Commentary Magazine


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Meanwhile, Back on Earth

Here’s a bailout we should welcome:

Some rich countries are planning a “great escape” from promises to fight climate change as recession bites and a deadline nears to agree a new treaty, China’s climate ambassador Yu Qingtai told Reuters on Wednesday.

“The only conclusion many people like me are drawing is that some (rich) countries are preparing for the great escape from Copenhagen,” Yu said in an interview. His comments underlined concerns that U.N.-led climate global negotiations in Poznan, Poland, are treading water as many delegates and observers question the chance of agreeing a comprehensive treaty as planned in Copenhagen next year.

It’s time to stop treading water and get out of the pool altogether. We’re simultaneously entering an open-ended cooling period and an open-ended economic downturn. No one’s interested in allocating precious funds to make sure our cold planet doesn’t come to a boil. (Well, no one except our delusional Capitol Hill Democrats, who are certain to burden the newly propped-up auto industry with unnecessary CO2-reduction requirements.)

After an endless election season of myth and fantasy, it feels as if we’re finally entering the season of long-awaited truths. The Iraq War will not end, Guantanamo will not be immediately shuttered, detainee interrogations will continue to be harsh, Iran is not open to persuasion through dialogue, winning in Afghanistan is not a simple matter of redeploying troops from Iraq, Barack Obama was delivered out of a sleazy political machine, and climate change isn’t a real issue. Forget about Obama not being the person you thought he was; it’s the world itself that’s failed to conform to election season renderings.