Monday, December 28, 2009

Copenhagen Aftermath

I'd planned on writing about the recent climate change talks but Asymptotic Life has a great post on the Copenhagen Aftermath to get it started. I may add more later.

The leader of the G-77 group of developing nations said, "It is asking Africa to sign a suicide pact, an incineration pact in order to maintain the economic dependence of a few countries."
...
A Greenpeace press release warned that President Obama "now risks being branded as the man who killed Copenhagen."
...
Yet Amanda Little, in an unexpected post at Treehugger, excuses Obama by noting that "Fully 55 percent of Americans surveyed in a recent Washington Post-ABC poll disagree with the way Obama is handling the climate issue, concerned that he is moving too far too fast."

Personally, I believe that's because corporate intervention has prevented appropriate education-- and the realization that if we burn less energy, we'll spend less money! But the powers that be don't want us to burn less energy: the more we waste, the more money they make.


And again here, rightfully suggesting that since the government can't be counted on it is up to people to do it themselves:

The Copenhagen climate summit has ended. The result: a non-binding agreement that we ought to do something about CO2 emissions, but with no commitments as to who will do what. There's also a generalized statement-- again, nonbinding-- that there will be a fund to provide up to $100 billion per year to developing nations that must cope with climate change, with no indication of who's going to ante up.

In short, the summit was a failure. Some argue that getting nations to agree on anything is itself a success. But the fact is, two nations blocked this process: the United States and China. These just happen to be the world's biggest carbon polluters-- and two of the nations least likely to be affected by early climate changes. Coincidence? I think not.

In essence, my country and its new ally China have thumbed their noses at the world. We Americans have said that we don't care what the cost is to others, we insist on maintaining our current levels of decadence and waste. And no one can stop us: we are the most powerful nation in the world (and China is probably second).

I am yet hopeful that the other industrialized nations will reduce their emissions, despite our refusal to do so. They will be at a significant economic disadvantage, since the U.S. will continue to plunge ahead without the added expense of paying for the cost of its carbon. We may regain hegemony as a result.

I am yet hopeful that the citizens of the United States will defy their leaders and demand change-- the change that then-candidate Barack Obama promised, but has yet to materialize. I am yet hopeful that each of us will cut our own emissions to the extent we can, and elect legislators and executives who will give us the resources to cut further.

It's too late to eliminate all effects of climate change. People will die because of our inaction. The best we can do is to act now to stop climate change from becoming worse than the present and future effects we've already caused.

The Bible (it's Sunday-- you knew I'd bring it back to the Bible) teaches us that we are responsible for the failures of our government. We will pay the price for the inaction of President Obama, and President Bush before him.

Will we stand by as our leaders heap guilt on us? Or will we stand up and demand what should have been done already? Sadly, I think we'll probably let Obama lead us down the road to Hell.



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