Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cowboy in a Straitjacket

The thing about binding agreements is that...well, they're binding. In this case, an international protocol was deemed "unfair" by George Bush because it excluded developing nations. That's kind of like complaining that your neighbor's Fiat emits more pollution than your John Deere...yet you have three SUVs in the garage and heat your house by burning coal. Once again Mr. Bush fails to see the bigger picture here. Maybe that explains why he feels like a cowboy in a straitjacket when dealing with global warming?

Today, Harlan Watson , the Chief Climate Negotiator for the U.S. in Montreal (talk about a dubious title), ruled out making pledges to fight global warming beyond 2012 which happens to be precisely when the Kyoto Protocol runs out. You just have to be skeptical of a guy who was recommended by Exxon-Mobil to be the U.S. Chief Climate Negotiator. Here's my favorite part:
Up to 10,000 delegates are meeting in Montreal, Canada, from November 28-December 9 to discuss new ways to fight a build-up of gases released mainly from burning fossil fuels in factories, power plants and cars.

"The United States is opposed to any such discussions," Watson told a news conference of Canadian proposals to launch talks under the U.N.'s climate convention about new actions to combat global warming beyond 2012.

I gotta ask: Harlan, if you have no interest in these discussions why are you up in Montreal freezing your cheeks off? I can't figure out if you're wasting our time or your own. While Harlan shuffles his feet the rest of country is taking steps forward. While U.S. CO2 emissions were lower than the EU's between 2000-2003, what they aren't telling you is that the U.S. was almost %14 higher in '03 than in 1990 while the EU was a mere %1.4 higher for the same period.

Back at COP10 our friends at Greenpeace showed the weak argument Harlan and other Bush science whizzes were making. Either way the defense the WH puts up continues to get more and more lame. Aren't leaders supposed to step up in times like this?


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