The Kyoto Protocol, signed about a year ago, (with Russia finally on board) is a fake. It misleads the citizens of the world into believing that some sort of progress is being made towards curbing CO2 emissions. It misleads people into believing that the causes of climate change are being taken seriously. They are not. The governments of the United States, India and China are not on board. They probably never will be. They are pitched instead in a race for economic supremacy that will continue throughout the 21st century. The US doesn't want to lose its top slot; China wants to win it and India does not want to miss out. To enter into this race they are going to need energy resources and plenty of them. As a result they (and many other countries) are becoming increasingly ambitious and some might say, increasingly reckless, in their pursuit of energy resources such as oil and gas.
Lets look at China who thinks nothing of dealing with countries such as Sudan in the pursuit of oil deposits. Their latest drive is out west, not just within China but, also beyond its borders. They are doing deals with a number of Central Asian countries. They are building pipelines that will carry much needed gas back into Chinese cities, factories and power stations. Within China, whole towns are turning into cities almost overnight on the back on oil exploration. China is now the second largest user of oil after the United States. For further background on China's energy sector see http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/china.html .
The race for oil is getting so intense that even oil shale is being talked about in the United States again; see http://www.energybulletin.net/11779.html . In another development India and China have recently become oil bidding partners. In December they acquired PetroCanada's Syrian oil and natural gas assets.
The point here is that government officials and business people are tied up with their strategic energy resource maneuverings. For their countries to stay ahead economically they need to secure their energy needs. Is the Kyoto Protocol on their radar? I doubt it. It should be, even if it is for nothing less than the incentives it gives to become more energy efficient. However, as history has shown, the rush west 200 years ago within the USA was unstoppable. Business, migration and population drove it. Now China has its Wild, Wild West. It too is unstoppable and for the very same reasons. Kyoto, noble as it is, is dead in the water.
There is an increasing amount of news out there, fed to us 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, less and less is 'investigative' journalism looking into the deeper reasons behind why things are happening. At The Coffee House we pick out some of the more controversial news stories for debate. Politics, economics, development and environment are our main focus. Grab a coffee (or tea!) and join us. Just don't be shy!
Friday, February 03, 2006