Archive for December, 2005

A Report from Montreal

December 5th, 2005

Posted by: admin

Author: Marilyn Averill

Andy Revkin’s Dec. 4 article in the NYTimes presents a discouraging picture of the climate negotiations in Montreal. No country wants to take on the economic injuries expected to accompany a reduction in use of fossil fuels, making an effective international agreement on climate change difficult or impossible.

The Kyoto Protocol was intended to be a first step rather than an adequate response in coping with climate change. If nothing else, it has demonstrated the difficulties the countries of the world face in agreeing on and complying with standards for greenhouse gas emissions. Many are discouraged at the lack of will to continue the fight for voluntary international agreements.

But wait, there is hope! We can rely on science and technology to rescue us, as they have so often in the past! As Revkin says, the emphasis on technological solutions is growing. China is calling for development of carbon capture and storage methods while others emphasize the discovery of alternative energy sources. Many stress the value of nuclear energy, at least as an interim measure, although several environmental groups loudly oppose any nuclear talk, and clearly have done homework on the dangers of nuclear energy sources. Again, S&T is expected to save us from nuclear disaster by developing ways to reduce accident risks and to deal with nuclear waste issues, especially the dangers associated with reprocessing waste to produce weapons grade materials.