The big climate change enviro-bash continues in Bali. Here's the conference's official website. Tomorrow BaliTalk enters the final phase with ministerial level participants arriving (that's Cabinet-level to us Yanks). It's not likely there'll be a big international agreement out of this conference even though it's aimed at finding the next step after the current Kyoto Protocol expires. Neither China nor the U.S. signed on to Kyoto. They're the earth's top two producers of CO2 emissions which are helping to warm our weather.
The Chinese story tells of an American environmental group urging the U.S. government to be "collaborative." Speaking at the conference yesterday one American pol, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), said he sees no climate change policy change in the U.S. until January, 2009.
The AP version points out that numbers are at the crux of the disagreements. The U.S. does not want to sign any statement that prescribes, proscribes or scribes in any fashion a set of emission levels for the U.S. The AP repeats the American government mantra about emissons standards hurting the American economy. We've blogged about that. Do you imagine cutting CO2 emissions would hurt nearly as much as Wall Street's brilliant junk mortgage inventions?
China and the U.S. have taken to schoolyard taunting. China accuses the U.S. of living like a spoiled brat. Says U.S.must stop its polluting first, as an example to the world. Change your life, repent! Communists sounding like pollution pentecostals. And, China asks, what about world poverty? The U.S. says China and India are growing rapidly and spewing horrible stuff into our air and nobody on the playground seems to notice THEM. Besides, you other countries are just jealous of our fab shoes and big cars.
Here's a Euro-version of the Bali talks. From Reuters. The headline says it all, "Row over 2020 emissions goal sours Bali climate talks." But you gotta remember, those Europeans have a cynical view of humanity. Henry James wrote about that. And THEY think mandatory emissons standards are the only way to get governments and eventually you and me to take this global warming thing seriously. The EU doesn't want voluntary. They want set numbers and some sort of ingternational enforcement. Like mega-speeding tickets. Course, they can talk, the Euro is soaring in value next to our puny Ameri-dollar. And the EU members have just about all their backs on the Iraq adventure. Some famously refused in the first place. So they're not spending money there...and they have all that oil nearby in Russia, and Norway.
It's important to note that Japan has lined up in support of the American position: not supporting mandatory emissions standards.