- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Representatives from nearly 200 countries are meeting in Durbin, South Africa now in early December 2012. The purpose of the meeting is to debate global warming problems and potential fixes. Because the economy continues to be sluggish, there are no expectations that the group will come away from the event with any concrete agreements.
Scientists are reporting to the group that greenhouse gas emissions have increased in 2010 to a total of 9.14 billion tons. That would be a year over year increase of 5.9 percent, which is the largest increase since 2003. Total emissions have risen every year since 1959 with the exception of 2008 and 2009 when the economic slowdown reduced manufacturing levels.
Discussions at the event are overshadowed by talk about the European debt crisis and the slumping American economy. In the past, groups have agreed that emerging economies should be exempted from some of the agreements. However, reports at the event are claiming that the biggest contributor to the growth of emissions is due to the increase in manufacturing and then transportation of goods from emerging economies to more developed ones.
More people are now thinking that we need to see the richer countries boosting their economies while incorporating cleaner renewable energy sources at the same time.
To me, this seems to be a circular argument. Companies were unable to incorporate the green energy sources as the costs forced the product prices too high to compete. This was just one of the myriad of reasons that many companies sought to move manufacturing operations to the smaller countries so they could remain competitive. Until the cost issues are solved, this argument will continue to go in circles. I know that some argue that the solution is to make conventional energy costs soar but that will not work. As we have witnessed, energy costs have grown over the past five years and it has only ended up hurting the middle classes. I know that many people disagree with me but I still think that the high energy costs is one of the main reasons we have had such a difficult time trying to recover from a devastating recession.