Bali Finale: U.S. regime to play out the clock

The talk has ended, and thousands of delegates are jetting home, to leave large jet-fuming carbon footprints across the earth's atmopshere. And what have they left in their contrails?

The talk has ended, and thousands of delegates are jetting home, to leave large jet-fuming carbon footprints across the earth's atmopshere. And what have they left in their contrails?

Everything from an historic agreement to a sad compromise, depending on who's doing the analysis. By mid-morning Sunday, U.S. time, Google news already had thousands of articles indexed, zillions more will follow. And I apologize right now for use of sports analogy, it's the lowest form of blogging. But in this case, it's necessary because it's clear the current U.S. government sees this whole topic as a game played for points. It was only after a one-day extension plus negotiations, and arguments, that lasted well into the final night that the U.S. delegation finally allowed itself to be agreeable to the ultimate Bali blather. The delegation from D.C. had played out the clock.

Now it's clear the other countries and the current U.S. government are both going to go on playing out the clock. A new U.S. President takes over in thriteen months, just at half-time in the two-year negotiations set in motion by the Bali agreement.

From the American bleachers, "Time" takes a look at winners and losers at Bali. This American report says there are two major areas of progress shown in the Bali document.

First, developing nations have acknowledged they must help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So now they've got some skin in the game. A llng-standing complaint of the American team was that India and China don't have to sweat it. Second, the U.S. delegation stopped questioning the validity of science that warns of the effects of on-going climate change. That was seen as progress by some, the U.S. willing to accept the rules. But we know from the inactions of the Environmental Procrastination Agency, that this American government can easily stall any further play for thirteen months. They can run out the clock with ease and self-assurance. In fact the White House has already started specifically complaining the Bali package does not do enough to control greenhouse gas emissions from India and China. Now that the U.S. has seen it can't ignore the game, it's fallen back on accusing the other teams of cheating. Sorry, but this whole climate change thing is seen as a big game by the players in D.C. so the sports analogies just fit.

Not sure who's going to explain that to the penguins. Those birds seem to take this extinctionthing with such seriousness. No sense about carbon-trading, economic growth, return-on-investment--the real human issues here.

For an analysis of the Bali agreement, albeit with a pro-business viewpoint, here's the "Economist." They point out the agreement for the first time deals with deforestation and other environmental problems beyond energy use. If this creates investment momentum, it's good news for some green tech firms not using palm oil.

One thing's clear after Bali, especially in the blogosphere, not even Vegas would give sporting odds on George W. Bush winning a Nobel Prize for his work on climate change. He's lost this game in the eyes of most of the world. One blogger has collected just some of the Anti-W comments here. And here's a blog that tries to cut down carbon-trading rather than forests.

And I'd like to collect some analogy-omissions credits. Not once did I write "go for the fences," "reached the end zone," "cried foul," "low blow," "slam dunk" (one very over-used sports analogy), "game, set, match," or "teed off." I'll take my credits in rubles, please. And here's amy account in the Bahamas...