come. And in a reference to how the
recent Australian election had overturned that government's stance
on the current Kyoto Protocol and with an eye to next year's US
Presidential election he said, "Over the next two years, the United
States is going to be somewhere it isn't right now."
But Bali is now. Gore urged delegates to negotiate around the US
- the "elephant in the room" as he called it - and reminded his
audience that they have in their hands "the destiny of all
generations to come."
In a speech laden with quotable quotes, his final reference was
to the ingredient that has so far been lacking in Bali, namely
political will. Gore says political will is a "renewable resource".
That's right: if you don't use it, you lose it.
Europe finally showing some grit
Hours before Gore spoke, France's Environment Minister
Jean-Louis Borloo threatened to withdraw from hosting a meeting of
the Major Emitters - a process for 'doing whatever takes your
fancy' on climate - which the US has set up to try and supplant
Kyoto. In a heated meeting with Paula Dobriansky, head of the US
delegation, Borloo said they could all forget a trip to Paris
unless the US came to the table with a Kyoto-style proposal with
binding commitments to cut global warming pollution.
Portugal, which currently occupies the revolving Presidency of
the European Union, rammed home the same message during a press
‘Advance Australia Fair’?
Australia is ratifying Kyoto. So why is it still one of the Bali
bad guys opposing real action to cut emissions? An opinion poll we
commissioned shows overwhelming support among Australians for Kevin
Rudd, the new Aussie premier, to go further in the next three years
by cutting the country's greenhouse gas emissions and phasing out
electricity generation from coal-fired power stations.
The survey, conducted by Newspoll, found that 86 percent of
Australians want Rudd to put in place new policies to cut
Mr. Rudd, it looks like you have a mandate!
2007 is seventh warmest year
Data also released today by the UK's Hadley Centre and the
University of East Anglia shows that 2007 confirms the warming
trend, confirming the need for swift action. Globally, 2007 has
been the seventh warmest year since 1850, despite the moderating
effect of 2007's La Nina event.
The Centre's head of climate prediction said the data confirms
"the need for swift action to combat further rises in global
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