Thursday, November 26, 2009

this world

On the day when the US President “vowed greenhouse gas emissions cuts” (beginning with a 17% cut by 2020, based on 2005 emissions, to a 83% cut by 2050), I watched an excellent “This World” programme on BBC2 last night (entitled “Can Obama Save the Planet?”)(you can watch it on BBC iPlayer). As the world’s biggest per capita polluter, the US must surely take a moral responsibility to take the lead in securing a “strong and fair agreement” in Copenhagen. The programme proved to be both fascinating and enlightening. For example, on the plus side, did you know (largely thanks to good old George W)(blimey!) that Texas produced the most wind electricity in the world? or that California has incredibly high electricity costs, but people actually have very low electricity bills (through impressive energy management schemes)? On the other hand, there do seem to be an awful lot of lobbyists around in the US (eg. acting on behalf of the huge - and influential - “Clean Coal” industry). My emotions fluctuated wildly during the course of the programme – hugely encouraging, illuminating, worrying and, ultimately, quite depressing. Whilst there are some amazing, talented green campaigners over there, there also seem to be an awful lot of heads buried in the sand!
Coincidentally, yesterday also saw the White House confirming that Obama would indeed be attending the Copenhagen climate talks next month. Whilst this is very good news, it seems he’ll only be there for the early stages and won’t be around for the crucial final days of the talks (he’s picking up his Nobel Peace Prize while he’s in Europe!). This all sounds reasonably positive but, of course, it all rather depends on Congress passing the necessary legislation in the early part of 2010!
Photo: Justin Rowlatt from the BBC’s “This World” programme - really engaging, amusing and impressive presenter.

No comments: