Climate 'Urgency' Takes a Backseat to Progress: Will
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 9:27 AM CDT
Family members stand near the entrance to their home, on a hill above a coal mine on the outskirts of Taiyuan, in China's Shanxi province, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009.   (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
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(Newser) – At their recent summit, the G8 nations vowed to cut emissions 80% ... within 41 years. That seems like a pretty lethargic response to a so-called “emergency,” but as Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi said, the effort is virtually futile while “5 billion people continue to behave as they have always behaved.” The real problem, writes George Will of the Washington Post, is that they’re behaving—and industrializing—as they never have before.

China and India have made it crystal clear that they’re more concerned with their economic footprints than their ecological ones. By December, when more climate talks kick off, China will have another 14 coal-fired plants. The US, meanwhile, “looks increasingly like someone who bought a closetful of platform shoes and bell-bottom slacks just as disco was dying.”