Month 11, Day 27: Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Mate!

The Sydney Morning Herald runs an article by Connie Hedegaard, the European Commissioner for Climate Change, laying out the problems and prospects for any sort of agreement at Cancun. Grim.

Commissioner Hedegaard is correct in her analysis, however unfortunate its implications may be. Two of the world’s most significant greenhouse gas emitters are dragging their feet on a meaningful climate treaty. While China’s intransigence reasonably enough reflects its hopes of securing temporary economic advantages (a position it is well suited to exploit due to its recent expansion of investment in “green” energy resources), the United States’ paralysis is rooted in illogical political exigencies — the U.S. Republican party now considers it electorally fatal simply to acknowledge the existence of climate change, let alone consider doing something about it. The glorification of ignorance (and the dismissal of expertise) that began in earnest under Ronald Reagan has created a political party that is pathologically averse to facts and fact-based analysis. Schiller’s apothegm, “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain,” is well and truly applied to many members of America’s political culture.

Warren Senders