So I just went downstairs in our London office for lunch in the canteen, and picked up The Guardian, not my favorite newspaper but the only one available, and on the front page a leading article on global warming and how experts are predicting conflicts over the arctic circle as resources become scarce over this century. Next page, smaller article on the UK government wanting to introduce new green taxes to reduce CO2 emissions in next years budget, another page, another story on global warming and its affects on the rest of the world that will cause a north/south divide as the richer northern countries who produced the majority of CO2 emissions causing global warming do OK while the southern poorer countries suffer the brunt of the devastation. Last week, I blogged on another UK paper, the Financial times, reporting on the UK government’s strategy to build more nuclear power-stations in an effort to meet the UK growing energy needs and meet lower emission targets over the next 50 years.
It seems global warming is big news in the UK, but what I realised when reading through the paper, is I have yet to see any major newspaper or news source in the US that has the extent of coverage on this subject! Yes, you can find news about it in the US, but the top stories appear to be the presidential elections, Iraq and the economy, global warming seems to be a much lower priority!
Already, the US, the largest producer of CO2 emissions in the world, has failed to take the lead in global warming, by failing to ratify the Kyoto protocol 8 years ago (thanks to Bush administration) and as a result the US has lost the moral high ground for pushing China and India to clean up their acts as they soon become the largest CO2 emitters in the world during this century. I was happy to hear Obama talking about global warming as one of his key issues, but he won’t be president until the end of this year (if he wins of course!), and from what I’m seeing with all the latest reports and data we may have already crossed the “point of no return”, we really don’t have time to waste!
I will pay more attention to the US papers when I return next week to see if this is just my perception or really a big difference in the priorities of each country’s news, but I have a feeling that the US is still way behind in making sure this issue is dealt with as swiftly as possible!