Ubiquitous Carbon

Carbon

Earlier this month, the United Nations met in Durban, South Africa to discuss the soon-to-expire Kyoto Protocol.

Delegates from around the world discussed the idea of a carbon tax with the hope that it will help reduce emissions over the next 10 years. Under the current agreement, richer countries must follow regulations while poorer countries contribute voluntarily.

As noted by The Huffington Post, The Protocol debates escalated throughout the meetings, with the United States’ support for business outweighing its support for the environment.

The United States, whose Congress is generally seen as hostile on the climate issue, is concerned about conceding any competitive business advantage to China.

As an American, and one who greatly values our environment, I’m frustrated by the US delegates’ protectionism of the country’s economic power over all else (mirrored by China and India). Can a temporary decrease in GDP — which many argue would not happen anyway — be so bad if it helps guarantee a hospitable planet for another thousand years?

Update: Participating nations stayed an extra day and a half, and it looks like some good came of it.

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