Ignoring the cyclical nature of climate history President Obama is placing the United States on a path that will prepare the county for global warming, when there is a higher probability of global cooling.
As leaders in Washington obsess about the fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama is putting in place the building blocks for a climate treaty requiring the first fossil- fuel emissions cuts from both the U.S. and China.
State Department envoy Todd Stern is in Doha this week working to clear the path for an international agreement by 2015. While Obama failed to deliver on his promise to start a cap-and-trade program in his first term, he’s working on policies that may help cut greenhouse gases 17 percent by 2020 in the U.S., historically the world’s biggest polluter.
“We are making good progress, and I think we are on track,” Stern told reporters today in Doha when asked if the U.S. can meet its goal even if Congress doesn’t pass climate legislation this decade.
Obama has moved forward with greenhouse-gas rules for vehicles and new power plants, appliance standards and investment in low-emitting energy sources. He’s also doubled use of renewable power and has called for 80 percent of U.S. electricity to come from “clean” energy sources, including nuclear and natural gas, by 2035.
“The president is laying the foundations for real action on climate change,” Jake Schmidt, who follows international climate policy for the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an interview in Doha. “Whether or not he decides to jump feet first into the international arena, we’ll see.”
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“The interesting thing is that for the past three UN climate conferences, the U.S. delegation has never talked about this,” Stavins said in an interview. “They haven’t been interested in taking credit internationally for what’s already in place. When I mention this to other parts of the world, people are shocked.”
The silence, he said, is understandable in part because the “last thing” the Obama administration wants is for State Department officials overseas making it appear as if the White House was trying to “take an end run around the Congress” on climate policy.
“It would have been very bad for the president’s re- election,” he said.
The election is over and the stupidity can commence. Let the end run around scientific reason begin. Large segments of the economy will be preparing for warming, burning our food for fuel, installing solar panels that only work when the sun is shining and wind turbines that turn when the power is not needed and require back ups generators, all the while the earth cooling. Can anyone think of a worse case scenario? Millions will die from starvation as we burn the food need for survival. Millions will freeze when there is not enough affordable energy to stay warm.