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David Suzuki on the Millennium Assessment; Emergency oil demand reduction report

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  • Christopher Miller
    David Suzuki s latest editorial, on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/about_us/Dr_David_Suzuki/Article_Archives/
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2005
      David Suzuki's latest editorial, on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment:


      A choice excerpt from the end of the editorial:


      The Millennium Assessment was a first step. It has created a baseline
      for us to measure successes and failures of future policies and
      actions. It has given us a snapshot of where we are and where we are
      headed if we do not start making changes soon. Humanity really won the
      lottery with this planet. It provides everything we need to survive and
      to thrive. But right now, like some lotto winners, we are spending as
      if there is no tomorrow. We are eating away at our natural capital
      rather than living off the interest.

      The good news is that there is time to change. As the Millennium
      Assessment tells us, we still have enough natural capital left to give
      humanity a bright future for our children and grandchildren. We just
      have to start making changes - and quickly. Steps like the Kyoto
      Protocol are pointing us in the right direction, but we keep losing
      sight of what these processes are for. They are not political games.
      They are not fodder for industry and pundits to blithely and callously
      pick apart over details and minutiae. They are urgent, necessary
      measures to correct humanity's course and put us on a path to a better

      If the Millennium Assessment tells us one thing, it's that it is not
      enough to talk about change, or to bicker incessantly about the tools
      needed. In many cases, we've already created the tools. Now we must use


      For anyone looking for more reading from recognized international
      organizations warning that we need to cut back and conserve, NOW, there
      is a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) "Saving Oil in a
      Hurry", scheduled to be published April 28:


      The published version will be 160 pages; I have a 120 page PDF version
      I downloaded from a link in item 522 "IEA changes its tune" in the
      April 2005 ASPO newsletter. The link is broken now, but whoever is
      interested in looking at this preliminary version (28 February) can ask

      Some background: the IEA is an agency of the OECD (Organisation of
      Economic Cooperation and Development) of 26 major industrialised
      countries. From their "About the IEA" page (
      http://www.iea.org/dbtw-wpd/Textbase/about/index.htm ):


      The International Energy Agency (IEA) was established in November 1974
      in response to the oil crisis as an autonomous intergovernmental entity
      within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
      to ensure the energy security of industrialised nations.

      Under the Agreement on an International Energy Program (IEP), IEA
      Member countries commit to hold emergency oil stocks equivalent to 90
      days of net oil imports and to take effective cooperative measures to
      meet any oil supply emergency. Over the long term, Members strive to
      reduce their vulnerability to a supply disruption. Means to attain this
      objective include increased energy efficiency, conservation, and the
      development of coal, natural gas, nuclear power and renewable energy
      sources, with a strong emphasis on technology.

      In 1993, IEA Members adopted Shared Goals that highlight the
      importance of ensuring the energy sector's contribution to sustainable
      economic development, social welfare and protection of the environment.
      In addition, formulation of energy policies should encourage free and
      open markets. The IEA is based in Paris and acts as a permanent
      secretariat to the Member countries, monitors the energy markets,
      organises the response to emergency situations and keeps energy and
      environmental policies and practices under constant review to encourage
      the use of best practices among Members and beyond. The IEA also
      promotes rational energy policies in a global context through
      co-operative relations and dialogue with non-Member countries,
      including major energy producers and consumers, and operates a
      permanent information system on the international energy market.


      For those following US politics, this obligatory 90-day reserve is the
      US Strategic Oil Reserve, which some politicians in the Democratic
      Party were urgin the administration to open up to lower gas prices when
      they started to climb several months ago.

      Christopher Miller
      Washington DC/Mount Rainier, Maryland
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