Icing on Kyoto

Two years ago today, the set of greenhouse gas-limiting Protocols agreed upon at Kyoto, Japan in 1997 officially came into force. Russia had just ratified the agreement, which brought the level of world participation to the necessary level for it to become internationally binding. Hmm. “Binding.” In a world political environment like ours, it’s an interesting adjective. Consider that the country which hosts the United Nations, ostensibly one of its biggest supporters, is hundreds of millions of dollars delinquent on its membership fees (which sounds like a lot of money, until you consider that the annual U.S. military budget is over 600 billion dollars). Consider that our current Prime Minister argues that because a previous government signed on to Kyoto, his need not follow through on it. Nationalism, and even partisan struggles within nations, continues to trump shared global necessities.

Meanwhile, it’s also two years today that the National Hockey League formally suspended its entire 2004-2005 season. Coincidental? Well, yes, but I’m going to draw a connection anyway, ‘cause I couldn’t flood our backyard for a rink until the end of January. Climate weirdness threatens northern sport, especially the sweetest kind, where children can romp on ice and snow for hours. (A YouTube video amusingly highlights the threats to pond hockey in Canada. Two minutes long: please click here to see it.) And Friends of the Earth says that several NHL players have joined to declare February 16 as “Save Hockey Day” across North America. (Presumably the gorgeous and endangered outdoor variety).

So the Kyoto Accord is two years old today. It’s a cute little toddler, shambling about in that charmingly unpredictable way and saying just the darnedest things. (We should pay attention to children.) May it grow stronger. May it survive its infancy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *