Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mexico Climate Summit Stillborn

There will be no climate change deal at the upcoming summit in Mexico. Those hoping that something could be rescued from the ashes of the Copenhagen global warming summit should brace themselves for yet another failure.

India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, is already claiming there's no hope for a climate deal emerging from the Cancun meeting in December. Ramesh blames the developed world, arguing the industrialized nations' failure to honour obligations to fund climate change adaptation measures in the Third World means a deal is out of the question for the next two to three years at least.

India has joined a climate change bloc, BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China). Ramesh made his remarks before departing for South Africa for a 2-day climate meeting with BASIC enviromins.

Washington seems moribund on the climate change front, something the New York Time's Tom Friedman warns Americans will soon enough come to regret:

I could blame Republicans for the fact that not one G.O.P. senator indicated a willingness to vote for a bill that would put the slightest price on carbon. I could blame the Democratic senators who were also waffling. I could blame President Obama for his disappearing act on energy and spending more time reading the polls than changing the polls. I could blame the Chamber of Commerce and the fossil-fuel lobby for spending bags of money to subvert this bill. But the truth is, the public, confused and stressed by the last two years, never got mobilized to press for this legislation. We will regret it.

We’ve basically decided to keep pumping greenhouse gases into Mother Nature’s operating system and take our chances that the results will be benign — even though a vast majority of scientists warn that this will not be so. Fasten your seat belts. As the environmentalist Rob Watson likes to say: “Mother Nature is just chemistry, biology and physics. That’s all she is.” You cannot sweet-talk her. You cannot spin her. You cannot tell her that the oil companies say climate change is a hoax. No, Mother Nature is going to do whatever chemistry, biology and physics dictate, and “Mother Nature always bats last, and she always bats 1.000,” says Watson. Do not mess with Mother Nature. But that is just what we’re doing.

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