Really Mr President?

Russ Steele

Here is an excerpt from President Obama’s prepared speech at the UN.

To preserve our planet, we must not put off the action that a changing climate demands. We must tap the power of science to save those resources that are scarce. Together, we must continue our work to build on the progress made in Copenhagen and Cancun, so that all of the major economies here today follow through on the commitments that were made. Together, we must work to transform the energy that powers are economies, and support others as they move down that path. That is what our commitment to the next generation demands. [Emphasis Added]

I am wondering, what was the progress at Copenhagen and Cancun? These were at best our right failures.

From the UK Guardian:

 London, UK (January 6, 2011) – For global warming policy, the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference (Copenhagen Summit) was a major disappointment. Designed to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, the Summit concluded without a binding agreement because of deep divisions on the distribution of emissions reductions and costs. In addition, the United States failed to take action on a carbon cap-and-trade bill in 2010.

 On the results of Cancun:

It [Cancun] also fails to establish a firm date for negotiators to reach a conclusion on a new climate treaty.

Diplomats struggled over the last two weeks at the Mexican resort town on some of those key questions and had essentially reached a standoff, forcing them to pick around the edges at ideas like technology, trees and adaptation, all of which could garner sufficient consensus. 

The Cancun Agreement, for example, puts off until next year’s meeting in Durban, South Africa, or 2012, the debate over whether to extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Russia, Canada and Japan insisted throughout the Cancun negotiations that they wouldn’t agree to a new set of commitments under Kyoto until the world’s three biggest polluters – China, India and the United States – accepted a role in the mandatory system too.

If the President thinks that this is progress, then we can now understand why he thinks this county is not on the cusp of a full-blown depression.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

One Response to Really Mr President?

  1. jim says:

    Typo: I am wondering, what was the progress at Copenhagen and Cancun? These were at best ‘OUR’ right failures.

    Russ Replies: Yes it should read “outright”

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