It’s Time for a Change

With only fourteen days until the start of the COP15 meeting, over sixty presidents and prime ministers are expected to attend. However, President Obama will not be among them.  There has been a concern that nothing substantial will come from Copenhagen without the heads of some of the world’s major polluters (China, India, and the US) in attendance.    I agree with this concern, and I challenge President Obama to step up to the plate and properly represent the United States in Copenhagen.

Obviously, the president has many pressing issues in the US right now.  The healthcare debate is in a crucial period and the US economy continues its downward slide. While running for office, President Obama promised to directly engage in global climate change.  I feel that so far President Obama has only given lip service to the issue and has not actually made any substantial changes.  I think that the president needs to show the United States’ commitment to this issue by attending at least part of the conference in person.

I understand that, right now, health care and the economy are the big issues on Americans’ minds.  However, President Obama needs to realize that climate change is both a health and economic issue.    What good is health care reform if we have trashed our planet and depleted our resources?  Likewise, what better way to revive the American economy than to make the US the world’s leader in alternative energy production and sustainable industry?

Again, I hope that President Obama realizes that there is more at stake at Copenhagen than just a “slight” rise in global temperature.  While we are in Copenhagen, I sincerely hope that President Obama will be representing the United States with us.

Ben Roberts

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2 Responses

  1. Copenhagen is looking more and more like a potentially disastrous catastrophe should the US and Chinese Administrations fail to commit to making significant changes. None of us want it to fail, but even the organisers are now beginning to thing of contingencies…

    http://tommygilchrist.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/why-copenhagen-will-fail/

  2. I hope this climate conference can prove Nordhaus and Shellenberger wrong. Nordhaus and Shellenberger, writers of “The Death of Environmentalism,” believe that we live in a “post-environmental” world. We cared about the environment for a moment in time—during the sixties and seventies when we got the Environmental Protection Agency on its feet and called many new regulations in to law. But now we are “post-environmental.” I would argue that even on its own, the Copenhagen Climate Conference proves Nardhaus and Shellenberger wrong because it is a global event designed to start combating our environmental problems. However, should the conference fail to enact any strong regulations, we will be in the same boat we were in before the conference started and possibly worse. We could be possibly worse off than we were before the conference started if no strong environmental regulations get passed because that would equate to the global community deciding that environmentalism is not important enough to create regulations over—a present “Death of Environmentalism.”
    So my biggest hopes and my biggest fears for this conference are tied together. I hope that we can overcome this environmental slum we are in. I hope the global community makes the right decision and chooses our future and the future of our planet. I hope the nations leaders can come together and make decisions and regulations based on what is good and right rather than which lobbyists hold their attention and how they want their money situation to look. May people and Earth overcome greed.
    My biggest fears for this conference are that Nordhaus and Shellenberger’s idea will prove to be a fact. My fear is that all this hype that has been taking place about the climate conference will whither away and die down. I worry that after a few days of climate conference press the public sphere might get bored of it and not care any more, or the networks will feel like they’ve given it enough publicity and it is not what the people want: a slow “Death of Environmentalism.” And of course, I fear for global leaders who may be susceptible to coercion and choose selfishly when it comes to global sustainability.
    I know that our world leaders are capable of making the right decisions. I just hope that they will not be coerced into making self-interested decisions, but rather stand up for the planet and stand up to the skeptics. I have faith in the conferences goals; I just hope that these goals are at least partially met.

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