Tags: climate | copenhagen | g20

World Leaders Cooling to Climate Change Talk

Friday, 25 Sep 2009 04:04 PM

By Ralph Hostetter

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President Barack Obama's address to the United Nations on Sept. 23 was delivered at a time when some world leaders are cooling to the concept of global warming.

Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, commenting on the upcoming Copenhagen talks (the World Summit on Climate Change), scheduled for December, said, "I confess that I am very worried by the prospects for Copenhagen, the negotiations are dangerously close to deadlock at the moment . . . It risks being an acrimonious collapse, delaying action against climate change perhaps for years."

Andrew C. Revkin, writing for the New York Times on Sept. 21, said, "The world leaders who are meeting at the United Nations to discuss climate change on Tuesday are faced with an intricate challenge: building momentum for an international climate treaty at a time when global temperatures have been stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years."

It is worthy of note that 1934 was the warmest year in the past century. The record was tied in 1998. It has not been that warm since. The year 2006 came closest with an average temperature that was fractionally lower.

The present global warming debate scenario is following the normal course internationally of the "you're rich and we are poor" syndrome.

The wealthiest nations have the highest productivity and therefore produce the most carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. They happen to be the most aware of greenhouse gas development and invest more of their substance in controlling greenhouse gases than many other nations.

Those other nations, however, believe the United States should pay a substantial penalty for its success.

The Group of 20 (G20) nations meeting in Pittsburgh this week is facing a public policy battle between global economic growth and global climate change. It has been predicted the G20 group will proceed with growth and put climate change aside, giving it little more than lip service. If this is the result, it would appear to end any hope of a major climate agreement in Copenhagen.

The great hope of Copenhagen and a climate change agreement was the continuing support of the United States. However, President Barack Obama is placing growth first and climate second.

In Europe there are movements to distance themselves from climate change policies.

Here are a few comments from the European press:

"If you want to know what's going on inside Prime Ministers' offices around the world, it's 'Let's kick this [climate change] into the long grass.’ ” said Benny Peiser, LTT.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke, host to the Copenhagen talks, was reported to be ready to drop a quiet bombshell. He was expected to make clear that he is no longer looking to Copenhagen to deliver a "treaty" . . . but "a political declaration" that would provide no enforceable emissions cuts.

This action by Løkke would come as a severe blow to the climate change groups who were pinning so much hope on the Copenhagen meeting.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown joined the global warming debate on Sept. 23 in an address before the U.N. General Assembly in New York, calling on the world to reach an agreement on climate change in the forthcoming U.N. conference in Copenhagen.

He called for a post-2012 agreement to go into effect when the final commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires.

Apparently this move by the climate change group is nothing more than a veiled effort to slip the failed Kyoto Protocol over on an unsuspecting American public by calling it by another name.

The following report from Wikipedia explains the final outcome of the Kyoto Protocol: “The United States, although a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the Protocol. The signature alone is merely symbolic, as the Kyoto Protocol is non-binding on the United States unless ratified. . . . The America’s Climate Security Act of 2007, also more commonly referred to in the United States as the ‘cap-and-trade bill,’ was proposed for greater U.S. alignment with the Kyoto standards and goals. That bill was almost 500 pages long, and would have provided for establishment of a federal bureau of Carbon Trading, Regulation, and Enforcement with mandates which some authorities suggest would amount to the largest tax increase in the history of the United States.

“On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95-0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing nations as well as industrialized nations or ‘would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States.’ On Nov. 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Sen. Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the senate until there was participation by the developing nations. The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.”

E. Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and agricultural publisher, also is a national and local award-winning columnist. He welcomes comments by e-mail sent to eralphhostetter@yahoo.com.

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