Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

How Health Care Reform Can Kill Good Medicine

March 28, 2009

Here is what I know about managed health care in places like communiss Vietnam and China and also in Canada.

In Vietnam and China health care is uiversally bad and universally available.  The elite of the society pay their way, get the best medical care, and often end up in places like the Cleveland Clinic or the Mayo Clinic for big surgical procedures.

Big shot Arab oil people show the same pattern….

In China, I investigated the SARS outbreak in China more than four years ago.

SARS is a deadly viral infection know by its full name as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

We learned that China lacks sufficient medications, medical staff and hospital facilities to properly service their own population.

The World Health Organization estimated that only about 4% of China’s medical professions were prepared for a disease like SARS.

The most interesting and surprising thing we learned was this.  Although China trains enough high quality doctors and competition is keen for medical school educations, many of the best doctors find ways to get out of China to a place where they can earn more money.  The Chinese government system is actually holding back good medicine; while it thinks it has a system far superior to that in the U.S.

The situation in Vietnam is much the same.

The recent tracic death of Natasha Richardson and the timely treatment given subsequently to little Morgan McCracken brought this all back to me.

Natasha Richardson’s Story Saves Girl’s Life

Michelle Malkin asked the question, “Could Canada’s Medical Sysytem Have Killed Natasha Richardson?”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/27/did-canadacare-kill-natasha-
richardson/

That’s a question every American should ponder some before we launch pell mell into a wildly expensife effort of health care reform.

We also noted someone who commented on that article in Michelle’s blog.

“My wife who’s a doctor and Canadian citizen graduated from McGill University went to school with a friend who became a neurosurgeon and just like the article states, he left Canada upon graduation and now practices in Texas. He is well renown and has published many articles in medical journals and such.”

“Why did he leave his country? The same reason my wife did, why go to school for 7 years do a residency, be taxed heavily and in the end only to make as much as someone with much less education, responsibility and commitment.”

“By the way my wife left Canada right after graduation also and did her residency in New York. It’s called the “brain drain” in Canada and is very common.”

The brain drain is a real problem for Vietnam, China and Canada…..

Of course, whean all of President Obama’s fixes are put into American life, nobody will want to leave….

Related:
China’s Effort to Resolve Food, Product Safety is Questionable
(Medical system and SARS)

Lack of helmet, immediate medical care, helicopter cost Natasha Richardson her life

March 21, 2009

Natasha Richardson hit her head in a ski acident Monday and died — but there is a little more to the story than that.

The Sun Newspaper said that the actress was asked to wear a helmet but declined.
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/home
page/showbiz/bizarre/article2332602.ece

Your head is something like an egg shell.  Hit the head and if the skull remains solid, the inside can still explode in a hemorrhage, putting pressure on the inside of the skull.  Without relief, that pressure can be deadly.

Richardson was not wearing a helmet, which is common.  Wearing of helmets is not required by law for skiers.

The first ambulance sent to a ski resort where actress Natasha Richardson fell and suffered a head injury was turned away, a paramedic told a Canadian newspaper.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/
nationworld/sns-ap-canada-richardso
n-paramedics,0,7126739.story?track=rss

Add to that the fact that there was no helicopter service to send Richardson to the proper care unit….

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBI
Z/Movies/03/20/richardson.tribute/index.html

On March 26, 2009, in the New York Post, Dr, Cory Franklin wrote:

Canadian health care de-emphasizes widespread dissemination of technology like CT scanners and quick access to specialists like neurosurgeons. While all the facts of Richardson’s medical care haven’t been released, enough is known to pose questions with profound implications.

Richardson died of an epidural hematoma — a bleeding artery between the skull and brain that compresses and ultimately causes fatal brain damage via pressure buildup. With prompt diagnosis by CT scan, and surgery to drain the blood, most patients survive.

Could Richardson have received this care? Where it happened in Canada, no. In many US resorts, yes.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/03262009/post
opinion/opedcolumnists/canadacare_ma
y_have_killed_natasha_161372.htm

**********************

By MESFIN FEKADU, Associated Press Writer

As a steady stream of celebrities pay their last respects to Natasha Richardson, questions are arising over whether a medical helicopter might have been able to save the ailing actress.

The province of Quebec lacks a medical helicopter system, common in the United States and other parts of Canada, to airlift stricken patients to major trauma centers. Montreal‘s top head trauma doctor said Friday that may have played a role in Richardson’s death.

“It’s impossible for me to comment specifically about her case, but what I could say is … driving to Mont Tremblant from the city (Montreal) is a 2 1/2-hour trip, and the closest trauma center is in the city. Our system isn’t set up for traumas and doesn’t match what’s available in other Canadian cities, let alone in the States,” said Tarek Razek, director of trauma services for the McGill University Health Centre, which represents six of Montreal’s hospitals.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200
90321/ap_on_en_mo/natasha_richardson

Related from CNN on head injury:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ
/Movies/03/19/richardson.paramedi
cs/index.html

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/27/did-canadacare-kill-natasha-richardson/

In this Dec. 4, 2006 file photo, actors Natasha Richardson, ... 
In this Dec. 4, 2006 file photo, actors Natasha Richardson, left, and her husband Liam Neeson arrive to the premiere of ‘Dreamgirls’ at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. Richardson, 45, died Wednesday March 18, 2009 in New York.(AP Photo/Paul Hawthorne, file)

G7 finance ministers reject protectionist measures

February 14, 2009

Rejecting protectionism, the Group of Seven finance ministers pledged Saturday to work together to support growth and employment and to strengthen the banking system so the world can overcome its worst financial crisis in 50 years.

But the bad news continues. The final statement on their two-day meeting in Rome also predicts a gloomy forecast, with the severe economic downturn continuing through most of 2009.

By COLLEEN BARRY and ARIEL DAVID, Associated Press Writers

The G-7 ministers warned that any protectionist measures to boost national economies would only undermine global prosperity. They also stressed the need to support developing countries to prevent the world’s poorest from being the biggest losers in the downturn.

“The stabilization of the global economy and financial markets remains our highest priority,” the statement said, noting that the world’s seven most industrialized countries have “collectively taken exceptional measures” to address the challenges.

The statement endorses the U.S. and British approach to fixing the banking system by recapitalizing banks. The ministers also said a way must be found to deal with the banks’ toxic assets, however no prescription was laid out.

The meeting marked the international debut of new U.S Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who conferred with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as the session began Saturday at the Italian Finance Ministry.

Geithner smiled at cameras, but declined to respond, when asked if any progress was being made.

The G-7 countries urged China to continue allowing its currency to rise in value to even out the world’s massive trade imbalances. But there was no reference to comments Geithner made in Washington that were seen as a strong rebuke of China’s currency policy, which many believe keeps the yuan artificially low to boost exports.

Geithner, who arrived after a week of widespread criticism over the rollout of the administration’s new bank bailout plan, got a boost with Friday’s passage of President Barack Obama‘s $787 billion plan to resuscitate the economy.

But new economic data out Friday in Europe showed the continent’s recession deepening, lending urgency to the ministers’ task.

The ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, along with their central bankers, are looking for agreement on common approaches to the crisis, with the United States pushing for a bold approach to match its stimulus package.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090214
/ap_on_re_eu/eu_italy_g7

Stimulus: “Buy American” Retained; Sure To Anger International Partners

February 14, 2009

Congress approved protectionist measures in a $789 billion stimulus bill Friday that U.S. trading partners have warned could spark a trade war.

Associated Press

The bill, however, left the Obama administration some room to maneuver to appease other countries who say it will benefit U.S. companies unfairly.

The stimulus bill was approved by the House Friday afternoon and by the Senate later in the evening. It now goes to President Barack Obama who is expected to sign into law quickly.

Major partners, including the European Union and Canada, say the legislation favoring U.S. steel, iron and manufactured goods for government projects could undermine pledges by the leaders of major economies not to resort to perfectionism during the world economic downturn.

Requirements known as “Buy American” were softened as the bill progressed through Congress and after strong criticism from abroad. Senate and House negotiators agreed to a version that would require the government not to violate trade agreements when implementing the law.

The bill also allows the Obama administration and state governments to waive requirements to favor U.S. companies if they deem it in the U.S. public interest and if they publish a justification.

The dispute has put Obama in a difficult position. While campaigning last year, he raised questions whether U.S. trade agreements contained sufficient protection for labor and environmental standards. He has warned recently, however, about antagonizing trading partners and has made clear that passage of the overall stimulus bill is needed urgently to mend the U.S. economy.

In several television interviews last week, he said the stimulus package should not include protectionist language that could trigger a trade war. But now that it does, he is likely to sign it anyway. The measures appear, however, to give the administration discretion about how to implement spending decisions, given the requirement of meeting trade obligations.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/
02/13/congress-approves-protectionist-measure-
spark-trade-war/

*****************

President Obama visited the Caterpillar factory in East Peoria, Illinois this last week.

Caterpillar says it pays $100,000 in tariffs on each piece of heavy equipment it exports to Columbia, because the U.S. Congresss has failed to pass the free trade agreement….

Now with this “buy American” provision in the stimulus it is likely the U.S. will find trouble with other trading partners…

Related:
 Pastor Obama Continues With Holy Stimulus, But The Congregation Isn’t Buying

Why Europe No Longer In Obama Camp Over Stimulus
.
China’s leader Hu Jintao cautioned President Obama about the “buy American” provision in the economic stimulus plan during a phone conversation.

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/02/05/senate.buy.american/index.html

 “Buy American” Sounds Good; Carries An Unbearable Down Side

Obama Caught Between World Leaders, Congress, U.S. Voters on “Buy American”

 Dallas Federal Reserve Chief, China, Germany All Call Protectionism “Death”

China announced that President Hu Jintao, seen here in 2008, ...
President Hu Jintao of China (AFP/File/Louisa Gouliamaki)

Made in china.jpg

Barack Obama: Credibility Lost?

February 2, 2009

In two weeks as president, Barack Obama has thrown away his credibility and destroyed trust — more than any other President of the United States in the History of the Republic.

Let’s just say that for the sake of argument.

This is now like bleeding from a thousand cuts.

Related on FEB 3 about 1 PM Eastern:
Daschle Out; Major Obama Setback

Nothing like Bill Clinton’s early-going gays in the military effort or Hillary’s closed door try at revising the American medical system in the dawning days of Bill’s presidency….

But Barack Obama’s preaching about “bipartisanship” was not matched with actions as Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats crafted the economic stimulus package without taking into account Republican viewpoints.

Maybe if Barack had been in the Senate longer he’d know more about bipartisanship….

“We won” Republicans were told, when they objected to certain stimulus package goodies like funding to fight bird flu.

That only saves jobs if workers don’t die at work….

The Treasury Secretary admitted to tax evasion.  Ditto the president’s nominee for HHS, Tom Daschle.

Psst: This is what transparency gets us.  The right thing to do when things like this come up is to ask the guy to withdraw, not ask for an ‘exception.”

Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her President Obama nomination to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday.

Chief Performance Officer Nancy Killefer
Nancy Killefer
.
Robert Gibbs
 
White House spokesman Gibbs said, “Nobody’s perfect.”  Did he mean Daschle?

The nominee for Deputy Secretary of Defense used to be a lobbyist.  He’s still in the running, despite the president’s vows against lobbyists and for ethics.

On al-Arabiya TV the president made a plea to Muslims.  So Iran demanded an apology for American wrongs.

Just 11% of U.S. voters think America should apologize to Iran for “crimes” against the Islamic country.

The stimulus bill written by Democrats has a “buy American provision.”  China, Germany and others objected.

Canada hopes U.S. officials will exempt America’s top trading partner from “Buy American” provisions in the economic stimulus bill before Barack Obama arrives in Canada this month for his first foreign trip as president.

The stimulus, meant to create jobs, contained at least two two questionable items  — $75 million for smoking cessation programs and $400 million to slow the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted disease.  Both  have already been dropped from the most recent draft of the measure.  You can recall others like the sod for the Mall in Washington DC….

Nearly half of U.S. voters (49%) say Barack Obama is politically more liberal than they are.

The president promised to close Gitmo and pull out of Iraq.  He has done neither: but has angered some militay people.

He has cut defense by 10% and started to discontinue the term “war on terror.”

The president has opened an exchange of words with radio personality Rush Limbaugh….

The number of voters saying Obama is more liberal than they thought on election day is growing…..

Tough two weeks.  Even with a dedicated Democratic House and Senate the public can lose trust and confidence …..

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Related:
Mullen: Cash crunch threatens US security, Defense Spending

Obama Orders U.S. Defense Cut 10%

Under Obama, `war on terror’ catchphrase fading

 Obama Team Wants Pentagon Budget Focused More on Current War, Less on Future Programs

Obama Told His Actions On Gitmo Could “jeopardize those who are fighting the war on terror”

Troubling Obama Trends Seen By Some In Military? Why Die For “Limited Goals” In Afghanistan?

Obama’s Unnecessary Muslim Apologia; Misguided on al-Qaeda

US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits ... 
US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits alongside Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS
/02/02/campbell.brown.transparenc
y/index.html

The New York Times also has an editorial on Tuesday suggesting that Mr. Daschle should withdraw his name too.

Bill Richardson withdrew after being nominated as Commerce Secretary as a grand jury was at work investigating portions of his state government.

Obama Forced to Rethink “Buy American” in Stimulus After Hits from China, Germany, Others

January 31, 2009

President Barack Obama’s administration will examine a “buy American” requirement in economic stimulus legislation that has raised concern among U.S. trading partners, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

The administration “will review that particular provision,” Gibbs said today at his regular briefing. The president’s advisers understand “all of the concerns that have been heard, not only in this room, but in newspapers produced both up north and down south.”

He refused to say whether the administration supported or opposed keeping that part of the legislation intact. Nor did he say what the president would do if the provision remains once the bill clears the House and the Senate.

The issue may cloud Obama’s trip to Canada on Feb. 19, his first journey outside U.S. borders as president. Officials in Canada, the top U.S. trade partner, are criticizing a part of legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 28 that requires the use of U.S.-made iron and steel in infrastructure projects.

“U.S. protectionism is about to make Canada’s recession a lot worse,” Ralph Goodale, house leader for the opposition Liberal Party, said today in Parliament.

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2
0601087&sid=a37pHeTuz_HA&refer=worldwide

Most World Leaders Encouraged By Obama Time; Putin Ready for Disappointment

January 21, 2009

Asked about the prospects of the world with a President of the United States Barack Obama, Russin Preident Vladimir Putin said, “I am deeply convinced that the biggest disappointments are born out of big expectations.”

Other world leaders were more upbeat…

*****

AFP

Obama-fever swept the globe Tuesday (20 Jan) carrying widespread public hopes that the incoming US president would lead the world into a new crisis-free era.

In the hours before Barack Obama took the oath of office in Washington, foreign governments and new polls all showed huge support for the Democratic president even though many analysts have warned that expectations for his rule are unrealistic.

Pictures of Obama dominated front pages and television news programmes around the world. Spain’s El Pais newspaper published a photo of Obama and his wife Michelle above the headline: “The American Dream Comes to Power”

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero said an “Obama effect” could shorten the global recession.

“In my opinion, the economic crisis could be shorter than expected if the new administration of Barack Obama generates confidence,” said Zapatero.

“We could see a rebound faster than expected, it is a question of confidence because the fundamentals of the global economy are good enough,” added the socialist premier.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was looking forward to working closely with Obama, a spokesman for the German leader said.

Obama will make two visits to Europe in April for an international summit on the economic crisis and a NATO alliance meeting.

“In general, we are looking forward to co-operating with the new US president and are expecting to tackle the many questions which concern us both,” spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm told a news conference.

Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already said the Middle East should be Obama’s top foreign priority and other leaders have also pressed the case for issues ranging from climate change to helping the world’s poor.

Hopes that Obama can improve US ties with the rest of the world have grown in the run-up to his inauguration, according to a poll of people in 17 countries for the BBC World Service radio.

An average of 67% of people believe Obama will strengthen America’s relations abroad, with more than 50% thinking so in all but two — Japan and Russia — of the countries polled.

The global financial crisis should be Obama’s top priority, followed by pulling US troops out of Iraq, tackling climate change, and brokering peace in the Middle East, the survey said.

Ghanaians are most positive, on 87%, followed by Italy (79%), Germany and Spain (78% each), and France (76%), followed by Mexico and Nigeria (74% each).

Polls in Canada suggest more than 80% of people there approve of the new US president. Obama could visit Canada in Feb and its Prime Minister Stephen Harper described the trip as “a wonderful gesture and a great sign of re-establishing the strong Canadian-American relations.”

But Harper was also among leaders to douse hopes that Obama could fix all problems ranging from wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan to the economic crisis and global warming.

“None of us are under any illusions about the great challenges that face President Obama,” commented Harper, who said Obama should concentrate on the economy.

Other warnings have already come from Germany where Merkel said last week that there would be “very serious discussions” if the United States gave what Europe considers unfair help to its ailing auto industry.

Russia has expressed hope that Obama will make concessions on US plans to build a missile shield in central Europe and on NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, which Russia considers its sphere of influence.

But Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expressed scepticism while on a trip to Berlin on Saturday (17 Jan). “I am deeply convinced that the biggest disappointments are born out of big expectations,” he said of Obama’s inauguration.

“Familiarity with Obama seems to be breeding hope,” said Steven Kull of the University of Maryland in the United States, which compiled the BBC survey with polling firm GlobeScan.

Read the rest:
http://www.mysinchew.com/node/20349?tid=14

Editorials worldwide pillory Bush one final time

January 19, 2009

Can anyone be as bad as Bush?  As good as Obama?  All the criticism and all the praise make me seek the middle: nothing is this evil or this holy…..

We seem to be in a stampede to condemn and a stampede to extoll all at the same time….

Related:
Time Runs Out on Trashing Bush: Now? Reality

**************
BERLIN (Reuters) – Editorial writers around the world have been taking their final printed whacks at George W. Bush, accusing the president of tarnishing America’s standing with what many saw as arrogant and incompetent leadership.

Some newspaper editorials, for all their criticism, suggested historians might just be kinder later on than those now writing first drafts of history. A success often cited by those seeking a silver lining was the United States’ freedom from further homeland attacks following Sept.11.

Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, will be sworn in as the 44th U.S. president Tuesday.

A protester walks over a portrait of U.S. President George W. ... 
A protester walks over a portrait of U.S. President George W. Bush during a demonstration in Mumbai January 16, 2009 to protest against Israeli military strikes in Gaza.(Arko Datta/Reuters)

“A weak leader, Bush was just overwhelmed in the job,” said Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung under a headline: “The Failure.” “He confused stubbornness with principles. America has become intolerant and it will take a long time to repair that damage.”

Editorials hit out at Bush for two unfinished wars, for plunging the economy into recession, turning a budget surplus into a pile of debt, for his environment policies and tarnishing America’s reputation with the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Bush was given credit in some editorials for defending the United States against terror attacks after September 11, 2001.

Israel was most complimentary, of his intentions if not necessarily of his achievements.

“Of all the U.S. presidents over the past 60 years, it is hard to think of a better friend to Israel than George W. Bush,” the Jerusalem Post daily wrote during Bush’s final visit.

Last week columnist Caroline Glick wrote Bush “recognizes Israel and the U.S. share the same enemies and they seek to destroy us because we represent the same thing: freedom. But Bush never learned how to translate personal views into policy.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009011
9/pl_nm/us_bush_world_editorials

Related:
In China, Bush remains a popular president
.
 Bash Bush; But China Will Miss Him

Mexico: Obama Can’t Ignore Elephant on the Continent

January 13, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama met with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon yesterday and Mr. Obama  says he will visit Canada on his first international trip after the inauguration.

Obama praised Calderon for his work on energy and climate change yesterday.

But this ignores the elephant in the room and on the contintent.

Mexico and the U.S. are watching as millions of illegal immigrants move from Mexico northward and while drug lords kill off law enforcement and law abiding political leaders, citizens and  politicians in Mexico.

Most news stories of the Calderon-Obama meeting failed to mention either issue until somewhere around paragraph eight….

********

By Jeff Mason and Caren Bohan
Reuters

 Barack Obama, who takes over as U.S. President on January 20, told Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday he would work to strengthen U.S. ties with Mexico, especially in the field of energy.

Obama has promised to nurture close ties with the U.S. southern neighbor and other Latin American countries, which complained of neglect by the United States after President George W. Bush’s foreign policy focused heavily on Iraq.

President-elect Barack Obama listens as Mexico's President Felipe ... 
President-elect Barack Obama listens as Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon speaks at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

“My message today is that my administration is going to be ready on Day One to work to build a stronger relationship with Mexico,” Obama said after visiting with Calderon over a lunch of tortilla soup and other Mexican dishes.

It was Obama’s first meeting with a foreign leader since his November election.

“The friendship between the United States and Mexico has been strong. I believe it can be even stronger and that’s going to be the commitment of my administration,” the president-elect told reporters.

“This will be the beginning of an extraordinary age in the relationship between the United States and Mexico,” Calderon said.

Calderon said both governments needed to combine forces to fight organized crime. “The more secure Mexico is, the more secure (the) U.S. will be,” he said.

With Mexico’s drug violence exploding and amid fears that Obama might seek changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, Calderon had been eager for a meeting with the incoming U.S. president.

OBAMA PRAISED CALDERON

Obama praised Calderon for his work on energy and climate change, saying the two countries should expand their efforts in those areas, while building on existing commercial, security and cultural ties.

“The prospects of us working together on energy strategies across borders is going to be critically important,” he said. Obama said the two also discussed immigration, border security, and the global financial crisis.

Mexico, which sends 80 percent of its exports to the United States, is suffering a spillover from the U.S. economy’s woes, as layoffs at Mexican factories mount and families with relatives in the United States see a decline in remittances.

Obama aides said the Calderon meeting was part of a long tradition of U.S. presidents meeting with the Mexican leader before their inauguration.

Related:
Obama: Meet Mexico, Drugs, Another “Fundamental Threat to U.S. National Security”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200901
12/pl_nm/us_usa_obama_mexico_3

U.N.: Mexico Will Cut Emissions 10% By 2050 If U.S., Japan Pay

December 12, 2008

If you are an American you heard this right: Mexico will go to work on cleaning up its factories that produce tons of pollution if you pay.  But this won’t happen soon…

To improve the quality of the environment, China, Russia and everyone else have offered to limit the industries of the U.S., Japan and Canada — and give them the bill to pay “emerging economies” to have cleaner industries….

******

Developing countries upbraided rich nations at U.N. climate talks Thursday, saying they were refusing to act boldly enough to stop global warming. Mexico sought to prod others into action by becoming the first developing country to announce a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

As 145 environment ministers and other leaders gathered for the final phase of the two-week talks, delegates from poor countries made emotional pleas to rich countries to take the lead in cutting the heat-trapping gases that their factories have pumped into the air since the Industrial Revolution.

By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer

Former U.S. vice president Al Gore, right, receives an Honorary ... 
Former U.S. vice president Al Gore, right, receives an Honorary Doctorate from Professor Bronislaw Marciniak, left, at the Poznan University, Poland, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008. Gore is in Poland to participate in the UN climate change conference in Poznan where more than 10, 000 delegates from 186 governments, businesses and environmental groups meet to agree on a new climate treaty in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Countries like the United States, Canada and Japan have resisted deep emissions cuts without similar sacrifice from the developing world. They argue that unilateral action on their part would harm their economies, and would not solve the crisis if industrializing countries like China and India keep spewing out ever more carbon dioxide.

The attitude of the rich countries “borders on the immoral and is counterproductive,” said John Ashe, Antigua’s ambassador to the U.N., speaking on behalf of 130 developing countries plus China.

Mexico DF City.jpg

Above: Mexico City sparkles on a rare clear evening conceded that “our negotiations are by far not progressing fast enough. We are not making any progress on crucial issues.”

German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel

“If industrialized countries carry on playing games with words in an attempt to shirk their responsibilities, we will become a laughing stock,” Gabriel said.

To spur global collective action, Mexico’s environment secretary, Juan Rafael Elvira, announced his country’s plan to cut 2002 greenhouse gas emission levels by 50 percent by 2050. Still, he said Mexico’s goal of using solar power, wind and other clean technologies could only be reached with financial and technological help from wealthier nations.

The Mexican plan includes establishing a cap-and-trade system that would set emissions limits on certain sectors, such as cement, electricity and oil refining, which account for the vast majority of its emissions. Companies that reduce their emissions below those limits could sell their unused allowances on the international carbon market.

The move makes Mexico the only developing country to set a voluntary national target below current levels, said Antonio Hill, senior policy adviser for Oxfam. South Korea has said it would announce an emissions cap next year, and South Africa has a detailed plan to peak emissions in 2025.

Tourists walk through heavy fog over Tiananmen Square in Beijing ...
Tourists walk through heavy fog over Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2007. China warned its heavy dependence on coal to fuel its fast-growing economy made it difficult to control greenhouse gas emissions, but said fighting global warming remained imperative.(AFP/File/Teh Eng Koon)

“It’s a very significant step because a major emerging economy is saying that it will put a limit on its emissions for key sectors which account for the majority of its emissions,” said Jake Schmidt, international climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Officials at the talks in Poland are working on a new worldwide treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It is supposed to be concluded next December in Copenhagen, Denmark, and would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Environmentalists have also sharply criticized the rich countries, saying they have done too little to battle global warming. But many developing countries, including Brazil, China, South Africa, and now Mexico, have won praise for taking strong steps in fighting climate change.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081211/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_poland_climate_talks_7