February 16 – Kyoto Protocol Day

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On this date in 2005, the Kyoto Protocol officially commenced. An international scheme that set participating countries binding goals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5% of the 1990 levels by 2012. A total of 37 industrialised countries participated, and now in 2013, the protocol is continuing, though slightly changed. Countries now aim to reduce their emissions by at least 18% of the 1990 levels by 2020. Australia, I’m happy to report, is one of these countries. 

While there does exist heavy criticism for the Kyoto Protocol – “Pro-business people say it is harmful to business and the world economys. Environmentalists say it will do little to arrest global warming and more radical solutions are need to make a significant change. By some calculations even if the United States signed the protocol, the effects would only be to delay warming by six years as of 2100”. http://factsanddetails.com/world.php?itemid=2099&subcatid=328 

To the people who say trying to hard to save the environment will destroy the economy – it’s all very well and good to have a strong economy…but without a world for those rich people to live on, you’ve accomplished very little. 

Radical measures do need to be taken, true, but we can all take little measures of our own at home. It’s corny and overused, but true, we can all make a difference. Even if that difference is getting up from your computer now and turning off all lights and appliances you aren’t using right now (putting them on standby isn’t good enough – turn that thing right off at the wall). You help save the world and your electricity bill magically decreases.

Even if global warming turns out to be a huge scientific embarrassment by being totally out of our control, it doesn’t hurt to try and help. After all, the contributors to global warming often all contribute to other environmental problems. Yes, we’re burning fossil fuels by driving our cars. We’re also creating more roads with growing population and taking up more space, consuming more metal to make more cars etc. If we eat less meat not only will be reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farting livestock (no seriously, this is actually a huge problem) but we will also be destroying less of the natural environment to the creation of farms. Air pollution is a very real health hazard, regardless of whether global warming is real or not. Even if you don’t believe what science currently advocates, you don’t really have an excuse to keep every electrical appliance you own running more often than an olympic athlete. 

~ Darcie rae 

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source: http://factsanddetails.com/world.php?itemid=2099&subcatid=328 

Info-links
UN on kyoto protocol
http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php 

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