G8 Summit: A Disappointing Disaster or Smashing Success?

In a time when we are drowning in an ocean of environmental crisis, you would think our world leaders would be able to do a bit more than just give the issues lip-service.
The three-day G8 summit in Japan, with a record 22 nations participating, ended yesterday, with too much fluffy, evasive and idealistic talk and not enough balls-to-the-wall action.
Much like a flighty boyfriend, the world leaders failed to commit. Although developing and developed nations alike agreed that “deep cuts” were needed, they never agreed on setting specific targets. I nstead, they concluded that the reduction in greenhouse gases should take place according to the means of each country. Vague much?
True, they did commit to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But the leaders failed to agree on a base year with which to compare emission levels. In essence, they’re going to try to lower emissions levels — but with no tangible standards or base comparisons, this undefined action is a muddled exercise with good intentions. Some took this as evidence that big-boy polluters, aka China and India, were still not willing to commit themselves to internationally agreed cuts.
The Environmental Group WWF criticized the 2050 goal, citing the fact that many scientists say bigger cuts are needed to combat climate change. The nations also acknowledged that rising food and oil prices were an issue, but neglected to create any actionable means to help the problem. Awesome.
Our clueless leader, good ol’ GW, who was (fortunately!) attending his final G8 as US president said “(We had) a lot of meetings on important subjects, and we accomplished a lot.”
But someone clearly more than a few dozen IQ points above him, Greenpeace executive director John Sauven, saw it differently, “The G8 leaders have failed the world again. We needed tough targets for the richest countries to slash emissions in the next 100 months, but instead we got ambiguous long-term targets for the world in general.”
When the summit was held three years ago, the G8 promised to increase African aid by twenty five billion dollars a year by 2010. At present, the world’s richest nations are only 14% of the way towards hitting the target. Way to go, guys. They’re not living up to their own global poverty aid or African poverty aid goals. Could you imagine if you only lived up to 14% of what you promised your boss or professor?
Thomas Jefferson said, “Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do.” More appropriately, Billy Madison said, “Just do it”. Leaders of the world, I beg of you: Please step it up. Cut the BS and commit.

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