Saturday, November 18, 2006
USA: Wanted for Crimes Against the Planet
Center for American Progress. Posted November 16, 2006. Posted on Alternet
World temperatures are rising to levels not seen in at least 12,000 years. Greenland's ice mass is melting at "what what NASA calls a 'dramatic' rate of 41 cubic miles per year." And unless climate change is reined in, "extreme drought could eventually affect one-third of the planet." More than 5,000 activists, scientists, and diplomats understand these facts and have gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for the annual two-week U.N. Climate Change Conference, which is now in its final three days. As U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote in a Washington Post op-ed, "The stakes are high. ... Yet too often climate change is seen as an environmental problem when it should be part of the broader development and economic agenda." The Bush administration and the 109th Congress haven't understood these stakes. Hopefully, the 110th Congress will. Incoming Senate Environment and Public Works chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recently said, "Time is running out, and we need to move forward on this." The Bush administration's chief climate negotiator, however, promised conference participants that the White House would continue to do as little as possible.