Saturday, June 13, 2009

When you owe a country $1 trillion, they can pollute as they wish

The U.S. is not significantly pressuring China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What a shocker, pollute away. According to The Guardian, we are merely asking China to improve standards that would help to slow climate change, but not prove any real outcomes.

From The Guardian:

The US said today it would not demand that China commits to binding cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions, marking an important step towards agreement on a global treaty to fight climate change.


Jonathan Pershing, head of the US ­delegation in Bonn, said developing countries – seeking to grow their economies and alleviate poverty – would instead be asked to commit to other actions. These include increasing energy efficiency standards and improving the take-up of renewable energy, but would not deliver specific reductions.

We shouldn’t be too surprised since (1) the U.S. and China are the two biggest impact players that pollute the world, and (2) China can basically bully the U.S. around when it comes to international policies due to the colossal amount of money we’re indebted to them. Zachary Hubbard asked back in Feb 09, “Is America becoming a Chinese puppet state?” Apparently so.

Between 2001 and 2008, the U.S. increased its military expenditures by 112%. Last year, the U.S. spent $711 billion on the military. This amount comprised 48% of the entire world’s military spending. Gee, no wonder we’re so heavily in debt.

Out of control military spending, climate change, the national debt, inconsistent international relations…they’re all interconnected. And as for pollution and climate change, if
an increase in natural disasters and mass population shifts don't affect developed countries significantly in this generation (and that's a big "if"), I doubt if the next generation will be so lucky.

(Photo courtesy of The Guardian)

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