What came out of Copenhagen left much to be desired but don’t blame Obama.
President Obama helped broker a climate deal with a group of leading nations that provides for monitoring emission cuts by each country but sets no global target for cutting greenhouse gases, and no deadline for reaching a formal international climate treaty.
The deal falls far short of many countries' expectations for the summit and leaves a comprehensive battle plan for climate change potentially years away. Although the agreement included some major players -- China, India, Brazil and South Africa -- it was not universally agreed upon by the 193 nations attending the summit. In fact, some leaders left early Friday in apparent frustration.
For the Obama administration, the focus of the climate debate shifts to the domestic stage. Though Obama voiced hopes for greater results, the modest agreement may help the administration as it presses Congress to pass landmark climate-change legislation.
By not committing the United States to new standards and by insisting on monitoring cuts made by other nations, the administration can say passage of domestic legislation would not put the United States at a competitive disadvantage with other nations, particularly China.
In announcing the deal, even Obama -- who walked in on a meeting of developing nations to insist on an agreement late Friday -- conceded its limitations. "Today we made a meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here in Copenhagen," he said. But, he added, "It is going to be very hard, and it's going to take some time" to get a legally binding treaty. That, he said, "was not achievable at this conference."
In the deal, spelled out in a three-page document, each country needs only to list its current domestic pledges for emissions reductions and to promise to allow monitoring of their progress. It also outlines steps to help poor countries go green and prepare for the impact of a warming Earth.
But it sparked a rebellion among more vulnerable nations. They said they could not accept an agreement that lacked deep emissions commitments from the industrialized world.
"The science tells us we must act now, and urgently," said Ian Fry, climate-change representative for Tuvalu, which may be submerged by rising seas in a matter of decades. "To use a Biblical allusion, it looks like we're being offered 30 pieces of silver to bargain away our future. Mr. President, our future is not for sale."… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Washington Post>
The rift between the big polluters and the nations who will be suffering the worst effects was already wide and rowing wider when Obama arrived on the scent. For him to come away with anything at all required considerable skill on his part.
If you want to read the agreement in full, click here for a PDF.
The teabagging truth tour also arrived with even less of an accomplishment.
What he found when he got here: a few aides and a single reporter.
“I think he’s going to be a little disappointed,” one of his aides remarked.
Inhofe was at least impatient.
The ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hoped to spread two messages in Copenhagen: Global warming is a hoax, and there’s no way the Senate is going to pass a cap-and-trade bill.
But it was early morning when he arrived at the Bella Center, and the halls were still half-deserted. He walked quickly, brushing off an aide who suggested that he slow down and take a breath.
“I don’t want to breathe — I want to get something done,” he said.
The senator didn’t have any meetings scheduled in Copenhagen, and he did not see chief U.S. negotiator Todd Stern or the members of the House delegation, who were not scheduled to fly in until later in the afternoon.
But Inhofe’s aides eventually rustled up a group of reporters, and the Oklahoman — wearing black snakeskin cowboy boots — held forth from the top of a flight of stairs in the conference media center.
“We in the United States owe it to the 191 countries to be well-informed and know what the intentions of the United States are. The United States is not going to pass a cap and trade,” he said. “It’s just not going to happen.”
A reporter asked: “If there’s a hoax, then who’s putting on this hoax, and what’s the motive?”
“It started in the United Nations,” Inhofe said, “and the ones in the United States who really grab ahold of this is the Hollywood elite.”
One reporter asked Inhofe if he was referring to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another reporter — this one from Der Spiegel — told the senator: “You’re ridiculous.”… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Politico>
How pathetic! The fool should have known that nobody in Europe would take him seriously. Only Americans are poorly educated enough and over propagandized enough to believe such rubbish.