Year 3, Month 12, Day 3: Red, White and Bullshit…

The Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) runs an AP article about America’s attempt to greenwash our record at Doha.

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Anticipating an onslaught of criticism from poor nations, the United States claimed “enormous” strides in reducing greenhouse emissions at the opening of U.N. climate talks Monday, despite failing to join other industrialized nations in committing to binding cuts.

The pre-emptive U.S. approach underscores one of the major showdowns expected at the two-week conference as China pushes developed countries to take an even greater role in tackling global warming.

Speaking for a coalition of developed nations known as the G77, China’s delegate, Su Wei, said rich nations should become party to an extended Kyoto Protocol — an emissions deal for some industrialized countries that the Americans long ago rejected — or at least make “comparable mitigation commitments.”

The United States rejected Kyoto because it didn’t impose any binding commitments on major developing countries such as India and China, which is now the world’s No. 1 carbon emitter.

American delegate Jonathan Pershing offered no new sweeteners to the poor countries, only reiterating what the United States has done to tackle global warming: investing heavily in clean energy, doubling fuel efficiency standards and reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants. Pershing also said the United States would not increase its earlier commitment of cutting emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. It is half way to that target.

Mendacity, mendacity, it makes the world go ’round. Sent November 27:

The United States’ attempt to defuse criticism of its profligate greenhouse emissions on the eve of the Doha climate conference is a fine demonstration of how truth and deception can be interwoven. It’s beyond dispute that America has made enormous strides in reducing future consumption of fossil fuels. Whether it’s stricter mileage standards for new cars, tougher EPA regulations, or increased investments in renewable energy, the Obama administration has done remarkably well — especially given the relentless opposition they’ve faced from Republican lawmakers who’ve done everything possible to derail environmentally responsible policy initiatives.

But these strides are only possible because our country’s approach to energy is astonishingly wasteful. Per capita, America’s CO2 emissions are far higher than those of India and China, whose carbon footprints are larger than ours only because of their far greater populations. For the USA to tout its record on climate change without taking these factors into account is grossly misleading — a poor stance for any nation, let alone one asserting a leadership role in the international community. When it comes to a robust and responsible approach to the planetary climate crisis, America (and Americans) will have to do far better than this.

Warren Senders

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