Thursday, July 09, 2009

Three fifty+G Eight

I just watched's video designed in universal graphic language. Very Powerful. was set up to promote with very simple words and images what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says in several volumes of scientific literature: that if we don't get back to 350 Parts Per Million of CO2 in the atmosphere [three hundred and fifty, now we're at 390], humankind is in deep-deep trouble.

There has a been a lot of criticism of the G8 leaders in the past 24 hours for announcing a target of 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by the year 2050. Critics say that this target alone is not enough to create trust, because none of the current G8 leaders will be in power in 2050. Long term targets are fine, but we need commitments with shorter timeframes to be sure that the G8 leaders are liable and stick to their words. Otherwise, China and India won't take the G8 commitment seriously, and they won't accept any target for themselves. That can't be good for the planet.

I just checked how old (how accountable) the current G8 leaders will be in 2050. Born in 1961, President Obama will be 89 then. Nicolas Sarkozy will be 95, Angela Merkel 96, Japan's Taro Aso 110, Berlusconi will be 114 (the young girls around him will average 57 by then, if I've understood correctly), Canada's Stephen Harper will be 91, Gordon Brown will be retired I suppose (he will be 99), and Dmitry Medvedev --the benjamin of the lot -- will be 85 (at 98, Putin will continue to be venerable; maybe also venerated).

Given the very high percentage of senior citizens in Japan, I suppose that Taro Aso has some chance to be around in 2050. I truly hope that we will all (I'll be 93) be in a position then to honour Mr. Aso as the representative of a generation of leaders who put the world on the right track.

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