17 December 2007

Snow job in Bali

For the life of me, I can't see much of anything that resulted from the world climate conference just concluded in Bali.

The US used the word "consensus" (agreeing to talk about setting emission levels at the 2009 Copenhagen conference). The organisers used the word "road map". These are (PR) weasel words, used to describe nothing in particular. The Middle East has had a "road map" for many years, and that had not led very far.

Yes, Australia has at least ratified the Kyoto Protocol. But there really has been a backdown in affirmative action. Everyone will wait until 2009 to talk about it again. What happened to setting targets NOW?

All that's happened is 190 nations have agreed to have a think and meet again (in another attractive location - why not in a place deeply affected by global warming, say the Arctic?).

So we might see emissions reduced by 25-40 per cent by 2020. There's an awful lot of carbon monoxide going to be dumped into the atmosphere between now and then. Ah, but the profits the coal and oil companies will be okay. By 2020 it probably won't matter about targets, because oil will have run out anyway.

It's simply too little, too late.

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.