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Cool the Planet!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On the opening of the Nairobi conference, a few interesting shots from the last hours of the first day.

Maybe the delegates to the UN meet anticipated the amount of hard work that lay ahead, which is essentially two weeks of slogging through difficult and oftentimes tense negotiations. But goodwill advanced can always be goodwill collected later on, and perhaps this is why most everyone under the big Kenyan tent on the first night of the gathering invested their personal and political concerns with a few hundred shakes and jigs. It also helps to dance away bad vibes -- there's always plenty lurking around in conferences like this, peddling scam climate solutions, such as "clean coal" and nukes.

In this UN-sponsored climate conference, most everyone looks proper and the language used is hyper-polite and framed by the formalities of diplomacy, and yet many know that beneath this veneer of civility lies the fact that failure to successfully negotiate results that can prevent the onset of dangerous climate change will likely consign countless lives to misery, suffering and death.

The time for talk is long over. It's time to act.

High spirits are present here in the Nairobi negotiations, but so are vile ones, such as the government representatives of the US, Australia and Saudi Arabia, each of whom are out to derail any outcome that may result in long-term climate protection just so that they can protect the massive, short-term financial interests of the greedy few. The battle lines are drawn and the bad guys are counting on the good guys -- which also means you, dear reader -- to stay indifferent and to stay away from the fight. Which of course is a really bad idea.

"Normal is normal no more," said a woman poet from Kenya who opened the Nairobi climate meeting with verses beseeching delegates to act with urgency. One day and soon, said the poet, we may just realize together that "Our planet is the indisputable landlord" and that we should not seem "so determined to court our own eviction."

Such wise words.

Distinguished delegates of the planet, the future is our canvas, and it's time to paint our own painting. It's time to make our own future.

posted by Redster @ 4:41 AM,


At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

-- would love to hear about new moves from China, if any

here is some move from earlier this year, ... mourning..

The Chinese government is planning to establish five to seven major coal producers over the next five years.

Each of the giants will have an output capacity of 100 million tons of coal annually under the proposals in the country's 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010).

The restructuring policies for the coal industry worked out by the National Development and Reform Commission allow for mergers, renovation and regrouping of small mines.

By 2010, China's coal output capacity is expected to hit 2.45 billion tons, up 16 percent from 2005, to realize the goal of an overall balance of supply and demand. Last year, China's coal output stood at 2.26 billion tons.

By 2010, the output of large and medium-sized coal mines should account for 75 percent of the country's total, compared with the current 56 percent.

Meanwhile, mechanization should be completed in 95 percent of large and 80 percent of medium-sized mines, compared to 30 percent of small mines.

Industrial safety and environmental protection are also key targets in the industry's restructuring.

The government aims to cut the ratio of fatalities to every one million tons of coal produced to fewer than 1.6 deaths by 2010 from 2.81 deaths in 2005.

Last year, 5,938 people were killed in 3,341 coal-mine related accidents.

The government has intensified its crackdown on small and illegally operated coal mines this year.

Still mourning, ...

-- Max Hima


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