If the world’s leaders who assembled in Copenhagen knew in advance, as everyone else did, that reaching an agreement to create a binding, enforceable treaty obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by defined targets by specific dates, the final outcome of this week’s grand event to save the planet was all the more a sham. But a litany of sober speeches and prospects of doom were not enough to bring the parties to agreement—except to keep talking.
Let’s face it, this is a wonderful outcome to what could have been a total train wreck. An enforceable treaty would, almost certainly, enacted sweeping wealth redistribution, onerous carbon taxes to pay for it, the mass migration of energy intensive business from countries on the hook to those on the lam. This was a climate crisis of epic proportions in the making.
In drama it was only upstaged by the circus going on in the US Congress surrounding health care reform, cap and trade, the need for more stimulus since the first two plans did not work, and the Omnibus Defense Spending Bill that looks more like the Omnibus Christmas Tree with all its promised earmarks seeking to buy votes for other lost causes.
But wait, maybe they are related. Did President Obama go to Copenhagen because he thought he had a better chance of getting something there than on Capitol Hill? The odds now look like he will fail in Congress like he failed in Copenhagen.
New Year’s Resolutions
It is good that we will have a few days break to ponder the significance of all this hot air and lost momentum while the spin-masters work their magic to explain down expectations. This will force many camps to revise their New Year’s Resolutions:
Al Gore: Step up sales of emissions credits as fast as you can while this gravy train still has legs. I need to make another $100 million before this thing collapses of its own weight.
True Believers: We’ve been screwed. These lying, cheating, back stabbing politicians will say anything but even when we had them in our grasp we could not close the deal. Damn! This was our best shot and we blew it.
True Deniers: We’ve been saved. Those liberal do-gooders would have sold us down the river. Thank goodness for China and a few other countries that still believe in capitalism.
Carbon Marketers: Holy Methane! Our business model just fizzled out. How will we sell these same rain forest preservation deals now when everyone agreed to cheat.
Coal Producers: Burn Baby Burn! We are back in business.
CEOs: WTF! Why did I just agree to invest billions to make my company look clean and green when these politicians can’t even agree to count what I’m doing. Now the Chinese are going to go like hell to take my market share and Obama is still going to raise my taxes!
Harry Reid: We’re roadkill!
Nancy Pelosi: We scored a great victory in getting all these nations to work together and the long term results will show President Obama’s leadership made a huge difference. He deserves all the credit for this.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: How Sweet It Is!