A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Kyoto Protocol comes into farce.....

Oh dear! I never thought I might one day feel some pity for the dwindling band of bedraggled souls who persist in naively believing that the Kyoto Protocol will: (a) do something about climate change; and (b) be adhered to by its signatory countries. But yesterday afternoon - just four days before the Protocol formally limps into life (February 16) - 'Kyoto' suffered a deep humiliation. It was supposed to have been a day of mass protest against the failure of certain countries ("Er! You mean the evil U.S. of A!") to sign up, but instead we got this:
"In Edinburgh, campaigners held a 'climate carnival' to highlight the effects of global warming."

"Police said about 25 protesters turned out." [Sounds quite a party! I'm so sad to have missed it.....]

"Some were dressed as mosquitoes, which they say are being found further north as climate change takes effect." [I wonder what the 'McMosquito Tartan' looks like? Lots of blood red, I should guess. Watch out for those dirks.] (See: BBC Online UK News, February 12).

They would have done better supporting Scotland, who lost ignominiously to Ireland at rugby.

Yet, more embarrassingly, only 500 (The Sunday Times puts it at even fewer - 350) Green bunnies managed to emerge from their burrows to nibble around the juniper for the main event in London. Mind you, it was predicted to get a touch wintry over the weekend. Brrr.

But now for the final blow: that paragon of 'Big Warming', The Observer, which normally doesn't miss a ecohype, however bizarre, hasn't today bothered to report the marches - not one obligatory press photo of a pretty girl dressed up as a mosquito. It must have been too gutting for words...or pictures.

Thus, on Wednesday, I'm afraid that the poor old Kyoto Protocol will come into full farce, with even many of its former advocates now regarding it as a party pooper.

Philip, where is that tangy, seaweedy single malt? We can but drink to its passing. I suppose you all know: "Should auld Kyoto.....!"

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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