US alone at world climate talks

Here we go again. As the governments of countries all over the planet move to deal with the problem of climate change the US, under the leadership of Bush and Co. refuse to cooperate. The Telegraph reports:

The United States was isolated last night after refusing to sign a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions agreed by the rest of the world.

Delegates representing 180 countries at a UN conference committed themselves to speed up climate change measures agreed in the 1997 Kyoto treaty.

But the Americans – who have refused to ratify Kyoto over fears that it will damage its economy – staged a walk-out and refused to agree to a new era of talks to find a successor to the treaty, which runs out in 2012.

President George W Bush’s administration was criticised by his predecessor, Bill Clinton, who addressed delegates in Montreal yesterday.

Mr Clinton said to loud applause that there should be a ‘serious commitment to a clean-energy future’.

If existing clean energy and conservation technologies were applied in full, he said, America could ‘meet and surpass Kyoto targets easily in a way that would strengthen, not weaken, [its] economy’.

Mr Clinton referred to plans by 192 American mayors, representing 40 million people, to cut emissions by the amount America signed up to under Kyoto when he was president.

As if that is not bad enough we also learn that energy companies such as ExxonMobil went one step further and have been working behind the scenes to developed a plan to derail progress on the Kyoto treaty:

A detailed and disturbing strategy document has revealed an extraordinary American plan to destroy Europe’s support for the Kyoto treaty on climate change.

The ambitious, behind-the-scenes plan was passed to The Independent this week, just as 189 countries are painfully trying to agree the second stage of Kyoto at the UN climate conference in Montreal. It was pitched to companies such as Ford Europe, Lufthansa and the German utility giant RWE.

Put together by a lobbyist who is a senior official at a group partly funded by ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company and a fierce opponent of anti-global warming measures, the plan seeks to draw together major international companies, academics, think-tanks, commentators, journalists and lobbyists from across Europe into a powerful grouping to destroy further EU support for the treaty.

That’s American “democracy”: policy by and for corporate interests. “Our” government is the problem… we are the problem. Let’s be very clear on that last point, we are the problem. All of us. We have allowed this take over of the U.S. government and it’s policies. Of course I and others have argued that the system was never really meant to be by the people for the people.

Of course it’s not just a problem of government is it? It is a problem of people and the culture we create in conjunction with government and the corporate control of economy. It is a problem of social planning and the design of physical space. It is a problem of agricultural systems, manufacturing, and transportation.

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