Thursday, December 17, 2009

Copenhagen talks on climate change are underwhelming, to say the least

The New York Times has an important editorial on climate change, “Two Days and Counting”, link here. The Times says that the scuttlebutt from the talks is grim, a kind of quiet Medium Cool, with a comprehensive treaty not in the cards. As we remember from ABC’s grim docudrama last June (“Earth 2100”), the planet may not be able to afford stalled negotiations now.

Nevertheless, the Times discusses the morality of richer countries buying their way out of immediate emissions control obligations (sort of like buying your way out of the draft in New York during the Civil War) and of paying poorer countries not to cut down their rain forests. Hint: Brazil is not a poor country.

The Washington Post has a similar editorial, “World leaders remain far from a deal in Copenhagen”, link here.

Hugo Chavez, socialist leader of Venezuela known to brandish the oil weapon, accused the rich countries of plundering the planet, as if preparing to move to Mars anyway. All of this on a day when astronomers found a “water world” just 40 light years from Earth. Good luck with the moving expenses.

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