The US are obstructing progress on climate change again

The UN climate conference is busy wrapping up in Bali at the moment. Once again, the United States are the main obstruction to progress. The Yanks really annoy me when it comes to climate change. They cause more damage than anyone else, yet they refuse to make real progress on reducing that damage.

In short, most of the rest of the world is calling for mandatory reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases (principally Carbon Dioxide – CO2) and the US (with a few cronies) is saying no.

The States are saying that they prefer “voluntary reductions” over specific target reductions because:

  • Specific targets would limit the scope of future talks“. They think that having no goal other than some kind of voluntary reduction will be more effective than a specific target… Doesn’t make too much sense to me.
  • Targets will “harm the U.S. economy”. Of course they will you morons. Everyone else accepts taking a hit now in the interests of reducing global warming. Basically they are saying: “We want to continue ruining the world for everyone so that we can stay rich for the while”.
  • The same targets are no applied to poorer but fast-developing nations. This sounds like a good point, but it is actually rubbish. For instance per person emissions in India and China are currently less than a quarter of those in the US. And over the last 50 years the vast majority of emissions have come from the Americans. So although there should be targets for India and China, they are already kicking the hell out of the US. See the graph below (click for more detail).

CO2 emissions per person (US, India, China, South Africa)

So the US is full of it. Wired has reported on Al Gore having a go at the States while speaking at the Bali conference. He is basically saying that although the US is “principally responsible for obstructing progress” people shouldn’t give up hope. In two years the US will have a new president who is far more likely to be proactive on climate change than the idiot Bush.

Australia recently replaced their prime minister and the new guy ratified the Kyoto agreement almost immediately. Lets hope something like that will happen in the States.