Did Obama Err Fighting Global Warming?
Has the global warming movement cooled?
In a complex and somewhat puzzling political move, the United States has failed to sign off on creation of a crucial global climate fund ahead of next week’s UN global climate summit in Durban, South Africa.
The thrust of President Obama’s 2008 plan to reconfigure the entire American economy is the fight against global warming. It is done by developing new green technologies.
By doing so we kill two birds with one stone – reinvigorate the American economy and solve the global warming problem at the same time. What could be smarter?
It appears that fiscal reality has finally set in and that it trumps the global green movement.
Failure to agree on the fund was first reported in London’s Financial Times and re-reported by Reuters:
“US blocks key fund in climate agreement“
– Pilta Clark and Javier Blas, Financial Times, 11/24/2011
“US blocks key fund in climate agreement-FT“
-London, Reuters, 11/25/2011
What is the Rejected Global Climate Fund?
It is a $100 billion dollar fund to help emerging nations offset lost revenues due to international agreements restricting the use of fossil fuels that cause global warming.
For example, suppose Nigeria makes a big oil discovery that would greatly benefit it’s economy. International global warming restrictions would impose costs, in the form of carbon credits, on their ability to sell that oil.
Rich nations like the United States and Saudi Arabia contribute to the fund.
In its infinite wisdom, the United Nations believes emerging nations like Nigeria should be compensated for their lost revenue.
That is what the global climate fund is to be created for.
Problems with the Fund
The biggest problem… the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, the two countries most affected economically by creating the fund, cannot agree to a blueprint for creating the fund.
Ironically, one of the “emerging nations” – by UN definition – is mainland China. It is now the 2nd largest economy in the world.
China is eligible to draw from that fund to offset their costs for building coal fired plants at the rate of one per week.
Lack of agreement on the fund threatens the whole global warming movement.
Should We Fight Global Warming Now?
That is a huge question given the current state of the U.S. and global economies.
Global warming may or may not affect the world a century from now.
When the price to fight a long-term problem negatively affects the short term world economy right now, should the world commit the resources?
That is what the U.S. and Saudi Arabia cannot agree on. Like in the European debt crisis, the countries who pay the bills, can and should call the shots.
In this case, The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are calling the shots and cannot agree.
The Complication for the United States
The agreement to create the global fund is part of the Kyoto Protocal adopted by the United Nations 14 years ago back in December 1997.
The United States never signed that agreement and is not bound by it.
The Obama Administration, like the Clinton and Bush administrations before it, apparently has decide not to be bound by it either.
The global warming argument comes full circle.
President Obama got elected and has crafted economic policy specifically to combat global warming.
The United States has even suffered the inevitable mistakes of that policy, like the Solyndra scandal, because of it.
Is it worth it?
That comes into question when the United States cannot bring itself to sign the Kyoto Protocol.
That comes into question when even the Obama Administration cannot commit itself to the fundamental principal to compensate emerging nations in the fight against global warming.
Apparently, President Obama and the United States has decided the cause is not worth the fight based on the economic cost.