Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Climate Crisis getting more dire - the MSM finally starts to get it.

From Joe Romm comes word that Time Magazine has finally recognnized that the global climate crisis isn't getting better. Go read his short piece, and then the Time piece. Then go write your Congressman.

Instead, in Copenhagen, diplomats will aim to reach a less aggressive — and much less specific — "politically binding" agreement, with the hope that hard numbers and legal obligations to reduce climate change would be added soon, in a two-step approach. "There was an assessment by the leaders that it was unrealistic to expect a full internationally legally binding agreement to be negotiated between now and when Copenhagen starts in 22 days," said Mike Froman, Obama's deputy national security adviser.

The news comes as little surprise to climate change experts, who have watched as the ultimate goal of the Copenhagen summit has been steadily scaled back to meet political realities. A year ago, the expectation was for diplomats in Copenhagen to negotiate — and sign — a true global successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. Today, the best the world can hope for are more words about the importance of fighting climate change.

The reason is simple: the deadlock between developed nations and developing ones. Developing nations refuse most responsibility for climate change, arguing that warming is primarily the fault of rich industrialized countries, and want the developed world to take on strict short-term emissions reduction targets. Developed nations, led by the U.S., argue that fast-growing developing nations like China and India will emit the vast majority of future carbon emissions, and that any deal that exempts them from action — as the Kyoto Protocol did — is a farce. Despite months of negotiations in Barcelona, Bangkok and other world cities, that gap remains vast.


MadScientist said...

Politicians think this is fantastic because they can lay the blame for inaction on others. The sensible thing to do is to take action and to impose huge taxes on imports from countries which do not get into the act, thus making those imports less competitive. This can be done without violating any free trade agreements. I'm quite sick of politicians whining about how they really want to do something (suuuure) but can't because it will make their own export industries uncompetitive. Blah blah blah.

Philip H. said...

I think you are largely correct, and I am fearful that, once it is politically safe to do something, we'll be well past the tipping point ecologically. And in the U.S., this shoudn't ever be an excuse, as we're in trade deficits already to most other countries.