Thursday, December 1, 2011

With climate change is already claiming human victims, the world must come to an agreement outside the UN conference in South Africa

UN Summit on Climate Change Annual decreased Durban, South Africa, this week, but not in time to avoid the tragic death of Qodeni Ximba. The 17-year-old was one of 10 people who died in Durban on Sunday, the night before the UN conference opened. Torrential rains hit the coastal city of 3.5 million. Seven hundred homes were destroyed by floods.

Ximba was sleeping when the concrete wall next to it collapsed. One woman tried to save a baby shaking a year whose parents had been crushed by his house. She could not, and the baby died, with both parents. This, more than 20,000 politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, scientists and activists went to what may be the last chance for the Kyoto Protocol.


the conference have prevented the death? A better question is, how could the massive flooding, which fell on the heels of other deadly storms this month, will be linked to climate change induced by man, and what is the Durban meeting on this subject? Durban has received twice the normal amount of rain for the month of November. Trends indicate that the extreme weather conditions will worsen.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a group with thousands of scientists who volunteer their time "to provide the world with a clear view on the current scientific knowledge on climate change. "The group won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Last week, the IPCC released a summary of its findings, clearly linking climate change to extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, hurricanes, heat waves and sea levels. The World Meteorological Organization has published a summary of its latest results, taking into account so far is 2011, the tenth warmest year history, the Arctic ice is at its lowest volume this year and that 13 of the warmest years on record have occurred in the last 15 years.

that takes us to Durban. This conference is the 17th of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, or just COP17. A signal achievement of the UN process to date is the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty provisions to limit emissions of greenhouse gas emissions. In 1997, when Kyoto was adopted, China has been regarded as a poor developing countries, and as such, had much less the Kyoto obligations. Now, the United States and others say that China should join rich countries, developed and comply with this set of rules. China refuses.

is one of the most important but by no means the only stumbling block for the renewal of the Kyoto Protocol. (Another problem is that the biggest polluter in the history of the world, the U.S. signed Kyoto, but not ratified by Congress.)
South African novelist Alan Paton wrote of apartheid in 1948, the first year of the system, anticipating a long struggle to turn around, "Cry, the Beloved Country, these things are not still in its the end. "The same determination is growing in the streets of Durban, to provide the leadership necessary to monitor, air conditioning, the site of the COP17.

. Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column

© 2011 Amy Goodman Distributed by King Features Syndicate

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