Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How China Bitch Slapped The World On Climate Change In Copenhagen

In the days after the Democratic Leadership in the Senate and the White House gave up on real reform in the health care reform bill there was another storm brewing. President Obama went to the climate change talks in Copenhagen and ended up leaving with something far short of what most liberals and progressives were hoping for. Now I had followed what was going on over there so I was pretty sure that China had fucked everything up and really the weaksauce compromise Copenhagen agreement was probably a little more than I thought we could get done with China basically giving the world and particularly the US and President Obama their ass to kiss since they are the one country holding most of the cards now when it comes to the economy.

But a curious thing happened shortly after that debacle. Naomi Klein, the author of the popular particularly on the left book on the financial crisis, Shock Doctrine, came up with this blatantly ignorant screed against President Obama entitled "For Obama, No Opportunity Too Big to Blow" (sensationalize much?)which included this great nugget of wisdom:

There's plenty of blame to go around, but there was one country that possessed unique power to change the game. It didn't use it. If Barack Obama had come to Copenhagen with a transformative and inspiring commitment to getting the U.S. economy off fossil fuels, all the other major emitters would have stepped up. The EU, Japan, China and India had all indicated that they were willing to increase their levels of commitment, but only if the U.S. took the lead. Instead of leading, Obama arrived with embarrassingly low targets and the heavy emitters of the world took their cue from him.

I would love to know what the color of the sky is on the planet which Klein lives on where she evidently snorts heroin. But what was most fucked up is that many liberals and progressives who were already disenchanted with President Obama over health care reform, bought this steaming pile of bullshit.

Now if there were any question left that China was the actual villan in Copenhangen we now have a first hand account of what actually went down in the room from Mark Lynas which ironically enough contradicts Klein even in the title "How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room" which included some actual reporting instead of ponies and rainbows:

To those who would blame Obama and rich countries in general, know this: it was China's representative who insisted that industrialised country targets, previously agreed as an 80% cut by 2050, be taken out of the deal. "Why can't we even mention our own targets?" demanded a furious Angela Merkel. Australia's prime minister, Kevin Rudd, was annoyed enough to bang his microphone. Brazil's representative too pointed out the illogicality of China's position. Why should rich countries not announce even this unilateral cut? The Chinese delegate said no, and I watched, aghast, as Merkel threw up her hands in despair and conceded the point. Now we know why – because China bet, correctly, that Obama would get the blame for the Copenhagen accord's lack of ambition.

China, backed at times by India, then proceeded to take out all the numbers that mattered. A 2020 peaking year in global emissions, essential to restrain temperatures to 2C, was removed and replaced by woolly language suggesting that emissions should peak "as soon as possible". The long-term target, of global 50% cuts by 2050, was also excised. No one else, perhaps with the exceptions of India and Saudi Arabia, wanted this to happen. I am certain that had the Chinese not been in the room, we would have left Copenhagen with a deal that had environmentalists popping champagne corks popping in every corner of the world.

Now I am not going to question Klein's motives for her post (although I think they had to be dubious at best) but I will say that if she is half the journalist she claims to be she should at worst note that a first hand account has been published that directly contradicts her claims, and at best print a full retraction.

See its bullshit like her post that gets liberals and progressives labeled as crybabies because it give the appearance that when we get mad or dissappointed then we just start making up shit like a child throwing a fit. That is not the left that I want to be a part of. And that's real.

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