Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

U.S.: Just Can’t Do Climate Goals


The richest, supposedly greatest, most powerful nation this planet has ever seen has told the rest of the world once again that it can’t meet climate goals.

“It’s frankly not do-able for us,” chief climate negotiator Harlan Watson told Reuters on Tuesday, referring to a goal for rich countries to curb greenhouse gases by 25-40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

I’ve focused on this aspect of modern-day Republicanism before. Here’s there message: elect us and all we’ll do is tell you all the things we can’t do. Guess what? Americans are sick and tired of that negative messaging. Americans are an inspirational people. Historically, we have responded to those who want us to reach far for a goal. If we don’t get there, fine. But at least we tried our hardest. Telling us it can’t be done without even trying will not cut it.

The truth of the matter is we can meet these goals. More than that, we have to meet these goals. The alternative will have a significant negative effect on our economies and ways of life. Those will be forced on us, rather than us acting like adults and making the choice now to do it the easy way.

Guess who can do it: the European Union. Maybe if our country weren’t invading and occupying other nations in an insane imperialistic rampage, we could spend some time and energy on real problems.

And what’s this:

Watson was speaking on the sidelines of U.N.-led climate talks in Germany. He held out hope for agreement in the July G8 meeting on a global goal to halve emissions by 2050.

If we can’t get 25% by 2020, how are we going to get 50% by 2050? That’s far too late. Concentrations of greenhouse gases must be reduced sooner rather than later. If we leave them in the climate system too long, their effects will have manifested by the time we get into gear. And do you for one second believe people like Watson or Bush will ever seriously consider doing something about emissions? They don’t think they have any incentive to do so. It’s up to Americans themselves to lead on this issue. If we change our daily habits and refuse to let delayers and deniers represent us, the political inertia necessary for large-scale change will come together.

Our current crop of officials want countries like China to contribute to the research and development for this effort. Why, so they can sell us the technologies instead of the other way around? Why do Republicans want to shortchange future American prosperity?

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3 thoughts on “U.S.: Just Can’t Do Climate Goals

  1. I totally agree with you. And if the scientists at EPA try to revise emission standards or give approval to emission reduction programs they are silenced. The Bush administration has on several occasions overruled the opinion of EPA scientists; be it California’s emissions reduction goal or ozone emission standards. In both the cases Bush and Cheney personally intervened either to reject or weaken the proposals made by the scientists.

  2. Pingback: Climate Change Costs Discussion « Weatherdem’s Weblog

  3. Administration manipulation of results and policies will be one of many reasons to be glad when Bush’s dark days are over.

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