Tom Athanasiou is the executive director of EcoEquity, an activist think tank devoted to promoting effective solutions for climate control. He is the author of Divided Planet: The Ecology of Rich and Poor and the co-author of Dead Heat: Global Justice and Global Warming.
The problem here is "governance failure." Or maybe we should just call it "decadence." The United States may at this point be so weakened by rot and ideology that it is unable even to act in its own interests, let alone the interests of its people, let alone the interests of humanity as a whole.
You don't have to leave America to go to the Third World.
Cancun was not a surprise. Nor was it a failure. This much is easy to say.
Discouragement is already in the air in the lead-up to the Cancun talks, but hope must stay on the table.
Its time to go beyond dubious political compromises and get real about global warming.
We stand, first, with the emerging scientific consensus, which tells us we have very little time to act if we honestly expect to avoid a global (as opposed to a merely local) climate catastrophe.
The first thing to say about Kyoto's entry into force (Feb 16th) is that it is a significant victory, won particularly by the Europeans, over social and economic complacency, cash-amplified, flat-earth pseudo-science, the carbon cartel, and, of course, the Bush administration.
The Bush administration's latest efforts at derailing global action on climate--an authentic threat to global security.
That path, of course, would be a long one, and full of surprises. But unlike the path that the Cheney team would have us think inevitable, it would open into a future worth having.
But could a visionary climate plan, anchored in an alliance between the EU and the South, shift the field? We believe that it could.
Analyzing the Kyoto Protocol, part of FPIF's series of discussion papers addressing contentious issues in global affairs.
Genoa and Bonn, taken together, portray the Janus face of globalization.
If Kyoto goes down, there will be serious collateral damage, a point that G.W. Bush's handlers have only recently begun to realize.
It's hard for Americans, even progressive Americans, to imagine a future in which the U.S. is no longer the "indispensable country."