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Who’s to Blame for the Impasse in Global Climate Talks? – November 5, 2010

From the upcoming Winter 2011 edition of the Earth Island Journal

The first thing to say about the climate negotiations this December is that they’re teetering at the edge of what, back in the day, we used to call a “legitimacy crisis.” On every side, people are eager to suggest that the negotiations have become a waste of time. It’s gotten to the point that folks are apologizing for going to Cancun, as if it were bad for their image to be seen at the climate talks.

The climate negotiations, to be sure, are a complicated mess, and the “blame game” now in full swing just adds to the confusion. In the United States, China bashing is much in vogue, and China… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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You Want Loopholes with That? – August 12, 2010

The take-away for Progressives from the climate legislation debacle

MarkeyThe bad news is that the climate/energy push just crashed and burned in the Senate.  The good news is that, in the wake of that crash, the US climate community is having a robust Big Think.  The last time we had such an exchange was back after what, for lack of a better term, I will call the Great Copenhagen Disappointment.  Which raises an interesting question – do we only debate, openly and seriously, after we lose?

If so, and judging by the situation in Bonn, where an inconclusive post-Copenhagen “intersessional” just shambled a bit closer to December’s rematch in Cancun, we’re up for another round… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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“The Bill” – July 28, 2009

Best short film about global climate justice ever!!

This little film ... ... isn't perfect, but damn is it good. Four minutes and 22 seconds, in German with English subtitles, but watch it anyway. Kudos to Germanwatch , and if anyone wants to pay for an English version, don't hesitate to call.


by: Tom Athanasiou

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Who gets blamed? – June 25, 2009

Bonn was disappointing, and Copenhagen will be too. Who to blame?

First up, the climate talks are not going very well.  After a rousing start in Rio in 1992, from which we returned with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the negotiations have been anything but inspiring.  1997’s Kyoto Protocol defined the rich-world actions - the first steps - that would put meat on the Convention’s bones, but the details were not ideal, and after Kyoto, well, let’s just say that things didn’t quite work out as hoped.  And now, twelve years on, Copenhagen is rising on the horizon.   In fact, we’re almost there. 

Unfortunately, judging from the preparatory talks that just ended in Bonn, the guarded progress of the… more

by: Tom Athanasiou

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