Saturday, December 15, 2007

America's Astute "Agreement"

In classic negotiation strategy, using economic power and the force of arrogant obstinacy, the United States won hands down at the Conference for Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia. The European Union and the Developing Countries were on the verge of their "walk away" positions, but America handed over only its "lowest minimum" position.

The US was applauded for its dramatic reversal in agreeing to more negotiations that will conclude in 2009. Nothing was reversed. America did not agree to anything except to continue talking about it. This is masterful diplomatic double talk. We will definitely see more studies and reports contradicting the UN findings up to 2009, to ensure that the US will not commit to any mandatory cuts in CO2 emissions. The conference wanted specific targets (25% to 40% of 1990 levels by 2020), this was a failure. Also technology assistance for developing countries to have meaningful cuts, this was also a failure. What was agreed upon was to "consider some form of assistance to developing countries" to cut their respective CO2 emissions. A nice way of saying "NO way". All news networks (CNN, FOX, BBC, MSNBC) were unanimous in hailing the US "shift", which was only emptiness wrapped in rhetoric and nothingness that only the blind can describe. This is the environmental version of the "Emperor's New Clothes", that's the naked truth.

The US, represented by Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky, was getting a lot of bad press and anti-US reactions throughout the conference. After Saturday's overtime, She announced America's agreement. It was an astute move to salvage the US image and for the organizers to claim some measure of success, albeit imaginary. It also gave the US the opportunity to grab the limelight from their European counterparts and appear as the prodigal son embraced and applauded by everyone at the conference, in dramatic fashion. In retrospect, they were children out-of-wedlock claiming their right to the throne.

The smart "reversal" also gives the problem to the Democrats who would most likely be in the White House in 2009. That gives George Bush freedom to not demand from his Big Business partners to cut their emissions, and will probably join the fray in stonewalling the next President to ensure the Democrat failure to save the environment. If Hillary makes it, she would most likely wrinkle at the process she will have to go through. Obama would probably turn white.

The Kyoto Protocol itself is meaningless. Even if these were increased as demanded by the Bali summit (25% to 40% from 1990 levels) the reductions are too slow to save the environment by 2020.

Americans have relied on their soldiers to fight and die to preserve their way of life, as they put it. The noble intent of its Military rank and file cannot be denied. But these were in a geographic battlefield. The environmental battle is not geographical, it is global. There are no boundaries nor borders in this war. The American Citizens must show they too are willing to fight and live to preserve, not their way of life, but their very lives; they too must sacrifice to continue the benefits, not the excesses, that define their existence; they must live in harmony, not in isolation, with all inhabitants of this planet; they must learn to commit, not just to demand, what is just and fair; they must start practicing the ideals that freedom, equality, right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is for every human being, not just Americans; that their rights end where the rights of others begin.

Now, lets see a true and meaningful reversal. Unless what they'd like to see is the complete reversal of the current state of the earth.

Haaaarrrwwwk... Twoooooph...Ting!

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