Today, Senator John Kerry gave a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, “After Kyoto, Eyes on Bali: Global Climate Change and American Leadership”. The talked focused on global climate change’s security challenges and provided thoughts as to paths forward at the Bali talks in December.
Senator Kerry laid a stark choice before his audience, before us (US) …
The road to our present predicament is littered with missed opportunities, but we still face the same, ever more acute, choice: either America finally leads the world in crafting a comprehensive new international agreement, or the countries of the world will pollute our way into a catastrophe of unknowable parameters but undeniable peril.
Senator Barbara Boxer will join Senator Kerry at Bali. There is a difficult challenge there, how can they convince other nation’s America is serious about Global Warming, that the nation is “ready to end the era of obstruction and start leading by example.”
Senator Kerry emphasized that Bali must provide a path for incorporating the world’s worst past emitter (the US) and the world’s largest emitter of today/tomorrow (China).
Now Senator Kerry strives to answer how to include China and, it seems clear, that he is uncertain as to the best paths forward for doing so. He suggests some ideas (an “an internationally funded research consortium devoted to developing green technologies”; “reducing tariffs on green producers, rewarding coutnries that meet emissions standards”; …) The key path could, however, be to determine how to help countries (including the PRC) leap frog past the energy inefficienct, fossil fuel based economy of the 20th century to a renewable energy, energy efficient 21st century system.
Any quibbling aside, this is a strong statement, an affirmative statement of requirements and possibilities, with a bottom line that I fully endorse.
All of our most pressing geopolitical concerns point us in the same direction: a massive investment in alternative energy and green technology.