Thursday, December 13, 2007

Al Gore in Bali: "I am not bound by diplomatic niceties ... my own country ... is principally responsible for obstructing progress ..."

Image: Earth at Night, NASA

Climate Crisis Update 12-13-07: Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Al Gore in Bali -- "I am not bound by diplomatic niceties ... my own country ... is principally responsible for obstructing progress ..."

By Richard Power

This story should be the banner headline for every major city newspaper and the lead story on every network news broadcast, it should dominate the news cycle in the US mainstream news media, but it hasn't and it probably won't, until it is too late.

Here's how the lead should run:

There was high drama today at 190-nation Bali conference on the planetary climate crisis. The Bush-Cheney regime, which was illegitimately installed in 2000 by an act of Supreme Injustice, is seeking to culminate its seven year campaign of denial, disinformation and delay by blocking progress toward an urgently needed global accord. And flush with the honor of receiving the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, the man elected President of the USA in 2000 stood in defiance against them.

Here are some excerpts from two pieces of worthy coverage, one from the British press, one from the Blogosphere:

Al Gore, the former US Vice-President, launched a very public attack on Washington today blaming American officials for the failure of this week’s United Nations climate change conference.
The United States refused to sign up to emissions targets as the Bali conference on global warming limped to an acrimonious conclusion today.
Mr Gore, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this year for his work on climate change, was clear in his denunciation of President Bush’s attitude.
“I am not an official and I am not bound by diplomatic niceties. So I am going to speak an inconvenient truth: my own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali,” he said, to the applause of delegates. ...
“Over the next two years, the United States is going to be somewhere it is not now,” said Mr Gore
“One year and 40 days from today, there will be a new inauguration in the United States. I must tell you candidly that I cannot promise that the person who is elected will have the position I expect they will have, but I can tell you I believe it is quite likely.” ...
Yvo de Boer, the UN climate chief, said he was worried that US reticence would derail plans to set international emissions targets in the coming years.
“I’m very concerned about the pace of things,” he said. “If we don’t get wording on the future, then the whole house of cards falls to pieces.”
Nico Hines, Al Gore Lambasts US Climate Obstructions, Times Online/UK, 12-13-07

GORE: Just this week, new evidence has been presented. I remember years ago, listening to the scientists who specialize in the study of ice and snow, express concern sometime toward the end of the 21st century, we might even face the possibility of losing the entire North polar ice cap. I remember only three years ago, when they revised their estimates to say it could happen halfway through the century, by 2050. I remember at the beginning of this year, when I was shocked, along with others, to hear them say it could happen in as little as 34 years. And now, this week, they tell us it could completely disappear in as little as 5-7 years.
One of the victims of the horrors of the Third Reich in Europe during World War II, wrote a famous passage about the beginnings of the killings and he said, “First they came for the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so I said nothing. Then they came for the gypsies, and I was not a gypsy, and I said nothing.” And he listed several other groups, and with each one, he said nothing. And then he said, “And then they came for me.” For those who have believed this climate crisis was going to affect their grandchildren, and still said nothing, and who were shaken a bit to admit that it would affect their children, still did and said nothing. It is affecting us, in the present generation.
Think Progress, 12-13-07

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Center for American Progress Action Fund's Mic Check Radio has released a witty and compelling compilation on the Top 100 Effects of Global Warming, organized into sections like "Global Warming Wrecks All the Fun" (e.g., "Goodbye to Pinot Noir," "Goodbye to Baseball," "Goodbye to Salmon Dinners," "Goodbye to Ski Vacations," etc.), "Global Warming Kills the Animals" (e.g., "Death March of the Penguins," "Dying Grey Whales," "Farwell to Frogs," etc.) and yes, "Global Warming Threatens Our National Security" (e.g., "Famine," "Drought," "Large-Scale Migrations," "The World's Checkbook," etc.) I urge you to utilize Top 100 Effects of Global Warming in your dialogues with friends, family and colleagues.

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