left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

Humans already 44% doomed but does anyone care?

Updated: 2015-01-23 08:05
By OP Rana (China Daily)

Environmentalists blame Lake Baikal's problem on climate change and overuse by the local industry. Lake Baikal, which contains about one-fifth of the Earth's freshwater, has been a bone of contention between big industry and local populations. And there is no indication that big industry is going to back down from its stand of exploiting its waters to generate hydroelectric power and feed plants such as those producing aluminum and other industrial metals. If the march of big industry toward more profits is not halted, there is little from preventing Lake Baikal from going the Aral Sea way. The environment and ecology be damned.

But such is the hatred of any scientific study on the effects of climate change those who seem to benefit from or have been led astray by big business that even a potential move by Pope Francis to urge action against global warming has infuriated even Catholic conservatives in the United States. The news of the Pope drafting an encyclical on the environment and global warming has prompted several conservative US commentators to preemptively attack the Vatican document traditionally used for the most important papal teachings.

Pope Francis wants to issue the encyclical in June or July so that it gets enough time to be absorbed before the UN climate change conference in Paris in November and leads to concrete action, especially because the last climate talks in Lima failed to reach an agreement. But big business sees the move as a threat to their modus operandi, and hence the opposition.

And why not? By 2016, the richest 1 percent of the global population will own more than half the world's wealth and they don't want anyone, even if he is the pope, to prevent that from happening. Oxfam International, which released the report as the World Economic Forum began in Davos, said, "rising inequality is holding back the fight against global poverty" as the world's biggest companies lobby the US and the European Union "for beneficial tax changes at a time when average taxpayers are still paying the bill for the global financial crisis".

And the wider the gap between the richest and the rest gets, the more difficult it will become to take concerted action against climate change.

The author is a senior editor with China Daily.


Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

  • Group a building block for Africa

    An unusually heavy downpour hit Durban for two days before the BRICS summit's debut on African soil, but interest for a better platform for emerging markets were still sparked at the summit.