“The will to act on climate change is out of political energy, running on empty. The problem is (relatively) distant, complex and intractable. The solution is costly, immediate, and the gains uncertain. It is the kind of slow-burn crisis that democratic politicians only tackle under sustained popular pressure and right now western voters have other things on their minds.”
“But even if progress were possible here, President Barack Obama, a year away from an election, cannot face down the Republican-controlled Congress where they think climate activists are a sect dedicated to destroying the American way of life.”
“To have an even chance of success, global emissions will need to start to fall within the next five years or so. Each year of delay makes failure more expensive and harder to avoid. This is another stand-off between the strong and the vulnerable, and there is talk of an Occupy Durban. It needs an objective. Then the talking can really begin.”
The author of this editorial really hits it on the head. The 2011 Climate Change Conference is set to happen soon in Durban and as it’s not difficult to see that progress is unlikely when so many countries have conflicting agendas. Developing countries don’t want their emissions to be capped, developed countries don’t always agree and the US, in general, rather apathetic towards creating real progress.
When will we really begin to take this seriously? How extreme do weather patterns have to become? Are we going to start paying attention only when white, middle-class Americans are directly affected?