By Cristian Frers
The Earth is suffering from fever and this is not a good sign. On the other hand, they say that climate changes are caused by humans.
The Earth is suffering from fever ... But there is hope
People's opinions are divided. At one extreme are those who consider that climate change is part of a great normal cycle of the planet. On the other hand, they assure that there is no doubt that climate changes are caused –directly or indirectly- by humans. The truth is that a large number of people refuse to accept it. Still less are they willing to consider that they have something to do with the matter. The simplest psychically and politically is to interpret what one would like to interpret, or else to kick the ball out of the field of play. These positions closely resemble those adopted by countries. Some take note and take charge (like Russia) and others (like the United States) prefer to delay their decisions, while making films with gigantic waves or ice ages that are only worrying in science fiction.
A mature opinion must be based on evidence; whether we are interested or not, favor or harm us. It cannot be based on optimism or pessimism, which are only projections of emotions. In the field of reason, we must reflect on some evidence such as:
-The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen to a level higher than it has been in the last hundreds of years.
-The eternal ice is no longer so: it is thawing.
-The world temperature increased to an average of 0.6 C above the records of the last centuries.
-The Arctic ice sheets have thinned between 15 and 40% in the last 30 years.
-The glaciers melt or recede.
-The oceans are warming and the coasts are eroding lighter.
-16% of the world's coral reefs have died or are dying.
-Baths, estuaries, lakes, lagoons and other wetlands shrink or dry out.
-The rains and the impact of the floods increase.
-Spring is coming. Plants bloom ahead of time and birds nest prematurely.
However, on February 16, 2005, the Kyoto Protocol was ratified, the world's most ambitious treaty in defense of the environment. With its validity, a new era will begin, based on a different economy, which together with a new and necessary ethical paradigm, constitutes sine qua non conditions for sustainable development.
This Protocol establishes legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, produced by developed nations. The objective is to reduce, between 2008 and 2012, an average of 5.2 percent of emissions into the atmosphere compared to 1990 levels of the six gases that generate the greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofruorocarbon, perfluorocarbon and sulfuric hexafluoride. Above all, in the Northern Hemisphere, where the developed countries are found - it does not oblige the countries of the Southern or underdeveloped hemisphere - each country, however, has a different quota.
Around 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide are emitted in the world per year. A figure that grows relentlessly due to the human lifestyle, based on the consumption of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal or gas.
Experts agree that practically any human activity is polluting: from the electricity used in homes, through the use of cars, air conditioning, heating, to the steel industry, oil refineries or cement.
Only the use of oil and other fossil fuels is responsible for 80% of carbon dioxide emissions, which acts as a reflective screen for the heat emitted from the earth and sent back to it.
Let's see what was signed: A certain acceptable level of pollution is allowed and a financial mechanism is established, carbon credits, by which those who pollute more can buy a part of the right to pollute those who pollute less.
The entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol is undoubtedly a very important but not decisive step in the difficult relationship of our societies with climate change.
The good news is that there is an international commitment to address climate change, reducing polluting emissions. This decision requires a high commitment from society as a whole: citizens, from the reception of adequate information, training and knowledge to contribute as much as possible, starting with changes in uses and consumption patterns; the business sector, in making decisions that lead to benefits based on social and environmental responsibility, and the public power, through the development and implementation of appropriate, while permanent policies and measures.
The downside is that no one is sure that a noticeable improvement will be achieved, and not even that many of the signatories will honor their commitments. It is already said that Canada will solve its problem in the financial market and not in the chimneys. The agreement enters into force without the participation of China and the United States of North America, two key pieces for any policy to reduce industrial gases.
French President Jacques Chirac urged developed countries to divide greenhouse gas emissions by four by 2050. At a panel discussion on climate change held at the Elysee Palace, Chirac said that, without waiting for 2012, he wants France to try to go beyond the Kyoto compromise. At the European level, he suggested that the rules against pollution from vehicles and air transport be strengthened. For the short term, the French president argued that the first objective of 2005 should be to make the United States re-engage in the international effort to fight climate change.
The United States - the world's largest polluter - continues to maintain that the Protocol is of no interest to its country due to the alleged damage that it will cause to the performance of its economy. President George W. Bush simply promised that he would support gas reductions solely through voluntary action and the development of new technologies.
Instead of asking ourselves whether or not we have to do, shouldn't we ask ourselves if something shouldn't be done? These are not projections, but actual events. Many of the aforementioned processes have already occurred on Earth. It is true. But throughout millenary geological times! Not in the span of a human life. And if they were indeed natural, would we sit idly by to see the Statue of Liberty covered in snow like in the movie "The Day After Tomorrow"?
The Earth is suffering from fever and this is not a good sign. Blame it all. Of human society, with its perversions, its irresponsibility, its corruption, its interests, its selfishness, its hypocrisy.
If the Earth is upset, increasingly angry, it is because of everyone. Every time we hurt him more. And when it's everyone's fault, it doesn't mean she's not anyone's in particular. It belongs to each one, according to their degree of responsibility.
We are very sick, and we do not realize it. Sick of pride, materialism, greed. But we can react. We can do an examination of conscience; enter into conversions with our deep being, with the elevated part that is within us and see if we can change, even in something. Before it is too late.
* Cristian Frers.
Senior Technician in Environmental Management and Senior Technician in Social Communication.