Two of my favourite subjects here – the fascinating global warming debate and India’s bollywood style negotiation script. Hopenhagen is around the corner and will make Kyoto passe. We love being underdogs because like our movies, the hero comes from behind in a good-over-evil victory lap while the crowd applauds his heroic antics.
Two wrongs don’t make a right, and I fully intend the pun.
US spews Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere when India sleeps. [Pat on back .. I'm getting good at puns]Now India wants America to pay for their long and sinful polluting behaviour. And guess what, if they don’t, we’ll have an equal right to kill the planet first so we’re even. That’s the craziest example of serving our self interests I’ve come across. It’s almost like saying that since I just found out that my neighbour has been raping my mother for 20 years, the way to punish him is by killing my own mother.
So what was Jairam Ramesh, India’s Minister of State for Environment suggesting to Manmohan Singh?
[India must] delink itself from G77 — the 131-member bloc of developing nations — and take on greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments under a new deal without any counter guarantee of finances and technology.
Read the whole story here.
To further quote from India Insights [India's principled stance on the environment misses the point]
Industrialised nations exported pollution to under developed countries, a luxury that India does not have, if pollution is to be caused it will be at home.In addition, given India’s important but unpredictable monsoons, shifts to the world’s climate will be felt directly, India’s crucial Himalayan glaciers are already under threat. India is more vulnerable than other countries, and remember climate change has been a catalyst for political unrest, and in cases war, consider Darfur.
So while developed nations need to act responsibly, India needs to engage with the process. Stability and long term economic development may depend on it.
Silo-based + self-serving + political narrowmindedness … you have the surest formula for creating an earth after humans. Add to that the mathematical models that led us to believe Nobel economists which led to the current financial black hole.
1. With just over 300 million people US continues to lead the charge in polluting the earth’s air and water. If India were to expect negotiation leverage based on per capita quota for pollution, we’d have a right to do a minimum of 3 times the damage the US has already caused. Let’s go for it guys!
2. Granted India to balance its spending between development and environment protection, but shouldn’t the development agenda include a prerequisite – sustainability?
The call I make is for a holistic and non-confrontational approach to negotiations. This is NOT a bid winning a contract. It must be our collective bid to SAVE OUR PLANET. [See what I meant by getting good at puns?]
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