Thursday, December 13, 2007

U.S. Obstructionist At Bali Global Warming Meeting

Al Gore, the former U.S. vice president and a Nobel Peace Prize winner this year for his work on global warming, said everything that had to be said today about the failure of the United Nations meeting in Bali to do anything meaningful to stem global warming.

"My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali," declared Gore, and all those who have closely watched this meeting would have to agree with him.

Yes, China and Japan were not very helpful either, but it was the United States that most firmly rejected the proposal that a policy be set to reduce global greenhouse emissions by 25% to 40% by 2020.

Actually, this in itself would not be an adequate response to the emergency the world now faces. It would slow, but not stop global warming which, according to a UN report issued this week, has caused the last 10 years of world climate to be the warmest on record, and very likely the warmest in the last 1,000 years.

The failure of the Bali meeting led environmental representatives from the European Union to say they would not attend a meeting suggested by the U.S. in Hawaii to further examine what to do. What a commentary it is that the EU has decided to boycott an American meeting! The fact is, no one has any faith that as long as George W. Bush is President of the U.S., there can be any progress on this issue. This is Mr. Bush at his worst. And, I fear, it will be our children and grandchildren who will pay a heavy price.

Time is passing, and the problem is growing worse. Not a week goes by now that there aren't reports of the consequences already being felt of climate change. Just this week, the New York Times carried a report that in Missouri, the warming is so pronounced already that the duck hunting season will have to be changed, because the date at which a freeze begins that sends the ducks further south has become noticeably later.

Of course, duck hunting and the future of polar bears, the question of whether there is going to be any summer ice in the Arctic ocean after 2012, are simply small signs of a catastrophe in the making -- rising sea levels inundating major cities, droughts, an advance of deserts, less agricultural production in large parts of the world -- unless something is done.

But the bullheaded Bush Administration, and such editorial pages as those of the Los Angeles Times -- stick their heads into the sand and ignore the bitter truth. As I remarked in a recent blog, the L.A. Times is suggesting halfway measures that constitute going after global warming with a flyswatter. In the LAT case, we have the numb skull publisher, David Hiller, a patsy to every foul business interest, to thank for the idiocy.

Gore, who flew from the Nobel award in Oslo to the Bali conference, expressed hope that the 2008 election will bring people to power in the U.S. that will end the U.S. obstructionism, but he said he could not be certain this would happen.

Last week, Sen. Barack Obama said he would, if elected, ask Gore to play a role in fashioning a different U.S. response. But global warming has thus far not been a major subject of the developing presidential campaign.

This is a crisis, and scientists have been thinking about broad technological solutions. But they are going to cost money and require sacrifice. It is depressing that the U.S. at present is determined to be part of the problem, not the solution. Frankly, it makes you wish Gore were running for President himself. He is behaving honorably in this situation. President Bush is not.


The New York Times had a lengthy story yesterday on steps that Rupert Murdoch has been taking to revamp the Wall Street Journal, even before he assumes full control. Already, he has changed senior editing and publishing positions, and has been approaching skillful reporters at other publications to come to the Journal. He has given signs that less skillful members of the Journal staff will have their employment terminated.

Quite a contrast with Sam Zell, who has apparently done virtually nothing yet, as he prepares to take over the Tribune Co. Certainly, he has not even hinted taking the first necessary step -- the relief of the executives who have caused disaster for the Tribune Co. and its newspapers by their policies of continual cutbacks and assumption of greater debt.

Zell has a lot to prove, and unfortunately so far he is not proving anything. Rather, he seems to be confirming the present CEO, Dennis FitzSimons' ineptitude.


Distasteful wrap-around ads again this morning disfigure the L.A. Times. They must be ripped off and thrown in the trash before one can read the California and Business sections. Again, the culprit is the lowlife Macy's Department store. The correct response would be to halt all shopping at Macy's during the holiday season.



Anonymous McRib said...

If the Bali participants really believed in this global warming BS, would they have flown 200 private jets 10,000 miles to have a nice vacation in beautiful Bali? There isn't even parking for all those planes in Bali. They had to deadhead elsewhere to park and wait for the vacationers to say "pick me up now.".

12/14/2007 3:21 PM  
Anonymous drewski said...

Half the world's population live within a 5 hour flight of Bali -- George Bush's idea of a climate conference in ugly Hawaii set in the middle of the Pacific was a much better idea.

12/17/2007 5:52 AM  

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