Sunday, December 16, 2007

World shames US into weak global warming deal

Look closely to see Polar Bears stranded and starving on melting Arctic sea ice. Arizona and the Southwest are getting hotter and drier due to global warming.

TUCSON -- Despite all efforts of the Bush/Cheney administration to block any real action on global warming, a worldwide chorus of boos yesterday at the talks in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, shamed the US delegation in to a quick reversal.

As an American, I say 'thank you world citizens.'

As reported in today's LA Times: U.S. delegate Paula Dobriansky said that the United States could not accept the compromise language and argued that developing countries were not offering enough to curb their emissions.

The room erupted in a chorus of boos.

Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa's minister of environmental affairs and tourism, called the U.S. comments "most undeserved and without any basis," given the developing world's concessions during the talks. He added: "We would have liked to see a much stronger commitment from the United States."

Kevin Conrad, a delegate from Papua New Guinea, drew applause when he told the U.S. delegation: "If you cannot lead, leave it to the rest of us. Get out of the way."

In a stunning and unexpected reversal, Dobriansky backed down moments later.

"The United States is very committed to this effort and just wants to really ensure that we all will act together," she told the gathering. "And with that, Mr. Chairman, let me say to you, we will go forward and join consensus today."

All this does not mean the US will do anything to curb our global warming pollution, but this is a significant step. The agreement only means there will be more negotiations, concluding in late 2009 at the earliest, during the next US administration.

Pushing it to late 09 means Bush has totally failed to protect people and the economy with his head-in-the-sand approach to global warming. The American people are way ahead of the President and many in Congress on this, and want action now.

We'll all have to watch and keep pushing on this in Washington until we get solid commitments to cut global warming pollution 80% by 2050. We can do it. Our future depends on it.

Watch for the states to keep up and increase the pressure on DC in support of curbing global warming.

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