By Luis Sabini Fernández
What terrifies US politicians deep down is that it is true that there is a planetary phenomenon of global warming, and they could do something to address global warming, but that would mean an impressive cost to the country's industry. and for your life system.
Since decades ago some researchers presented the worrying hypothesis that there was a planetary phenomenon of anthropogenic global warming, described descriptively as the "greenhouse effect", the controversies about its existence have intensified.
With the passage of time, however, a growing consensus was formed on such a phenomenon, and when the world climate conference was held in Kyoto in 1997 practically all climatologists agreed on its existence. With one exception: the team of specialists representing the US denies that hypothesis.
With this comes the refusal of the United States to sign the very timid agreement proposed in Kyoto (based on the emissions registered in 1990, to reduce by 5% the emissions of gases that cause the greenhouse effect, in particular carbon dioxide, by 2012, which is one of the most abundant gases on the planet, a product of oxygen combustion). In fact, research presented at that meeting estimated that to successfully control the "greenhouse effect" it was necessary to face a reduction of 60% of such gases, not 5% ...
So far from 1997 to 2004, the agreement continued not to be implemented because the minimum agreed conditions were not met: that at least 55% of the countries that cover at least 55% of emissions, ratify it. The refusal of the US, which covers more than a third of global emissions, makes it difficult to reach these levels (it demands almost unanimity from the rest of the world), although the recent incorporation of Australia to the signatories augurs an imminent entry into force.
Despite the fact that what happened between 1997 and 2004 only confirms more and more the existence of striking climate changes: the US government, its successive administrations, have persisted in the same position, denying all human responsibility in any climate change of which are registering, such as the demolition of the Antarctic and Arctic ice barriers, the melting of snow caps on Kilimanjaro in the African heartland, for example, and other phenomena that most climatologists understand as disorders caused by warming man-made planetarium.
The Bush Jr. administration and previous presidencies have been particularly reluctant to assume any environmental responsibility on the part of the United States. So much so that between 1990 and 2004 they have not only not reduced them according to the agreement but have increased them by 11% (while the EU has reduced its own by 4%)
While the technicians who serve the US power strategy cling, curiously, in this case to the in dubbio pro reo, with which they claim that until there is conclusive evidence of human responsibility in climate change and upheaval One must assume the total irrelevance of human actions, concerned scientists and environmental organizations even in the US and practically all over the world, insist that the dimensions of human incidence on the planet (fuel burning, pollution chemical and increasingly biological, population increase, dismantling of forests, jungles, rivers, mountains) is such that it is necessary to act precautionary, and as soon as possible. The risk of catastrophe completely out of control is so, so great and over our only habitat (see "The space race", p. 32), that taking precautions seems the sensible thing. The question in any case is whether the timidity, the almost insignificance of the Kyoto agreements, could be enough to inflect the curves of the process.
"It's not true, it's not true! And we can't do anything about it! This is how Mickey Kaus sums up the White House's attitude to global warming. What terrifies US politicians deep down, is that yes, it is true that it exists, and they could do something to face global warming, but this would mean an impressive cost for the country's industry and for its way of life ", summarizes the journalist Matthew Engel in his" Road your ruin "( Guardian Weekly, London, 11/6/03).
One might wonder about the endorsements that the US government has to deny the anthropogenic nature of climate change. It goes without saying that man-made changes do not override those that occur "naturally"; Certainly, the planet experienced many radical climatic changes before man set foot on the ground (he descended from the trees as one of the strongest hypotheses he points out). The climatologist Osvaldo Canziani is categorical about the matter: "They have no scientific reason. The industrialists simply do not want to reduce their production." (cit. p. Martín de Ambrosio in "Kyoto, broken protocol", Buenos Aires, Futuro, Page 12, 11/24/04).
So far this year, like lightning in a serene sky, a Pentagon document on the issue has appeared. A military document of those who feel entitled to rule the world. But they have been alarmed in a crucial respect. Unlike the discussions in Kyoto in 1997 in which there was speculation about environmental disasters due to the accumulation of the greenhouse effect for several decades or centuries to come, the pentagonal report sharpens the terms dramatically: it restricts the deadlines even to less than a decade.
We never believed in prophecies and less on a fixed date, as the authors of the aforementioned "secret" report announce with more arrogance than intellectual wisdom. But the claim that England will experience a Siberian climate in 2020 is striking to say the least. And the announcements of catastrophes closer still in time for countries with low coasts as well. The authors: Peter Schwartz, consultant to the CIA and the Royal Dutch / Shell Group and Doug Randall, another businessman.
The truth is that the melting of the poles can turn the planet into a true hell: the hypothesis widely traced by climatologists that the invasion of arctic waters into the Atlantic could block the vital Gulf Stream, would paradoxically convert Europe, the Europe of the North, in a region with unbearable cold (we are talking about the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, and smaller islands, at least).
For their part, the torrid areas of the planet would become totally unlivable even for the humans who do live there today. The same is their crops and their livestock. Temperate crops, like those of so many cereals (wheat, rye, corn) would be wiped from the face of the Earth by tropicalization. The expansion of pathogenic species, especially in warm areas, would be overwhelming; Let's think of fungi (often poisonous), mites, insects, microorganisms.
The icing on the cake with this wagged report is that the White House hid it for several months, undoubtedly shaken by "the novelty." It was finally through a leak to the press, The Observer [British newspaper founded in the s. XVIII] that came to light. Let us remember that it bears the Pentagon's signature ... everything suggests that Bush Jr. has entered another short circuit ...
Randall, consulted after "the media explosion" said, for example, that "it is possibly too late to prevent a disaster from happening. We do not know exactly where we are. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for five years." (cit. The Observer, 2/22/04). Beyond the childishness so Hollywood that a process may begin tomorrow that the report considers to have begun, the observation also reveals the seriousness of the situation.
Willy Meyer, presenting in 1987 the excellent German documentary Klima im koma (in Nature and the Environment in Film and TV, Buenos Aires, Goethe Institute, 1990) said with precise poetic flight: "The Earth has a fever."
Only a blindness in the height of his egoism can get to profit from titles like that of Clarín Rural on February 28, 2004: "Climate change would benefit soybeans." (*)
"Meanwhile, all American consumers have been asked an environmental defense task: to buy Ben & Jerry ice cream, because they are assured that a percentage of the profits of their manufacturer Unilever will go to 'initiatives that have to do with the greenhouse effect'. "
"Oops, oops" ends Matthew Engel before such a formidable measure (op. Cit.).
(*) In its "foundation" the blindness granted by self-interest persists: "The higher concentration of carbon dioxide will increase yields." It is worth remembering an observation by the climatologist Osvaldo Canziani: soybean plantations endure much more temperature than cereal plantations (´if the wheat remains at more than 30º for more than eight hours it does not bear fruit´ :, cit. Martín de Ambrosio, " When the weather withers ", Future P12, 11/24/01). The soy neocolonialism of congratulations.
* Journalist, Futures editor, coordinator of the Ecology and Human Rights seminar of the Human Rights chair of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UBA.