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Gore in Bali: U.S. is blocking new climate pact

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Election 2008
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Posted December 13, 2007 12:19 PM
The Swamp

by Frank James

Fresh off his trip to Oslo, Norway to accept his Nobel Peace Prize for his role as the world's best-known Cassandra on global warming, former Vice President Al Gore was in Bali, Indonesia where he spoke to a United Nations climate conference today.

Gore took his nation, i.e. the Bush Administration, to task for being the leading obstacle to a new climate change agreement to supersede the Kyoto Protocol which is widely viewed as having been ineffective.

Here's an excerpt from the Associated Press's story:

The former vice president urged delegates to take urgent action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, and told them that the next U.S. president will likely be more supportive of international caps on polluting gases.

"My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali," said Gore, who flew to Bali from Oslo, Norway, where he received the Nobel Peace Prize for helping alert the world to the danger of climate change.

Asked about Gore's charge, Kristen Hellmer, a member of the American delegation in Bali, said: "The U.S. is being open and working very constructively with the other countries that are here. We are rolling our sleeves up and really working to come up with a global post-2012 framework."

The U.S., for its part, argues that it's other nations that are stalling matters by insisting on measurable emissions-reduction standards for each nation or caps. According to U.S. officials, everything should be on the table during negotiations now, not just emissions reductions.

Here's a large chunk of a Bloomberg News report which summarizes the situation well:

The U.S., the only developed nation not to ratify the emissions-limiting Kyoto Protocol, is the main opponent to a United Nations proposal to reduce greenhouse gases by 25 to 40 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels.

France and India are among countries condemning the U.S. for opposing emissions-reductions goals in a proposal aimed at guiding talks to replace the Kyoto treaty, which runs out in five years. They say the Bush administration threatens to stall progress on reaching an agreement by 2009. The U.S. argues all options to curb global warming should be considered and debate over targets should occur over the next two years, not now.

``Those who are suggesting that you can magically find agreement on a metric, when you are just starting negotiations, that in itself is a blocking effort,'' said James Connaughton, the chief environmental adviser to President George W. Bush, who has long opposed mandatory emissions cuts.

``We need to free up this conversation so we can have the deliberation to buy as much consensus and as much collective, constructive engagement as we can,'' Connaughton said today on the Indonesian island of Bali, where almost 200 countries are gathered for a UN meeting to begin talks for a new climate accord.

U.S. Blocking Progress

The European Union said earlier today that the U.S. is the main obstacle to reaching a ``Bali road map'' for future climate negotiations. The UN-sponsored talks are set to end tomorrow. The United Nations is pushing for an agreement on a new accord by 2009, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said a ``breakthrough'' in Bali is critical if the world hopes to avoid the worst effects of rising temperatures and sea levels.

The Bush administration's lead climate negotiator, Paula Dobriansky, said today that the U.S. seeks to resolve disagreements in Bali.

``We are hopeful we can find a way to bridge remaining differences and reach consensus on a Bali road map,'' said Dobriansky, the undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs and head of the U.S. climate delegation.

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also accused the Bush administration of hampering the talks.

Senators Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, and Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, are among 52 members of Congress sending Bush a letter urging him to support emissions- reductions goals.

57 Ways to Say `No'

``We write to express our strong disagreement with these positions and to urge you to direct the U.S. negotiating team to work together with other countries to complete a road map with a clear objective sufficient to combat global warming,'' according to the letter.

Many Democratic lawmakers are pessimistic that Bush will change his stance before his term ends in 2009.

``The president sent 57 administration representatives to Bali so he could have 57 ways to say `no' to the international community on solutions to global warming,'' said Democratic Representative Edward Markey, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. ``His continued strategy of denial and delay says to a very sick planet 'take two aspirin and call me when I leave office.'''

Opposed to Caps

Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty in 2001, arguing that mandatory emissions cuts would hurt the economy.

Since then, a UN panel of scientists has warned that global emissions must peak in 2015 and then begin declining to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

Bush remains opposed to an economywide cap on emissions from cars, power plants and other sources. Rather, he has supported voluntary measures to cut emissions, tighter fuel economy standards for vehicles and market-based incentives to curb global warming.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of U.S. states has moved to regulate carbon-dioxide pollution.

Action is happening at the federal level as well. Legislation that would set a cap on carbon passed through a Senate committee last week as the Bali talks were beginning.

Further, carmakers including General Motors Corp. yesterday lost a bid to halt California rules requiring cuts in carbon emissions that have been adopted by at least 11 other states.

``It shows how fast things are moving in the U.S., even while we're here in Bali there's another advance,'' David Doniger, policy director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an interview today. ``But you would never know it listening to the Bush representatives here.''

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Comments

Clam up, Gore the Ultimate Bore. The U.S. does more to clean up the environment than most countries. How about targeting the big polluter, Al? Look to China, India and Russia before opening your lying yap.


Climb down out of that SUV, John D, and tell me what we're doing to clean up the environment. BTW, if you heard him as I did this morning, he said the US AND China contributed half the greenhouse gases emitted. Not just the US.


I just love how the onetime top dems go around the world and slam the U.S.

Jimma Carter, B.J. Clinton and now Al Gore, should be ashamed of themselves.


Paulo


At least the Dems are interested in saving our children versus the Repupies who could care less about their own children.


So how much carbon did Albert burn on his long flight to Bali?


Gore/Clinton admin'/Senate/China/India,..
Hey Al, why didn't the Clinton Admin' do it. Please read folks.
United States
See also: Energy policy of the United States
The United States (U.S.), although a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the Protocol. The signature alone is symbolic, as the Kyoto Protocol is non-binding on the United States unless ratified. The United States was, as of 2005, the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.[66] China was projected to take over at the top of the table by late 2007,[67] but one study now concludes this has already occurred.[49]
On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98),[68][69] which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[70] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.
The Clinton Administration released an economic analysis in July 1998, prepared by the Council of Economic Advisors, which concluded that with emissions trading among the Annex B/Annex I countries, and participation of key developing countries in the "Clean Development Mechanism" — which grants the latter business-as-usual emissions rates through 2012 — the costs of implementing the Kyoto Protocol could be reduced as much as 60% from many estimates. Other economic analyses, however, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office[citation needed] and the Department of Energy[citation needed], Energy Information Administration (EIA)[71], demonstrated a potentially large loss to GDP from implementing the Protocol of up to 4.2% (EIA).
The current President, George W. Bush, has indicated that he does not intend to submit the treaty for ratification, not because he does not support the Kyoto principles, but because of the exemption granted to China (the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide[72]). Bush also opposes the treaty because of the strain he believes the treaty would put on the economy; he emphasizes the uncertainties which he believes are present in the climate change issue.[citation needed] Furthermore, the U.S. is concerned with broader exemptions of the treaty. For example, the U.S. does not support the split between Annex I countries and others. Bush said of the treaty:
This is a challenge that requires a 100% effort; ours, and the rest of the world's. The world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is the People's Republic of China. Yet, China was entirely exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. India and Germany are among the top emitters. Yet, India was also exempt from Kyoto … America's unwillingness to embrace a flawed treaty should not be read by our friends and allies as any abdication of responsibility. To the contrary, my administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change … Our approach must be consistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere."[73]


Al Gore has a fever on his brain it's not that the earth is on fire.
America can't give up it's super power status or our great economy to please a socialist environmental wacko like Al Gore. If Gore didn't have this gig who would listen to him anyway.
As I look out of my office at the ice and snow don't tell me there is global warming I know better I live in Illinois in the winters. Jerry White, Springfield, IL


Question? Did he fly from Oslo to Bali in his private jet,or did he swim. Perhaps he could get some swimming lessons from
Teddy Kennedy.


As I look out of my office at the ice and snow don't tell me there is global warming I know better I live in Illinois in the winters. Jerry White, Springfield, IL

Posted by: Jerry White | December 13, 2007 2:31 PM

Folks here we have the perfect example of ignorance. The subject is GLOBAL WARMING and aholes like Jerry White think that if its cold where they are there can't possibly be global warming. HEY JERRY, if it's snowing and cold does that mean IL is in an Arctic climate? If it's raining in Springfield does that mean you live in a Tropic rainforest? Seriously dude, ask yourself why you believe global temperatures are not rising and folks like Johnny D say that global warming is true but it is a result of increased Solar activity. Doesn't seem like you guys are on the same page. Pick one or the other story and run with it. Get your talking points story straight before you deadenders open your mouth again.


Here's a news flash to conservatives who think the world revolves around the US; The rest of the world has been ignoring Bush for years & laughing at the American idiots who let him run. Gore isn't saying anything new.

We'll just have to wait until Bush leaves office & have a great Democrat right every last wrong the Bush crew left behind & regulate you sorryass Republicans to worthless has-beens as history will show.


Jerry White,
You live in IL in the winter? Really? Because last year was one of the warmest winters on record despite a frigid April. Christmas Day last year broke a high record. 3 days later another high record was shattered. So this proves once again you have no idea what you are talking about. Nice try.

PS Oh yeah December 29, 2006 it was 55 F and New Years Eve 2006 it was 57 F. BRR! That's cold Jerry!


RomanB, I asked nicely to "PLEASE READ".
I posted facts not emotion. Below is just a little bit. But go back up and try to understand (as you put it)
"right every last wrong the Bush crew left behind & regulate you sorryass Republicans to worthless has-beens as history will show."
I guess you mean Democrat.

It started in the Democrat Clinton/Gore Admin".

On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated, and a penultimate draft was finished), the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98),[68][69] which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[70] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification.


This is so easy - Just the follow the money - Al Gore is laughing all the way to the bank on his jet.

Jethro and Jerry - one day or winter does not make a climate change for a planet that is 300 million+ yrs old.

RomanB - why doesn't that last stmt surprise me. You dems would do anythiing to bring dow the Republicans even if it brought down the whole country with it (over-regulation)


Jethro and Jerry - one day or winter does not make a climate change for a planet that is 300 million+ yrs old.

Posted by: Terry | December 13, 2007 8:28 PM

There is more data that suggests the planet is warming and that CO2 concentrations have increased dramatically since the Industrial Revolution. During every past climate change of warming the rise in temp has been concurrent with a rise in atmospheric CO2. If CO2 is a heat trapping gas, and human industrial activity is adding unnaturally to the Earths CO2 concentration, how can you pretend that more heat will not be trapped?


"John," global warming, if it is taking place, is probably a heck of a lot more complicated than how it's being portrayed. And, if you do not think many, not all, but many global warming enthusiasts have an agenda other than a conern over global warming, then you need to wake up.

If it a regular planetary cycle or caused by increased solar activity as some evidence suggests, then there is nothing we can do about it.

It is my contention, though, that we should reasonable and hard work to move away from fossil fuels and to seek alternatives that make sense and are practical. Cleaning the environment, relying less on Arab or Venezualan oil are both worthy objectives. If folks can get the politics out of it, personal agendas out of it, I think most folks can come together and create a viable, practical, necessary energy policy and plan. Sadly, too many sre not interested in doing that because they could lose lillions in government grants, lose millions in speaking engagements or hinder their economic growth as in China and India.


Jethro,

If that is the case, why was Dr. Hansen, NASA's "expert" on Global Warming, stating back in the 1970's that the next ice age was coming about due to all the fossil fuels?

The GW hysteria has only been goping on for about 20+ yrs, before that, it was global cooling.


after inventing the internet,gore is going to be part of the bigest get rich fast by taxing money to a were gonna die rip off.the artic is growing at a record rate.there is no way people can destroy the planet.guess who owns the carbon tax company?gore.dont get sucked in.


typical liberal,america is the enemy.they do it to the troops.they will sell out america in a minute.


typical liberal,america is the enemy.they do it to the troops.they will sell out america in a minute.


i cant wait to pay taxes,for the biggest scam,in history.oh by the way,gore owns the carbon tax company.the icebergs are growing at extreme speed.he invented the internet, remember? theres a lot of money to be made here.


HOW CAN YOU NOT BELIEVE GLOBAL WARMING IS HAPPENING?
The United Nations' team of scientists has issued reports over the last twenty years proving in an unanimous consensus that global warming is occurring, but people still refuse to believe it. Science proves it. This is a fact, and it is happening as we speak. In order to actually make a difference to protect our children and our childrens' children we must put the pressure on Congress NOW.


Except that global warming has nothing to do with Carbon Dioxide...Ever wonder why a greenhouse is hot? Water Vapor; plants in a greenhouse consume Carbon Dioxide like there is no tomorrow, and they aspirate by giving off water vapor.

This kangaroo court of a conference neglects to mention the 'global warming' that is occurring on the other planets in the Solar System, like that the Martian Ice caps are receding at a few miles per year (study done in 2003-2006 by NASA.)

First it was the
Commies (pre WWII)
Nazis (WWII)
Commies again (post WWII until 1990)
Iceage ~1970
Rainforest ~1980
Global Warming ~mid 1990's - present
Terrorism 2000 - present

http://www.livescience.com/environment/070312_solarsys_warming.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

If you want to call fear-mongering science...this time. Please actually put some science into it, like testing a theory before making it a defacto law.


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