G8 Leaders Agree To Do Nothing About Climate Change

I’m glad that they are so proud of themselves for unanimously agreeing to do nothing! Leaders of the G8 leading industrial countries have agreed to try to limit global warming to just 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels by 2050.

Pretty farcical on so many levels, but on a personal, empathetic, level I’m happy for poor (rich?!) Mr Berlusconi who got a chance to shed some of the stress he’s been feeling at home with a photo op and stroll with our vaunted supreme leader and the other, merely mortal, leaders of the developed world.*

It is all a bit ridiculous for these respectable representatives of the world to say “we commit to trying to limit global warming by 2050″ without a clear metric that has a causal relationship, a pathway to change behavior or a timeline that they can affect… and to make matters worse China isn’t even playing… their leaders were too busy quelling rebellion.  It reminds me of trying to make decisions with my mom while dad was out of town, because I knew he wouldn’t stand for the crap I was trying to pull.  What we have been left with by our representatives is effectively akin to circuitous lawyer speak embedded into a document in order to render it ultimately useless, but it sounds sexy.  Why not choose a metric that has some causality – I want leaders to know that they aren’t representing us until they propose something that deals with curbing behavior with measurable targets.

I do think we should limit CO2 emissions (quickly) but I don’t believe we can directly attribute a ton of CO2 emissions to a certain fraction of a degree of climate change. Would it not be more effective to commit to a number of tons to reduce? Ethereal and loose commitments for reductions by 2050 don’t count… this is just another great example of passing the buck to another generation of politicians. It is almost as convenient as forcing inflation and an incomprehensibly insurmountable debt onto your kids.

Don’t worry though, it is a good thing that our bold leaders are making bold overtures and agreeing to do nothing  – because climate change and our economic predicaments aren’t very important issues. Projections of demographic strife resulting from it are just not tangible enough to spark action…. right Mumbai? (I feel i should include a ;.{ or a LOL for fear you might not catch my drift…)

Please, gentlemen, you represent the billions of us affected by the actions of the G8. Do what we elected, and are paying, you to do: LEAD.

  • Give me concrete goals. Try a gigaton on for size if you can’t come up with something tangible on your own.
  • Give me a time line that I can affect. What are you going to have us (your flock, if you will) do by the end of 2009? If you want some time, then at least commit to doing something while you are in office… If not, you are just passing the responsibility on to someone else, and that is shirking responsibility, plain and simple.

I love America and many of its ideals… but as an American I’m beginning to get that feeling one gets during the last few turns at the end of a Monopoly game that is about to turn very sour.

*Is it me, or is America becoming a super power again thanks to Obama’s cult of personality? I mean, when was the last time world leaders got giddy at the chance to walk around with an American leader – was President Clinton quite this powerful? I think it may have been FDR post WWII (without having been around to feel the press). I really like the Obama and what we’ve come to hope he represents, but I don’t know if all this attention is fully warranted. America has a long way to go, and can’t rest on its laurels.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

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8 comments on “G8 Leaders Agree To Do Nothing About Climate Change

Definitely is… I love the pictures of a fawning Berlusconi, no doubt trying to make amends for having admired Obama’s suntan so assiduously.

Thanks for the clarification (Dad!)…. FDR died prior to the end of WWII – and naturally, because of polio, he wasn’t walking around much with anyone.




I agree that the G8 leaders essentially did nothing respecting climate change…. Know why? Because everyone of you activists have beaten drums [first, global warming; then, climate change] that the vast majority either disbelieve or don’t care about.

Moreover, most have proposed and/or endorsed massive governmental programs, rather than significant private sector incentives, to achieve your goals. Guess what: virtually every poll on virtually every proposed bill to increase government spending for whatever reason is opposed by the majority of Americans.

Leaders can lead only when they have followers, in substantial numbers, and the framers of the issue have failed in positioning it in such a way that people care about it. Coupled with their fear of more and bigger government spending and you have a loser, big time.

Want an issue that is universally of concern? Try pollution. But the righteous brothers and sisters of the global warming [or is it climate change?] revolution effectively say, “No, not us”.

Not only will the self-selected, media-anointed guru of global warming/climate change, Al Gore, not actually debate any aspect of the issue with anyone: he — and all the rest — feel they must [a] insist on [unproven] global warming and [permanent] climate change, and [b] ignore the pervasive, provable, persuasive existence of pollution in all its poisonous forms. Pollution is something about which virtually everyone is concerned, and its decrease and ultimate elimination will eliminate most of the purported evil perpetrators of climate change.

Speaking of leaders, what kind of a leader is it who refuses to debate the issues about which he pretends to lead, while leaning on his Oscar and Nobel prize?

Remember the definition of insanity? Consider a coalition of activists that refuses to recognize there is pathetically little popular traction — after years of propagandizing — for their cause, and equally refuses to develop an alternative strategy.


All I can say is that at least we’re moving in the right direction. A whole lot better than the previous administration. There is a slightly different take here: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/the-two-degree-solution/?hp


Precisely what of Obama’s actions do you support about “what we’ve come to hope he represents”?

* His [following Bush’s lead] budget busting, inflation encouraging nearly trillion dollar stimulus package, of which scarcely any has been spent … and his lieutenants floating the idea of yet another wave?

* The $65 billion bailout of GM [smaller for Chrysler], followed by the illegal firing of GM’s CEO [probably warranted], followed by forcing GM’s bankruptcy [but only after cementing the union’s outrageous health benefit retirement terms, making them immune from typical bankruptcy modification]?

* The effective nationalizing of Citibank?

* Declaring in Ankara and again in Cairo that the formation of the United States owes a great debt to Islam, and we are is not a Christian country?

* Bowing from the waist on greeting King Abdullah [much as I respect Abdullah, no national leader bows to another and BHO has not done so, before or since]?

* Constantly apologizing when abroad for imputed American wrongs, while hardly ever speaking well of our country?

* Giving an abrazo to Hugo Chavez [who has made a career out of demonizing and denigrating the United States] on meeting him for the first time?

* Backing the totally corrupt, Chavez wannabe Zelaya, in the face of Zelaya’s removal from office in as genteel a manner as any malingering President has ever been dispatched?

* Announcing just this week in Moscow that if Iran drops its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. can stop developing its anti-missile defense system?

I’ll allow someone else a shot at responding to that – I’m not brushing it away, many of the points John brings up are valid to question, though I disagree with quite a few – I (and most the world!) don’t think Obama backed Zelaya they backed due process.

Regarding the more salient points of the blog post, it seems that the Sec General of the UN and I share some thoughts… isn’t that nice?

“UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the G8 had not done enough and should also set 2020 targets.

He said that while the G8’s Wednesday agreement was welcome, its leaders also needed to establish a strong and ambitious mid-term target for emissions cuts.”


Dear Ian,

At least it is the first G8 (G20) meeting that didn’t end with “We agreed to disagree”. Realistically it is not an easy task to conciliate needs, interests and ambitions of almost 4.5 billion people represented in this meeting.

I agree with John when he advocates the bottom-up approach led by free associations and entrepreneurships of individuals and organizations versus the top-down governments over regulation.

2C, on 2005 levels by the way, by 2050 is quantitative goal with a defined time line, maybe as not agressive as we would have liked to see, but even this goal couldn’t find unanimous agreement… do we want to talk about the disaster of the Tokyo treaty?

Anyway, Berlusconi has created a Company from nothing, gave jobs to thousands of people, and he is bringing Italy out of tens of years of nationalized industry which is the black hole in which USA is so anxious to jump in. He likes women, which is not a crime as it is not a crime to be gay. About his jokes let’s say this: let’s be focus on the bottom line.

Obama is leading in a very new direction a Country that has finally re-found the braveness to believe again in the American Dream. He has shook hands of leaders that where completely disregarded in the past year even if they were the protagonists, so the possible solution, of many of the issues of this globe. I am totally impressed by him in Foreign Policy. I can’t say the same for his Economic choices so far, but I am willing to wait and see.

Many people should think what they did in their life and how they quantitatively contributed to the community before arrogantly shooting offensive judgments on people who worked to realize their vision supported by a consensus built on their ideas.

Sorry, but even well written words should be supported from credibility and capabilities, and I generally like eyes that see signs of improvements, because as Abraham Lincoln was used to say: “the beauty of the Future is that it will come day after day”.

I apologize for my Italian-glish.


Carlo M.

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