The G7 and Political ineptitude

global Warming

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‘The G7 leading industrial nations have agreed on tough measures to cut greenhouse gases by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century’[1].

Is this really something that we, as a society, should be celebrating? We are talking about a political promise that will not even come into effect in the lifetimes of those who pledged it! Doesn’t this seem deeply flawed at its very heart? How many political pledges from the early 20th century can you remember? The time that lapsed saw two world wars, countless social and technological revolutions and the entrance into a whole new age of humanity.

I am by no means an environmentalist and worry less than I should about my carbon footprint. However, when all scientific research – which isn’t commissioned by ‘Big Oil’ – points to the need for us to act now! If we make pledges on the scale of lifetimes then surely they are not intended as pledges that we aim to follow.

I am not naïve enough to assume that world leaders actually honour promises but to make one on an immeasurable scale so that actual progress cannot really be measured seems utterly bonkers.

Furthermore, the move has been viewed as a positive one by many advocates of climate change. Are these people so beaten-down and jaded with political indifference and inaction that they need to hail this as a victory?

None of this is surprising to anyone with an interest in world politics; however, world leaders aptitude for hypocrisy is. Five of the G7 member countries have actually raised carbon emissions since vowing to cut them in 2009[2]. This I must admit does surprise me.

Do they realize that burying their heads in the sand will be counter-productive for survival when sea levels engulf the deserts?

I think – sadly – we have three options:

  1. Pick a deity and pray to them.
  2. Build a biblical arc.
  3. Hope that technology can somehow solve our political and social ineptitude.

I’m going with the last option myself…

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/08/g7-leaders-agree-phase-out-fossil-fuel-use-end-of-century

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/08/five-g7-nations-increased-their-coal-use-over-a-five-year-period-research-shows

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