Archive for the Global Warming Category

Third world countries and the global warming

Posted in Environment, Global Warming with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by Boris Ekner

The United Nations holds an environmental summit every year. At this moment it’s held in Doha, Qatar.

More info at:


In 2009 it was held in Copenhagen. The expectations were high but the US President Barrack Obama and China ruined it all together.

The amusing part of that summit was the current president of Guatemala (GT) Alvaro Colom. He came to the meeting with a staff of 150 people, bodyguards included. Bodyguards in Copenhagen?


Alvaro Colom demanded, argued, that the rich countries should pay countries like GT for the pollution and the global warming effects they cause.

With this in mind – take a step back and look into the country Colom represented.

GT is corrupt almost to bankruptcy. Government officials and city mayors steal all the money they can get their hands on. It has no environmental program what so ever in the country. Pollution from households, vehicles, and factories is severe. There’s no environmental awareness at all in his country and he wanted the rest of the world to pay GT for the effects of the global warming!?

I can’t get it out of my head what the fool was thinking…  But I admit his arguments made me laugh, though.

In Latin America the environment and global warming issue is almost unknown which leads to a disturbing pollution of air, water and land. In Europe recycling and environment protection has been of growing interest for the last 40 years. In Europe one has learned how to make better and more profitable business when not polluting. In Latin America it’s the opposite.

My experience from Guatemala is not the experience from the entire continent. Off course it isn’t. But I don’t think it’s far fetched to think that GT could serve as a good example.

In Guatemala City (GTC) the city dump is located almost in the city center, in zone 3. At this dump criminal gangs are in charge of the business. Recycling haven’t been heard of by the regular citizen. The guys in the dump trucks collect and sell cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, newspapers, and some metals, but I think that’s all. The rest is dumped without control at the city dump.

When I’ve tried to discuss the global warming issue with people I’ve considered above average intelligent I’ve encountered laughs and an attitude of severe ignorance to the subject. As if it all was a joke.

Below are the links to six short films by National Geographic on the effects of global warming.

Could just one degree warmer change the world?

2degrees warmer:

3 degrees warmer:

4 degrees warmer:

5 degrees warmer:

6 degrees warmer:

The planet’s population lives a dangerous life. The annual environmental summits are trying to high lighten the subject. But countries like the US, China, Russia, India is fighting against it.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what’s going on with our climate nor the effect of it. If this outrageous lunacy continues and the permafrost of Siberia in Russia is going to melt. This will inevitably lead to the release of enormous amounts of green house gases into the atmosphere, mostly methane, that will increase the temperature and ultimately, within this century, kill all life as we know it due to global warming.

Heavy rainstorms and drought will create food shortages. Melting ice at the north as well as the south poles will submerge coastal cities like New York, Miami, Tokyo, Stockholm, London and many more. Island as well as coastal nations will disappear under the oceans. Lack of fresh drinking water will start wars. More and more people will seek new living grounds in the northern hemisphere since the southern one will become too hot making life conditions too harsh if not impossible. Like I said – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the facts…

But in third world countries like GT the issue is not even on the governments table of interest.

In GT the 25’000 public transport buses, countless diesel trucks, family cars and motorcycles are without any exhaust control or regulation. There’s no doubt that the environmental impact from these combustion engines is immense.  Furthermore the internal electrical production uses polluting combustion engines to generate the electricity the country needs.

The culture in GT is to blame someone else, making someone else responsible and not taking action. Blaming someone else is convenient. It moves the responsibility to someone else’s shoulder.  But that doesn’t solve the problem.

Guatemala is a third world country.  Never the less it has to address it’s own environmental issues. Acting like Colom in Copenhagen 2009 is pure stupidity.

Looking into other cities close to GT, like the ones in the US, one rarely sees black exhaust smoke from trucks and cars any more. The reason? The petroleum companies delivers cleaner less polluting fuels. This could be done in GT too by demanding, ordering, the petroleum companies to sell the same fuels here.

In the mid 70’s California was among the first states introducing catalyst converters on all vehicles. Today these devices are standard in all developed countries. It’s illegal to have a vehicle without it. The same devices could be a part of the cars in GT too – if the government would make it happen.

Then, after taking environmental actions, the government representatives could attend the annual UN summit arguing it’s demands of more responsible behavior from the major polluting countries. One needs to clean up one’s acts before telling someone else to. It’s as simple as that.

The world is facing a devastating future. We are all a part of it. All of us need to take proper actions. Laughs, jokes and pure ignorance will ultimately kill our children and us, the parents.

It’s time to clean up our act – for future of our toddlers.


Colom left Copenhagen empty handed…

%d bloggers like this: