The Shattered Sky

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The panes - shattered. No view of the surroundings.

Shattered Sky - The Redbook Project Demo by The Redbook Project | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Inside: desolation. All over. As dramatic as this sounds, sometimes life's events can be just like this. But how often does everything seem to fall apart in our own lives?

We experience this regularly. Guitarist and composer Friedemann Witecka found a striking example of social collapse in the book Stasiland by Anna Funder, which was published in The ozone crisis was also extraordinarily complex. When you start to think about how to phase out CFCs or carbon dioxide, it gives rise to questions of global inequity. You have to look at historical emissions because the gases stay in the atmosphere for so long. During the ozone negotiations, China and India emphasized that less than 25 percent of the world's population was responsible for more than 90 percent of emissions.

Today, some people counter that carbon emissions are different—because India's emissions exceed Germany's, South Korea exceeds France, and China exceeds the United States. But you can't just look at today. You have to look back to the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Since , the United States has emitted about 29 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the European Union 27 percent, and China 8 percent.

What about China, the largest emitter? My parents taught me that being a good person of character means taking responsibility for my own actions.

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I believe that being a good country in the global community is not so different. It's well past time for the United States to take responsibility, get its own house in order, and lead the world to a fair global treaty.

Only then can we use our influence to prompt China into cutting emissions. Or we figure out another method like a green tariff to eliminate their trade advantage and force their hand. Until then, American politicians who concentrate on China are cowards.

Repairing the Shattered Sky

EVAN O'NEIL: But China's per capita emissions have nearly drawn equal with Europe's, their growth trend shows little intention of slowing down, and they have been underestimating their emissions data by some 20 percent. Does their right to dirty development trump the severity of their current contribution to the problem?

The Shattered Sky

Wouldn't a trade war hurt efforts to decarbonize both sides? But with Europe and United States aligned on the issue, China would be obliged to follow our lead. For me, the protocol's pattern of "start and strengthen" is a great lesson in solving climate change. In , 25 countries negotiated under the banner of the United Nations Environmental Programme and agreed to cut CFC production by 50 percent.

Then, seeing those initial goals could be met, gradually other countries signed on and moved to a percent phaseout of a larger group of chemicals. In recognition of their historic responsibility, rich countries capitalized a dedicated Multilateral Fund to help with technology transfer and ensure the phaseout in poorer countries.

Steve Dorst and Dan Evans

Signatories met on an annual base to work out the details. That's where the real magic happened—hammering out the nuts-and-bolts implementation. Today, countries are signatories to the Montreal Protocol and 98 percent of all ozone-depleting substances have been phased out. Shattered Sky: The Battle for Energy, Economy, and Environment tells the story of how America led the world to solve the biggest environmental crisis the Earth had ever seen. Thirty years ago, scientists reported a hole in the ozone layer "the size of North America. Eerily reminiscent of today's complex debate on energy and climate change, the film shows what America did to avoid a global ozone catastrophe—and how history is repeating itself with climate change today.