U.S. Undermines International Action on Global Warming

This is a guest post from Josh Dorner of the Sierra Club

It seems some people never learn. The Bush administration is up to its old shenanigans on global warming again. You'd think that after an election in which voters said "it's not me, it's you" to your party and then the Supreme Court said "no really, it's YOU" that you'd learn. But no.

Germany is a leader in the fight against global warming and Chancellor Angela Merkel has made global warming a priority while her country controls the rotating presidency of the G8. The group is due to issue a statement -- yes, merely a non-binding communiqué -- on the matter at its summit meeting next month. Shockingly, the U.S. has been working behind the scenes to delete two key parts -- one calling for a 50% reduction in emissions by 2050 and another passage reiterating that the UN is the proper forum for multilateral action on climate. Bush of course refuses to even consider anything other than voluntary action taken outside his much-despised UN.


Scientists of course tell us that we need much more than a 50% reduction in emissions to prevent the worst effects of global warming.  (Heck, even John McCain's bill would probably get us more than that!) In fact, the Sierra Club is asking everyone to support the 2 Percent Solution -- an average annual reduction of 2% that gets us to where scientists tell us we need to go: 80% by 2050.  But I digress…so where exactly has Bush's "leadership" on global warming gotten us? The National Academy of Sciences reported this week that worldwide carbon emissions have grown at a rate far higher than in the ‘90s. That means business as usual would now get us to an Earth-singing 560 parts per million of CO2 by 2050 and 1,390 PPM by 2100 -- a level that would make Venus seem positively glacial by comparison. 



Finally, after weeks of "examining" the rather unambiguous benchslap that the administration received from the Supreme Court in Mass v. EPA, Bush responded by setting aggressive, binding carbon reduction targets.  PSYCH!  He actually responded with an executive order that ordered several agencies to examine their authority and come up with something by some point sometime during the final days of his administration.  Emission accomplished!

Bet I had you there for a second!  A nanosecond, that is.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.