Raton Tata, chief executive officer of his company was driving one day when he noticed an indian family clustered on a motor bike in the rain. The incident sparked a dream in the mind of Tata. “It led me to wonder,” he reflected, “whether one could c onceive of a safe, affordable all-weather form of transportation for such a family.” Well, Tata Motors has translated a dream into a reality. It unveiled in New Dehli, the Tata, a car that wiil only coast about $2500 and will revolutionize life on planet Earth. It is a modern version of the Ford Model T car that made millions of Americans able to purchase a vehicle. However, the 200 million middle class people of India will now have an opportunity to pollute the world on an equal basis with other developed nations.
The Tata may be the equvalent of an atomic bomb exploding in the world. CO2 emissions will sky rocket as millions of middle class Indians, and then other Asians, get access to cars. This is a disaster in the making and the world must address this new issue. As people in India get off their motor scooters, they are getting on the vehicle to their own planetary destruction. And, the West has nothing to say other than, don’t be as stupid as we have been for a hundred years.
An American power company with close financial ties to the Bush administration has ben named as one of the world’s highest producers of global warming pollution. Power plants now emit 40% of United States greenhouse gas and 25% of the world’s. Southern Company executives have given lavishly to Bush presidential campaigns and since 1990 bestowed $6.2 million on their favorite Republican candidates. A single Southern Company plant in Juliette, Georgia, already emits more carbon dioxide annually than Brazil’s entire power sector! lIt is the sixth worst pollution plant in the entire world. Southern is feared by many politicians in Washington D.C. because of its large lobbyist staff and the money given for political campaigns. Haley Barbour, a noted Southern lobbyist reportedly told George Bush after his electoral victory, “Hey, Mr. President, we didn’t elect you to have high energy costs.” After serving in the Bush administration, Barbour went on to become governor of Mississippi.
At present, US electricity companies pour 2.8 billion tons of CO2 each year into the atmosphere and lead the world, but there is good news on the horizon– China now emits 2.7 billion and is certain to overcome the United States in this category of being the world’s worst polluter.
Posted in Conservatives, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Human Rights, Politics, Republicans, United States, World News
Tagged Bush, greenhouse gas, Haley Barbour, pollution, Southern Company
A revolution in urban transportation is bringing joy to the thousands of Parisian commuters and tourists due to an innovative idea in using bikes as the mode of getting around France’s major city. It began on July 15 of this year due to an innovative idea by JCDecaux, the world’s second largest outdoor advertising company which came up with the idea of establishing 750 computer-aided bike sites(soon to be doubled to 1,460) all over Paris which allow people to rent a bike in order to go from one place to another. At present there are about 20,000 bikes which, on the average, are each used about 10 times a day. Tourists now have an inexpensive mode of travel to wander around Paris and enjoy fresh air as they zoom from place to place. Commuters can get to business appointments without spending sums on taxis. Each bike rents for $1.45 a day or $7.50 a week or $44 a year. There are reports London, Chicago, Moscow and other major cities throughout the world are investigating the possibility of establishing such systems of travel.
This is a wonderful example of creative thinking which can deal with pollution issues without spending enormous sums of money. Hopefully, small personal electric cars can become a new model of urban transportation and end the massive flow of automobiles into major cities throughout the world.
Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Environment Minister, blasted the American do nothing attitude as a major impediment to obtaining world wide cooperation in the fight to achieve a reduction in pollution. Germany played a major role in securing European Union approval for a 20% reduction in emissions and there is a clause that might up that figure to 30% if major industrial corporations give complete support to the campaign. But, where are the Americans when it comes to environment control? Gabriel believes it is time to confront the United States, “the challenge remains that of convincing the Americans that they have a responsibility also for their citizens who suffer from climate change. Look at the hurricane in New Orleans.” He is concerned that America’s negligence toward climate issues merely encourages developing nations to shirk their own efforts in controlling pollution.
China and India are rapidly expanding their economies and both nations are entering production of automobiles. They have a combined population of about 2 billion people. What if their economic growth results in an additional 200 million cars on the roads? America appears to be blind to the enormous pollution problems of the future unless action is taken today.
Posted in Emerging Issues in the World, Germany, Politics, United States, World News
Tagged America, China, developing nations, EU, Germany, India, pollution
There is growing concern among Olympic officials at the possibility pollution in Beijing may be a factor in Olympic competitions. The extensive coal mining boom in China which is stimulating industrial production has also added considerably to pollution in the nation. Beijing lies in a valley surrounded by mountain ranges which make for difficulty in dispersing pollutants. Khalid Mailk, UN representative in Beijing noted: “You have to bear in mind this is the first time the Olympics are being held in a developing country.” Although China has spent at least $16 billion in preparation for the Olympics attempting to deal with environmental concerns, the presence of adverse pollutants may be a factor in the competitions.
The opening paragraph by Leonard Dolye of an article appearing in The Independent expresses European cynicism of George Bush’s attitude toward greenhouse emissions. “For the first time in 16 years a major environment conference opens in Washington hosted by the Bush administration. But no concrete results are expected, and that-say European participants- is the point of this high-level meeting.” Britain is not sending any high level diplomat to waste his/her time at a meeting called by the world’s worst polluter to undermine UN efforts at protecting the environment. It is politics as usual for Bush who is against the Kyoto agreement, against controls over emissions, and standing fast in protection of a status quo which urges polluters to continue their efforts to increase pollution.
This meeting is undoubtedly a Bush attempt to prove to the world he is “for the environment.” The president is a master at using words of the opposition to prove he is for policies he opposes.
A team of researchers led by Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen discovered that biofuels emit up to 70% more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. They calculated emissions released by the growth or burning of such crops as maize and sugar cane to produce biofuels releases twice as much nitrous oxide(N20) as previously thought. They estimate 3%-5% of nitrogen in fertilizer is converted and emitted rather than previously thought 2%. Professor Keith Smith of the University of Edinburgh commented: “One wants rational decisions rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon because superficially something appears to reduce emissions.”There is also the factor as corn is turned into fuel prices rise causing poor people to suffer. We have to continue investigating ways to reduce greenhouse emissions without using biofuels.