Tuesday, December 04, 2007



The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, recently presented to the Security Council the 4th Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was launched in Valencia, Spain, in early November. The Secretary General, in one of the strongest warnings given to world leaders in decades of dithering do-nothing and procrastination declared that the whole world was facing potentially catastrophic consequences before the end of this century with “abrupt and irreversible” climate changes unless urgent action was taken to curb greenhouse gases saturating the Earth’s atmosphere as a direct result of human activities on the planet. Secretary General Ban insisted that world leaders must make a serious effort to agree counter-acting measures at the Bali, Indonesia, conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which opened yesterday, 03 Nollaig/December 2007.

The Convention is supposed to agree a successor to the Kyoto Treaty but, intransigent reactionary politicians like Buckfush and his Australian conservative licka$$, John Howard, have been blocking international efforts at the UN and elsewhere to enforce tougher environmental laws in deference to the wishes of their big- business cronies. Fortunately, Howard was ousted from the Prime Minister’s office in Canberra at the November 24th Australian general election by Labour Party leader Kevin Rudd. Rudd is leading the Australian delegation to the Bali Conference and signed-up yesterday, as promised, to the Kyoto Treaty in a public snub to Washington and Buckfush. The despicable Buckfush regime is now isolated internationally as never before on this issue.The tide is turning against the reactionaries as the world-wide public awareness and alarm at the consequences of irreversible climate change grows.

This year alone we had Tornados in Clonakilty and the Irish Sea, Beauty Queens of Leenane running for their lives as their river bridge was swept away by a raging torrent. Monsoon in Britain with major flooding disaster areas for weeks during the summer months and a new sweep of mini-tornados in September. 40,000 homes, mostly in England were damaged by floods and the estimated costs arising are declared to be £41 Billion by the British Government. Is there a pattern to this and is it connected to the phenomenon of “Global Warming”? As the vast majority of the world’s physical scientists say yes, an intransigent group of political leaders are trying to downplay what is now being declared a serious crisis by the United Nations.

The IPCC’s report evidences that 11 of the past 12 years were the warmest recorded since accurate recording began over 150 years ago. The tropical rain-belt has extended North and South in a much shorter time than previously predicted.

The Arctic ice-cap (which floats on the sea), continues to melt at an accelerating rate causing increased sea levels everywhere. Ice reflects sunlight, reducing the surface temperatures in the vicinity. More ice-free ocean absorbs sunlight speeding up the melting process. Warmer water, being less dense, floats on top of colder water. Extending this southward from the Arctic could possibly block or even eliminate the Gulf Stream which gives Ireland its milder winters compared to Labrador, in Canada, which is at the same latitude as us.

Warming the Northern hemisphere results in melting in the vast perma-frost areas of Russia and Canada leading to the release of vast quantities of methane gas from rotting vegetation. Methane is a so-called “greenhouse” gas and a major contributor to global warming. The vicious circle is perilously near to closing and, sooner rather than later, if we, as a species, don’t take immediate remedial action, we will be unable to stop it with disastrous consequences for human life on this planet.

The Irish Government’s piddling efforts on this issue are a disgrace. Buying “carbon credits” instead of tackling the waste problem at its most acute; industrial landfill; not household bin collections. Spending 80% more on private vehicle facilitation than on public transport. Spending vast sums on road-building contacts and begrudging, procrastinating efforts on railways. Penalising householders for the existence of unwanted packaging produced by commercial enterprises instead of taxing the actual producers of this waste. Fearing to tackle the motoring lobby on fuel-guzzling 4-wheel drive SUVs.

Even with Green Party Ministers in Cabinet, they have been so compromised that little effort can be expected from them. The Government will be pre-occupied with Bertie's troubles for months to come further distracting ministers from doing their jobs.

FearFeasa Mac Léinn

Áth Cliath/Dublin, 04 NOLLAIG /DECEMBER 2007.

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