And this has nothing to do with faltering banks or auto makers with begging bowls. This has to do with the air we all must breathe. Right now there's a major international conference on the atmosphere. The 14th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 14) is taking place in Poznan, Poland. It runs until Dec. 12. The meeting comes halfway between COP 13 in Bali, Indonesia, last year, that launched talks on strengthened international action on climate change (the Bali roadmap) and COP 15 Copenhagen in 2009. At that time negotiations are set to conclude for implementation in 2013, the year after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires.
So while American media freak out over car-makers and even this blogger gets sucked into the U.S. car quicksand, the larger world spins on. Human-caused emissions grow, the gases rise. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has just issued a report on Greenhouse Gas emissions last year. Yes, the concentrations of Greenhouse Gases in our only atmosphere have reached modern record levels. Concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide together contribute 88% of the anthropogenic global-warming effect. Conentrations above pre-industrial levels in the atmosphere last year: CO2 37%, methane 156% and N2O 19%.
The WMO says this is making things hotter: since 1990, total re-radiation of heat back towards Earth's surface caused by all long-lived heat-trapping gases has increased by 24%.
So the Obama Admin doesn't just face a meltdown in the economy. The rest of world waits to see what the new American regime will do, if anyting, about the meltdown of the planet's ice fields. As they love to say in Vegas, "When you're hot, you're hot."