United States of Climate Change, Sightline
Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries dimmed nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. WWF called the event, which began in Australia in 2007 and grew last year to 400 cities worldwide, "the world's first-ever global vote about the future of our planet." Associated Press, 3-29-09
Barack Obama may be forced to delay signing up to a new international agreement on climate change in Copenhagen at the end of the year because of the scale of opposition in the US Congress ... Guardian, 3-26-09
Climate Crisis: Thousands of Towns in 88 Countries Turn Out Lights for Earth Hour; But Most of US Senate (including 15 "Democrats") Prepare to Tune Out Reason
By Richard Power
The good news is that almost 4,000 cities, towns and villages in 88 countries participated in Earth Hour by turning off the lights for Saturday night.
The bad news is that the Obama administration is letting it be known that it is going to need more time on climate change. Why? Because of many in the US Senate are not willing to stop lying to themselves and their constituencies. (Well, that is my characterization not the Obama administration's.)
The problem is there is no more time left for this sort of nonsense.
In particular, 15 "Democratic" Senators are said to be not on board. Bayh's lobby loyalists.
Almost all of them (who were in the Senate at the time) were also among the overwhelming majorities who voted for both the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the repeal of Glass-Steagall. Both were disastrous decisions, and we will be dealing with their consequences for a very long time. And yet, when the great debate on the Climate Crisis finally comes (it is already eight years too late), the Senators who voted for both disastrous decisions will be trotted out in the US mainstream news media and framed as the voices of "moderation." Embarrassing.
But if the US Senate blocks meaningful Copenhagen-related climate crisis legislation the disastrous decisions about Iraq and Glass-Steagall will likely become irrelevant. Why? Because we will all be engulfed in something much worse, something irreversible, something impacting everyone everywhere for as long as anyone keeps track of time.
"The world said yes to climate action, now governments must follow," the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said Sunday, a day after hundreds of millions of people worldwide followed its call to turn off lights for a full hour. Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries dimmed nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. WWF called the event, which began in Australia in 2007 and grew last year to 400 cities worldwide, "the world's first-ever global vote about the future of our planet." Associated Press, 3-29-09
Barack Obama may be forced to delay signing up to a new international agreement on climate change in Copenhagen at the end of the year because of the scale of opposition in the US Congress, it emerged today.
Senior figures in the Obama administration have been warning Labour counterparts that the president may need at least another six months to win domestic support for any proposal.
Such a delay could derail the securing of a tough global agreement in time for countries and markets to adopt it before the Kyoto treaty runs out in 2012.
American officials would prefer to have the approval of Congress for any international agreement and fear that if the US signed up without it there would be a serious domestic backlash. ...
The British government view, including that of the energy secretary, Ed Miliband, is that the Obama administration can and will strike a deal at Copenhagen, but officials in Washington fear America may be running out of time. They have even been looking at whether an agreement would be seen as an international treaty requiring a two-thirds majority in Congress, or whether it could be forced through as a presidential executive order.
But the opposition within America is potentially substantial, and might be hardened if Obama looks like he is presenting Congress with a fait accompli.
There are thought to be as many as 15 Democratic senators who represent "rust-belt" states dependent on coal mining, steel production and heavy manufacturing, all big emitters of carbon. Guardian, 3-26-09
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