Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"No excuse for America not to act"

Senator John Kerry appeared in Copenhagen today, and delivered a strongly-worded speech stating that "the U.S. is here today to put America on the right side of history," and that the Senate is poised to act on comprehensive climate legislation.

Kerry began with a critical denunciation of those that have treated climate change science as a 'cafeteria operation' where they could pick and choose the facts that suit their purpose - he said that this 'amateur hour' is over, and decried those that for the past 20 years have 'delayed, denied and divided' and prevented the US from playing a leadership role in dealing with climate change. Where, he asked, do those that reject the science, claim any shred of an alternative explanation for what putting all these greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere will do?

Joining Kerry - symbolic of the fact that he was grounding his policy speech in science - were Nobel-prize winner IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and former Senator (and environmental advocate) Tim Wirth. Suggestive of the importance of the speech - and the looming appearance of Obama - head UN Climate negotiator Yvo de Boer introduced Kerry, saying that the the world is waiting with bated breath for the Senate to move forward. Kerry made the case that the Senate is beginning to fall in place (daresay even with some Republicans), and that next year they will pass a bill placing a price on carbon.

It was an optimistic view, even as things are not going at all smoothly in the rest of the Bella Center toward getting a deal put together in these last few moments of the conference. As Kerry said, there is a lot of synergy between what happens here and what happens in DC, that they feed back on each other. Hold on to see which direction that synergy propels us....


  1. Sad but I don't believe the lame US congress will accomplish anything. I also believe that the majority of the American public will not support any climate bill if that means they have to pay more for energy. Nor will voters support any other measure that forces them to change the American way of life which all of our fat asses have become accustomed to. A sea change in people's heads is what's required. Very few people that I know, even amongst my left leaning group of friends, think twice about where their energy comes from. Leaving lights on in empty rooms, cranking up the heat so you can wear a tee shirt indoors in winter, and perhaps the most intractable problem, driving and the cars we drive needs to change radically.


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