Gaia's wrath, Doha's climate debacle

Opposite sides of the globe recently witnessed two unusual extreme weather events: Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the US northern East Coast, including New York City, and Typhoon Pablo (international name: Bopha), which traversed southern Mindanao.

Both have paths that radically diverged from the well-known storm highways in the tropics. This prompted many scientists and even UN officials to say that “extreme weather” is now the new normal.

Climate change, in its current form of global warming, is now upon us. The arctic, antarctic, and glacier ice fields are melting while the global average temperature is rising faster than ever.

Related story: Cash row threatens Doha climate talks

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a rise in mean sea level in 2100 anywhere from 8 inches to 6.6 feet.

There is the expectation that extreme weather—whether in the form of long-duration droughts, intense and/or flood-inducing hurricanes and typhoons, or brutal heat waves—is here to stay.

The debate on whether there is global warming, and even the one on whether mankind’s activities are the major culprit is largely over.

There is global warming and mankind’s reliance on fossil fuel is generally recognized as a major, if not the decisive, factor in this trend.

Also read: China demands timetable to $100 bln climate aid for developing world

The just-concluded United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the Qatari capital Doha has extended the Kyoto Protocol on limiting each country’s production of gases that contributes to global warming.

However, it also revealed the deep divide between the countries whose economic prosperity or development depend on fossil fuel-based energy sources, such as the United States, China, and India and the countries who face the brunt of the onslaught of global warming such as the European countries, the island states, and the African desert nations.

The tragedy of Kyoto was the intransigence of many countries which have the money or are the main contributors to carbon gas production to part with the funds to address global warming or to curb their production.

In other news: 100,000 e-tricycles to ply PH roads soon

The tragedy of Doha is that the positions since Kyoto have not substantially changed.

The all-too familiar news today of new tragedies and disasters—such as Typhoon Pablo—caused or induced by climate change, has led to an impassioned plea by the Filipino delegation head, Naderev Saño, to the Doha conference: “I appeal to all, please, no more delays, no more excuses. Please, let Doha be remembered as the place where we found the political will to turn things around. Please, let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to find the will to take responsibility for the future we want. I ask of all of us here, if not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?”

He said it all—the tragedy is the lack of political will of world leaders. If climate change results in humanity’s debacle on this planet, no one is to be blamed but them. Gaia, the mother earth, will have its wrath fulfilled.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting