Readers Write: Let Taiwan in on climate dialogue, and more checks needed for emissions

Letters to the Editor for Jan. 12, 2015 weekly magazine:

Wang: Taiwan should be included in the climate talks.

 Cutler: International agreements to curb greenhouse gas emissions are inadequate to do its necessary job. 

AP Photo/Martin Mejia/File
Children gather to form an image of a tree around a sign that reads in Spanish "The world we want" on a beach during the Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. Low oil prices could paradoxically help the world reach an international agreement to fight global warming, Laurence Tubiana, France’s special representative for the 2015 climate conference in Paris said, laying out plans for a binding accord to stem greenhouse gas emissions. Her government will spend 11 months trying to cajole more than 190 countries into overcoming disagreements about acceptable greenhouse gas emissions and who should pay for them, and locking themselves into an accord.

Let Taiwan in on climate dialogue

The Monitor’s View “A universal hug in global pact on climate change” (Dec. 29, 2014 & Jan. 5, 2015) states, “[I]t is welcome news when all nations ... embrace a pact to do something ... about carbon emissions.” Regrettably, Taiwan was excluded from the climate talks in Lima, Peru, even though the island nation is one of the leading economies in the world, a thriving democracy in East Asia, and willing to commit to reducing its carbon emissions proactively.

Climate change is real and is affecting us now. Climate change is going to affect generations for years to come. No country is immune to the effects of global warming, so it is of extreme importance that we address these challenges in a global manner to ensure our planet’s sustainable development. The continuous exclusion of Taiwan from the global summit runs counter to the global efforts to address climate change. Let Taiwan join the global action so that it can contribute to climate change dialogue on the global stage.

Kent Wang

Loweland Terrace, Va.

More checks needed for emissions

Reports on the Lima climate conference (“Nations try new approach to treaty” and “A universal hug in global pact on climate change,” Dec. 29, 2014 & Jan. 5, 2015) tell a good-news, bad-news story. Some progress was made toward international agreements to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but those current agreements are inadequate to do the necessary job. A climate pact that takes effect in 2020 may well be too late to keep global warming below the agreed upon “safe” limit of 2 degrees C.

The Lima agreements also create a role for nongovernmental organizations to fill in where the nations have refused to commit. That would be for the purpose of analyzing the collective consequences of the various nations’ self-imposed emissions-limiting plans and monitoring the nations’ performance in meeting those limits, thereby holding the world’s nations accountable for their contributions to stabilizing climate disruption.

William H. Cutler

Union City, Calif.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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