Saturday, December 19, 2009

Something Is Rotten In Denmark

So how does the "deal" out of Copenhagen grab you?

The new agreement on fighting climate change calls for industrialized countries to list their targeted goals for cutting carbon emissions and keeping global warming below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit and requires developing nations to come up with their plans to cut carbon pollution. Emergency aid of $30 billion to developing countries has been promised with the audacious hope of providing and additional $100 billion a year by 2020, but with no guarantees.

Wow, I feel so re-assured.

The agreement encourages countries to figure out how to cut greenhouse gas emissions on their own. So fat the United States has labelled carbon dioxide a pollutant and is on a course to do something about it. More like doing anything about it. The bill before the Senate would try to to cut global warming by giving subsidies to companies that use a lot of energy to make a transition to clearer, greener energy. It would also set up a cap-and-trade system that would set a nationwide limit on emissions but allow polluters to buy and sell permits to meet the goals of emission reduction. It does nothing, however, to raise the price of fossil fuels and encourage alternative solutions to our energy and transportation needs and change our behavior. But even the bill as it currently stands is insufficient to address the concerns of Republican senators who are fighting for greedy corporations - oops, excuse me, who are fighting for preserving jobs and economic opportunity and, for various reasons ("Global warming is a hoax!" - James Inhofe), want further studies on the problem.

It's going to be pretty hard to convince the skeptics of global warming to even accept the Copenhagen "agreement," even though President Obama went to Denmark to get the best agreement possible (that is, any agreement) . Senate Republicans have to be convinced that there is global warming after Obama flew into Copenhagen while it was snowing there, especially with Senate business being conducted today . . . in the middle of a snowstorm.

Now is the winter of our discontent, to quote yet another Shakespeare play.

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