SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK

by Erica Rex

Two days two go at the climate change conference in Copenhagen, and the fate of the world is less certain now than it’s ever been – actually, no, it’s more certain than it’s ever been.  This afternoon Scientific American’s David Biello sent along several tweets.  Among them: “navy expects sea level rise of 1 to 2 meters by 2100: rear admiral dave titley” and “sen. kerry admits world hostage to US Senate on climate @ #COP15… but if world strikes no deal, neither will Senate.”

In an update in today’s Scientific American blog, Biello points out that without action toward a global agreement in Copenhagen, it will be difficult for senators from economically depressed states to reassure constituents that U.S. action won’t compromise economic opportunity.

Says Kerry:  “Here in Copenhagen, it’s critical that people understand that one of the reasons the U.S. has moved as slowly and with reservation is a fear by many members of Congress and people across the country that if we take those steps [to cut CO2 emissions] they’re simply going to be eclipsed by rising emissions in developing countries.”

Okay, so if developing countries like China and India don’t agree to curtail their emissions of greenhouse gases, then why should we?  Is that what Kerry means?  Some might call this brinksmanship.  I call it re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.