Not-going-to-take-any-steps In My BackYard unless everyone (meaning especially that other big polluter, China, and the potentially big polluter, India) does the same.
The tussle in the diplomatic halls revolves around two things:
China and India are arguing for legally binding commitments by the developed nations, but lesser commitments by developing nations, and they put themselves in this category.
The West has argued that everyone must agree to a total cap on global emissions of greenhouse gases, which the developing nations have resisted:
Developing countries have repeatedly resisted calls for a global cap on emissions, because they deduce - accurately - that it implies a cap on their collective emissions: total cut minus industrialised countries' cuts equals their cuts.
In our view, these disputes will not be resolved because no one nation believes that it has to agree to anything that is not in its best interests.
The Need for Pressure
The second course – individual nations reducing their own emissions without any global agreement to do so – is more likely, and will only come about due to pressure within such nations for their leaders to do so.
Such pressure will come from each such nation's citizens, exerting upwards pressure at local, state and federal level.
In both cases, the dialogue of the deaf has to be changed so that people start talking about what principles should be applied to the resolution, rather than simply repeating their positions. Getting to Yes in this case means principle-based negotiations, rather than position-based ones.
In Obelisk Seven we have Nick Kangles, the hero, raise these issues in the international television show on global warming that he is using as his personal vehicle to raise awareness of the threat of global warming.
He does it partly by introducing a segment in the show which he calls playing the game of Is it Fair?
- Is it fair that the people who will be most harmed by global warming did very little to cause it?
- Is it fair that the poorest will pay the highest price for global warming?
- Is it fair that everyone should bear the burden of reducing emissions, rather than those who pumped out most of the greenhouse gases paying a higher price?
- Is it fair that the developed nations have decided to allocate most of the global atmospheric commons to their corporations to pollute, instead of first agreeing that the air of the earth belongs equally to all humans, not mostly to those in the northern part of the earth?
- Is it fair not to take steps to reduce emissions, if this failure to act has a good chance of harming future generations?
Some guiding facts
And any discussion of who has to do what to reduce global warming must also consider these guiding facts:
- Fact one is that the developed countries have pumped out most of the carbon dioxide which is still in our atmosphere, from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution until today.
- Fact two is that those who will be harmed by global warming live all over the world, not just in the south.
- Fact three is that those who will be harmed the most, did relatively less to cause the rise in emissions.
- Fact four is that there will be a change in the near future, with China and India pumping out more greenhouse gases than most countries, if they continue to expand as they have been for the past twenty years or so.