Monday, December 17, 2007

Bush Got What He Wanted Out Of Bali

He delayed, ran down the clock, deferred, distracted and otherwise pushed off the tough decisions on global warming to the next shnook to sit in his chair:
NUSA DUA, Indonesia — The world’s faltering effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions got a new lease on life on Saturday, as delegates from 187 countries agreed to negotiate a new accord over the next two years — pushing the crucial debates about United States participation into the administration of a new American president.
(emphasis added) I should add that Bush also got India and China to agree that they would have to take "measurable steps" to reduce carbon emissions. Their concessions at Bali are tantamount to Bush saying he'll withdraw American troops from Iraq "as Iraqis stand up": meaningless, ambiguous and ultimately up to India and China to decide how and when to measure emissions.

So there will be two more years of "jaw, jaw, jaw," as Churchill might have put it, altho in this context, not approvingly I'm sure.

Can you imagine what might have happened in this country if, instead of wasting nearly a trillion dollars on a quixotic quest to quickly inflame the Iraqi quagmire, Bush had instead tackled global warming and climate change, if only for the protection and security of this nation?

If Osama bin Laden is truly bent on destroying the American way of life, he need only wait a few decades. In fact, he can claim credit for it, since he will have distracted this country at nearly its last possible chance to prevent a worldwide catastrophe that will level the entire global economy, if not the entire global power structure.

He might, indeed, have his caliphate after all, simply because Bush had not the wit, had not the capacity, had not even the horse sense, to close the barn door.

Despite Bush's flummoxed approach to foreign policy and to world leaders, the world itself still looks to the US for a lot. Like it or not, interventionist or not, America is a beacon of prosperity and freedom, so if we think a problem is serious enough to tackle (that doesn't involve invading another country and raping its sovereignty), the world will sit up and take notice.

Even China. Even India. Maybe especially China and India, since they are clearly modeling their future economies on our own. We were, after all, wildly successful in preaching the "benefits" of capitalism, while conveniently leaving out some of the shortfalls (to-wit, a real lack of accountability).

You know something? Guess what? This is going to require sacrifice from everyone but especially from those who can afford it the most, meaning us. Again, imagine that foolish trillion spent in a good cause, as a show of good faith, trying to implement reduced carbon technology for India, for China, for Brazil and Argentina and Venezuela.

In America.

Do you think we might have been taken seriously at Bali? Do you think there would have had to be arm-twisting to get nations to show up to Bush's climate summit next year (presumably featuring the next GOP nominee)?

A trillion dollars, "all in" as they say in poker, means either you're a particularly inept bluffer or you've got an inside flush: you're taking the game seriously.

But no, we live in this reality, the one where an incompetent boob was elected (yes, the elections might have been stolen, but they simply shouldn't have been that close to begin with). He raped and pillaged our economy, Iraq, and Afghanistan, while paying lip service to anything that really matters: health care, poverty, crises that affected millions of people.

One trillion dollars. I keep shaking my head at that.