Monday, December 14, 2009

Climate Change IV

Huffington Post has this fascinating article on Copenhagen and global warming called COP 15: Accepting Responsibility.  It starts:

Imagine you're a well-to-do person attending a dinner of your peers. The food is top-rate and there's plenty of it. Course after course is laid upon the table.
A group of less-advantaged people has been watching from the sidelines. When the dinner is done, you invite them to join you at the table. After the restaurant staff has served coffee, the bill comes. You and your rich peers insist that everyone now at the table must share in paying the entire bill.
The author, William S. Becker, Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project, uses this story to make the position of delegates from emerging economies clearer.  They want reparations to help them deal with anticipated changes.  The US negotiator is using a "blissful ignorance" defense.  Later in the article it says
Every U.S. president since  [1965 when President Johnson's science advisors told him] (words in brackets mine) has known of the risks of climate change. Every president and Congress since has failed to adequately mitigate or manage that risk. Although then Vice President Al Gore signed the Kyoto Protocol on behalf of the United States in 1998, the U.S. Senate made clear it would not vote in favor of ratification. As a result, President Clinton didn't bother to try.

The climate change negotiations are about money, but they're also about responsibility.  The US and other nations need to step up to the plate.  I personally don't care if the money used is called a reparation payment or not.

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