Nobody seems really happy after Copenhagen. Two weeks of haggling and a last minute “accord” means discord. And as we all suspected, nothing really was confirmed. Nations went home with a writing assignment. Due back to the U.N. next month. No penalty if the term paper is late, however.
The British Prime Minister said Copenhagen was “hugely disappointing.” One American critic called the whole process a "mosh pit."
WHO CAN WE BLAME?
Blame is a very strong human impulse and it's now being fully exercised in the aftershock, the aftermath, the mornings-after Copenhagen.
The Brazilian President blames the United States.
A left-wing British paper blames a smaller segment of America, the 100-member U.S. Senate.
One American writer who wanted to see big things out of C-hagen narrows it down to President Obama. Blame him, she writes.
China, of course, gets a share of the blame from some.
And the United Nations, host to the Denmark delirium, gets blamed for its idealistic, everybody's got to agree, approach.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
I caught an NPR show that began with those fighting words, “Our lifestyle is killing the planet”
They went on to interview Pulitzer-prize-winner Thomas Friedman. We are not having a green revolution, he says. We’re having a green party, so much fun. What's happening now has nothing to do with a revolution. Freidman says, it’s a revolution when somebody gets hurt, people actually have to change their behavior. IF we wanted to get enough clean electricity to get off dirty fuels, he says, we need one new 1 gigawatt nuc plant every day for next 36 years.
Friedman says we can only achieve that scale through innovation and conservation. We're not, he says, going to regulate our way out of this one. We must shape the market with right price signals, need to make green energy cheaper and fossil fuels more expensive. We'll need to see a green Google and green MSFT. If we pull off the defeat of global warming, it will be biggest industrial project of mankind. Optimists are usually wrong and pessimists right, but all the great changes in history done by opt. Friedman concludes: future is a choice not a fate. “We have exactly enough time, starting now.”
Europe's regional attempt to make fossil fuels more expensive is looking anemic. In the face of Copenhagen's non-progress on emission controls, the cap and trade market in Europe is in free fall. Nobody sees the need to buy those pollution permits that are supposed to make carbon emissions too expensive to endure.
DENIERS DENIED, AGAIN
Deniers must be bummed. Not one single nation was willing to stand up in public and say, "This is a hoax." Can you imagine a conspiracy that includes all the countries? This could be the biggest fraud since sub-prime mortgages. Or, it could be as real as real estate itself. What would, say China or Vietnam, gain by going along with the gag, if this GW thing weren't real?