Last Thursday at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, the U.S. delegation staged a dramatic walkout in order to â€˜scuttleâ€™ the negotiations. They stated it was in response to Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martinâ€™s Wednesday remark, â€œTo the reticent nations, including the United States, I say there is such a thing as global conscience, and now is the time to listen to it.â€
Most other delegations said the American actions had less to do with Martinâ€™s comments and more to do with the fact that for two weeks they have only been trying to prevent other countries from making progress rather than adding anything helpful. Whatâ€™s worse, the U.S. delegation has not been regularly attending the meetings and so to show up at one just to leave it is even more embarrassing for us as a country.
Our delegation even resorted to bullying tactics. President Bill Clinton was scheduled to speak on Friday night and he did, but not without the U.S. threatening the United Nations. From NYMetro:
Bush-administration officials privately threatened organizers of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, telling them that any chance there mightâ€™ve been for the United States to sign on to the Kyoto global-warming protocol would be scuttled if they allowed Bill Clinton to speak at the gathering today in Montreal, according to a source involved with the negotiations who spoke to New York Magazine on condition of anonymity.
Clinton did end up speaking and called the Bush administration â€œflat wrongâ€.
This morning, more than 150 nations agreed to launch formal talks on mandatory greenhouse gas reductions after the Kyoto 2012 deadline passes. The United States was not among them.
On a lighter note, the National Environmental Trust distributed whoopee cushions with Bushâ€™s face printed on the front by the words â€œEmissions Accomplished.â€
Jennifer Morgan of the World Wildlife Fund: â€œThis shows just how willing the U.S. administration is to walk away from a healthy planet and its responsibilities to its own people.â€
President Clinton: â€œI think it’s crazy for us to play games with our children’s future. We know what’s happening to the climate, we have a highly predictable set of consequences if we continue to pour greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and we know we have an alternative that will lead us to greater prosperity.â€