Climate

What Bill McKibben doesn’t like about the Copenhagen Accord is precisely what I like about it.

UK’s Miliband calls out China as the Copenhagen spoiler

UNFCCC RIP

I have not been fond of how the United Nations has been running all things climate.   Both CAP’s Andrew Light and I have argued before, “we don’t need 192 nations to come to an agreement on mitigating carbon emissions in order to get the job done. We only need those countries responsible for 85% of emissions to move forward on the pathways identified by the IPCC with a promise to the world to do so in a responsible manner.”

That’s why much of what 350.0rg founder (and occasional CP guest blogger) Bill McKibben doesn’t like about the Copenhagen Accord is exactly what I like about it.  McKibben complains of Obama’s successful effort to prevent a complete failure at Copenhagen:

  • He blew up the United Nations….
  • He formed a league of super-polluters, and would-be super-polluters….

Hurray!

Most of the coverage and analysis on the Copenhagen Accord has been dreadful and devoid of important context, as I’ve said, and that includes McKibben’s analysis, which is, I believe, 100% backwards.

Today Nobelist Paul Krugman wrote of the Congressional debate over health care, “the fact that it was such a close thing shows that the Senate “” and, therefore, the U.S. government as a whole “” has become ominously dysfunctional.” And yet this “dangerous dysfunction,” as he puts it, is solely due to the need for a modest 60% supermajority that could only be dreamed of by those hoping for progress in the Alice-in-Wonderland world of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, where any single nation can veto the outcome:

But the need for 60 votes to cut off Senate debate and end a filibuster “” a requirement that appears nowhere in the Constitution, but is simply a self-imposed rule “” turned what should have been a straightforward piece of legislating into a nail-biter. And it gave a handful of wavering senators extraordinary power to shape the bill.

Now imagine how much the United States would accomplish if every single member of Congress had a veto! Well, that’s the UNFCCC process. So that process needed to be changed significantly or ended entirely. Kudos to Clinton and Obama for realizing that and working to bring it about, even if it meant sacrificing the possibility that Copenhagen achieved a unanimous and binding deal.

[It’d also be nice to have a venue to summarize the state of climate science more than every six years and one where every single member nation doesn’t have to sign off on every single word, thereby ensuring the conclusions have a least-common-denominator wishy-washiness to them.]

Ironically, for those who want to achieve a 2°C (3.6°F) target or better — as McKibben does — it was, arguably, China who was a bigger obstacle than America in the final days at Copenhagen. Still clinging to the Kyoto approach where developing countries don’t have to commit to anything for most of the two weeks, they also almost single-handedly made it impossible for anyone modeling the commitments report that we could come anywhere near those targets, as I have discussed many times (see here and Is it just too damn late? Part 1, the Science).  So this allowed the media and others to assert that Copenhagen wouldn’t achieve the 2°C target if you just added up all of the nation’s commitments, as if that actually meant COP-15 was a failure or worse — an “elaborate sham” as McKibben absurdly described it (rebutted here, again, by CAP’s Light).

China and to a lesser extent India had been hiding behind U.S. (i.e. Bush-Cheney) inaction for 8 years. And as long as we kept the Kyoto Protocol process, they could hide behind the Sudan’s of the world indefinitely.  With Obama providing as much leadership as is possible given our dysfunctional Senate, and with Clinton’s $100-billion Copenhagen bombshell, China was left in the role of spoiler.  And that’s what they essentially did, as Yale e360 reports:

Britain’s Prime Minister, Gordon Brown told an environmental meeting on Monday that a handful of countries blocked a legally binding deal on climate change, adding, “We will not allow a few countries to hold us back. What happened at Copenhagen was a flawed decision-making process. We’ve just got to find a way of moving this process forward.” Although Brown did not mention any countries by name, Ed Miliband, Climate Change and Energy Secretary, specifically mentioned China….

Here’s what Miliband wrote Sunday:

This was a chaotic process dogged by procedural games. Thirty leaders left their negotiators at 3am on Friday, the last night to haggle over the short Danish text that became the accord. To get a deal we needed urgent progress because time was running out. Five hours later, we had got to the third paragraph.

The procedural wrangling was, in fact, a cover for points of serious, substantive disagreement. The vast majority of countries, developed and developing, believe that we will only construct a lasting accord that protects the planet if all countries’ commitments or actions are legally binding. But some leading developing countries currently refuse to countenance this. That is why we did not secure an agreement that the political accord struck in Copenhagen should lead to a legally binding outcome.

We did not get an agreement on 50% reductions in global emissions by 2050 or on 80% reductions by developed countries. Both were vetoed by China, despite the support of a coalition of developed and the vast majority of developing countries. Indeed, this is one of the straws in the wind for the future: the old order of developed versus developing has been replaced by more interesting alliances.

Would it have been better to refuse to sign and walk away? No. Of course it was right to consider whether we should sign. But to have vetoed the agreement would have meant walking away from the progress made in the last year and the real outcomes that are part of this accord, including finance for poor countries. Some of the strongest voices urging that we agree the accord were countries like the Maldives and Ethiopia.

Countries signing the accord have endorsed the science that says we must prevent warming of more than 2C. For the first time developing countries, including China, as well as developed countries have agreed emissions commitments for the next decade. If countries deliver on the most ambitious targets, we will be within striking distance of what is needed to prevent warming of more than 2C. These commitments will also for the first time be listed and independently scrutinised, with reports to the UN required every two years.

Yes, China.

Now it is true that China put out a meaningful carbon intensity goal that takes them significantly off of business as usual (see “China vows to dramatically slow emissions growth”).  But in fact they are going to have to do more if we are going to have any chance at 2°C (and yes, America will need to do more, too):

  1. China will need to beat their goal of cutting carbon intensity 40% to 45% from 2005 to 2020.
  2. They’ll need to peak in emissions around 2020-2025 and then reduce emissions steadily after that.

And I’m quite certain the Chinese know that and that they will do both.  Indeed, I had a discussion with a senior White House official after Copenhagen ended and he confirmed that China’s leadership knows they must do both of those, and also that they know they are easily going to beat their 2020 carbon intensity target.

And no, I don’t entirely blame China here since they moved a great deal in the final 36 hours (albeit not far enough), as NWF’s Jeremy Symons explained:

Most importantly, China is now officially in the game in a way it has resisted since the Earth Summit almost two decades ago. The Copenhagen Accord is a two-part breakthrough with China: They are putting numbers on the table with a measurable pledge to join the global fight to reduce climate pollution, and they agreed to open their books on their rising emissions and allow a transparent review of their progress toward their emissions pledge. This breakthrough is important for the global climate effort, as well as encouraging the Senate to move forward and deliver the climate and clean energy bill to the president. China will act, and the China excuse is off the table.

I have long said that achieving serious global action climate required Congress to pass bipartisan legislation, which in turn required a bilateral deal with China (see here).  Well, it seems to me that team Obama’s efforts in this area are paying off (see “Exclusive: Have China and the U.S. been holding secret talks aimed at a climate deal this fall?“)  One couldn’t have realistically expected a full deal with the key emitters in the context of the 192-country UNFCCC meeting in Copenhagen.

For me, the Copenhagen “glass” is 2/3 full, since the point wasn’t just the meeting, but the remarkable commitments that countries made leading up to the meeting.  As CAP’s Andrew Light explained in Copenhagen:

When you add up everything that the 17 largest economies have on the table, not for a treaty mind you, but awaiting domestic action that could happen regardless of a treaty such as the US legislation, then we are 5 gigatons away from commitments that should get us on a 450ppm stabilization path by 2020, essentially 65% of the way there.  Given that the world has managed to get on a potential track in that direction with the world’s largest historical emitter pretending nothing was happening in the mean time and, only trying to catch up recently, isn’t bad at all.

For more detail on that analysis, based on work by McKinsey, see “Counting the World’s Capacity for Emission Reductions.”

Moreover, what happens after 2020 is probably even more important, and here the U.S. is on the verge of making a true leadership commitment, if the Senate passes the bipartisan climate and clean energy bill, as I expect they will.  And if we do, then I expect that should be enough to get China and the other big emitters to formalize a binding deal over the next year.

Finally, I don’t know if the UN climate process is in fact dead — the image at the top is from ClimateDepotted, which put it above the link to a piece by Newsweek‘s Sharon Begley that concluded, “The best chance of reining in emissions of greenhouse gases and avoiding dangerous climate change is to stamp a big green R.I.P. over the sprawling United Nations process that the Copenhagen talks were part of.”  But it won’t surprise you to learn that I agree with Reuters that Copenhagen “underscored the vulnerability of a process depending on consensus and may mark a diminishing U.N. role.”

Ultimately, the point is not the friggin’ process, but the outcome, and if the UN could demonstrate its process could lead to a better outcome, I’d be all for it.  But I doubt it.

I think Obama showed the process that can work to get the best possible outcome:  High-level negotiations by the senior leaders of the big emitters.

Let me therefore end with the conclusion of an analysis by the Harvard economist Robert Stavins:

We may look back upon Copenhagen as an important moment – both because global leaders took the reins of the procedures and brought the negotiations to a fruitful conclusion, and because the foundation was laid for a broad-based coalition of the willing to address effectively the threat of global climate change.  Only time will tell.

31 Responses to What Bill McKibben doesn’t like about the Copenhagen Accord is precisely what I like about it.

  1. dhogaza says:

    The key result here is that the Obama will get a climate bill passed out next year. Getting India and China to the table will help the process a lot.

    I have the impression that most of the world – including Europe, which should know the US political realities better than many parts of the world – are unaware that getting a treaty through the Senate is a damned near impossibility. Getting 60 votes for a bill is one thing, getting 67 votes to approve a treaty is a much higher bar.

  2. Both the US and China are to blame for the Copenhagen fiasco. The US for (deliberately?) bringing nothing to the table, and demanding much of China while bullying everyone else. China for its vetoes of any real deliverables. Until these two get real we are stuffed.

    George Monbiot makes these points much more eloquently at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/21/copenhagen-failure-us-senate-vested-interests

  3. I am reminded of James Hansen’s quote, “Politicians think that if matters look difficult, compromise is a good approach. Unfortunately, nature and the laws of physics cannot compromise–they are what they are.”

    It will take many “profiles in courage” to get a decent global warming bill through congress this spring. At least the U.S. and China have made a preliminary agreement. That should help the world (since Obama can cut emissions on his own) even if it doesn’t help our Senate vote. Still, our planet’s climate is in a precarious position considering the relentless accumulation of CO2 and several feedback mechanisms that could start very soon.

  4. From Peru says:

    JR: the CP site have had a very fastidious glitch for more than a month:
    every time i click in the page, it jumps to the begginnig (i.e. the Title of the page: “Climate Progress: an insider view of Climate Science(…)”)

    Please fix it. (I wrote from Peru in West-central South America, and maybe the glitch only affect South American locations so you don’t noticed it)

    [JR: I don’t follow what you’re saying.]

  5. It’s all part of my secret campaign to get everyone working together–in the last 24 hours I’ve managed to get both the Breakthrough Institute and CP going after me for pretty much the same thing. You have to admit, that’s an accomplishment.

    I very much hope you’re all correct. Since the outcome at Copenhagen was entirely unthreatening, it may indeed make it easier to get a bill through the Senate–and then of course the question will be whether that bill will be a big help in the fight to get us where we need to go, which is 350 parts per million.

    But right now I’m actually too tired to really figure it all out. So I’m going to take my absurd self off to bed. It’s been an interesting year at 350.org–the part I’ve enjoyed most is working with people in precisely those nations that everyone seems to think are annoying obstructionists. Their demand that their survival be considered doesn’t strike me as analogous to the idea that each senator should be able to appease his favorite campaign contributor.

    I don’t yet understand this new world order, but my guess is its first order of business will not be rapid, powerful cuts in carbon emissions. But I’m pleased by Joe’s confidence. Onward we go.

  6. From Peru says:

    Are you optimistic on Copenhagen?

    What I see was:
    1) a lot of good words and intentions
    2) a game of volleyball between China and the US on Climate Change responsabilities.
    3) NO VINCULANT EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS, NO AGREEMENT, the only “accord” was the schedule for the Mexico City talks next year, in November-December 2010.

    That really seems a total failure. The Bali Accord was a lot better.

    On the US Climate Bill, it have as “baseline year” the year 2005. So the real emission reduction taking as “base year” 1990 as in the Kyoto Protocol is just a rachitic 5-7%. That should be the reduction obtained

    [JR: Yeah, the Bali Accord accomplished a lot.]

  7. David Stern says:

    I think the UNFCCC process is broken but America and the Danes are mostly to blame for the chaos at the conference. The US came with a 0 (my calculation) to 3% cut in emissions relative to 1990 – less than they put on the table for 2010 back in 1997. So why should China and the rest of the developing world make any concessions? And then the Danes try to steamroll through a new treaty to supercede Kyoto which broke with most of the last two years of negotiations. This of course lets off the hook the US for their lack of committment to Kyoto and other countries like Japan for ratifying and then not doing anything. I can understand the developing country position entirely. That said, after making the point we do need to do something and maybe MEF will be the venue?

  8. dhogaza says:

    Their demand that their survival be considered doesn’t strike me as analogous to the idea that each senator should be able to appease his favorite campaign contributor.

    There’s no moral equivalency, but unfortunately that’s not what’s important.

    Next year’s bill will be modest, and there will be screams from the RWingnutters (including 35-odd Republican Senators) that it’s going to kill the US economy.

    Which won’t happen. Which with luck will help set the stage for further steps in the right direction.

    Not that I’m terribly optimistic.

    They claimed that phasing out CFCs would destroy the US economy, and it didn’t, but people forget.

    They claimed that cap and trade on sulfates to control acid rain would destroy the US economy, and it didn’t, but people forget.

    They claimed that making cars safer would destroy the US auto industry, and it didn’t, but people forget.

    They claimed that making cars more fuel efficient would destroy the US auto industry, the Feds backed off, and now Toyota’s the biggest automaker in the world, but people forget.

  9. From Peru says:

    (… continuation, I click “submit” by error”)

    5% should be the emmissions reduction PER YEAR. We know from recent paper that what matter is CUMULATIVE EMISSIONS.
    That means that what is needed is a INITIAL SUPER-FAST REDUCTION, and then the rate of reduction can slow, as opposed to PROGRESSIVE INCREASING REDUCTIONS.

    The reason is quite simple: in a Emissions rate vs. Time graph, the area under the curve(the cumulative emissions) is a lot bigger in the second than in the first case.

    That not means that I agree with Hansen when he says that the bill should fail: little is better than nothing, and it can serve as a way to plant the seeds of a future green economy.

    But a seed is that: just a seed.
    To make the Big Tree, there is needed a lot of water. And that water must be GIVE UP THE “FREE TRADE” economy, and MAKE AN EMERGENCY PLANNED ECONOMY, consisting of 2-YEAR PLANS each one of a 5-8% reduction in emissions,so that IN 1O YEARS THE EMISSIONS DROP BY 80-90%.

    Now that is politically impossible, as the conservatives are already calling Obama a “Socialist” (a ridiculous claim). The need for a really Socialist Economy will come only after a CLIMATE PEARL HARBOR (or if you like, a CLIMATE 9-11), as would be:
    -A CAT-4 or CAT-5 Hurricane wiping out Washington D.C. or New York City
    -A massive wildfire wiping out San Francisco or Los Angeles
    -Similar disaters in China.

    After that, a WII-like super-fast conversion can take place, as the People will undestand that that is the only option.
    Any denialist will spontaneusly be considered an “Enemy of the People” and so the votes for any continuist Political Party (as is now the Republican Party) will drop to 1-3%, and the same future will face the Democratic one if radical action is not taken

    (I don’t know what New Party will emerge, but the Greens and Socialists probably will climb in the votes. The dark part is that conservatives may build up a Fascist-like Party to oppose the Revolutionary Changes as happened in Germany in the 1930s to oppose the Communists)

    China CCP(the so-called “Chinese Communisty Party”) will face the option of do the Revolution themselves or collapse under a new Tiananmen1989-like Revolution. Who will oppose the establishment I don’t know, perhaps a split from CCP, but I hope they do a better job that what Mao Zedong did in the 1950s-1960s (the Mao’s government was a disaster, for anyone interested, google “Great Leap Forward” and “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”)

  10. Lou Grinzo says:

    dhogaza: Excellent points on all those things most of us tend to forget.

    Perhaps it’s time for us to take a page from the deniers’ operating manual and post detailed descriptions, complete with quotes from vested interests crying doom and gloom, about exactly those items endlessly, until even the casual observer accepts as conventional wisdom the fact that a lot of the naysayers are simply lying.

    This is not snark; I’m completely serious, and I think this kind of information would resonate with mainstream voters and consumers.

    I will try to pull together the data for this soon, possibly with the help of readers of on my site (http://www.grinzo.com/energy/).

  11. Al says:

    The UN is an ineffective organization? What a stunner….

    Assuming this goes the way JR predicts, I supposed we will no longer need to hold these huge UN conferences with thousands of delegates, politicians, and activists flying in to meet, greet, and talk. I wonder how many decades will pass before they actually stop having them?

  12. Tim says:

    Agreed. Let’s cut our best deal with the MEF and tell Hugo Chavez and his band of Bolivarian buffoons to go screw themselves. Same for the Saudis and the rest of the OPEC’ers, too.

  13. Conrad Wessling says:

    Joe Romm and his rag tag band of ideological fanatics are crumbling with the U.N.
    Hide the decline set their pants on fire. 30 days ago was a game changer

  14. jorleh says:

    Don´t be blind, Joe. Copenhagen was worse than Kyoto. We know that EU emissions went up during Kyoto time, and during Copenhagen time global emissions are going up as earlier.

  15. Richard Brenne says:

    I’m just hoping we can stabilize at or below 350 ppm so that Bill can get some much-deserved rest. Dude, awesome work! You and Hansen’s grandson have the same never-give-up-fighting-spirit!

  16. evnow says:

    Sad truth is humans are incapable of serious action on long term risks. There is no free lunch here and no politician will ever say forget growth.

    Our only hope now is that peak oil will curb growth and reduce emissions.

  17. Charles says:

    “If countries deliver on the most ambitious targets, we will be within striking distance of what is needed to prevent warming of more than 2C.”

    That to me is the key. Joe, I hope you are right. I do agree that the Chinese now realize the seriousness of the situation (I’m not convinced the Indians do, though). However, they are going to have significant challenges trying to balance or convert fossil fuel power generation with green technologies.

    I agree that getting a workable deal from the major emitters was important; my concerns rests with whether they will end up following through on their commitments.

  18. Anarchist606 says:

    Can I add a simple but (I hope) effective meme to this debate…

    How Much is Global Warming Denial Worth?

    $1120 Million Per Day

    Why?

    Well in a recent article in the Economist magazine (about peak oil) there was this:

    “The IEA reckons that co-ordinated action to restrict the increase in global temperatures to 2ºC will restrict global demand for oil to 89m b/d in 2030, compared with 105m b/d if no action is taken.”

    So there is a difference of 16million b/d (that is Barrels Per Day) so given the cost of a barrel is currently around $70, so you can see that it represents $1120 million dollars per day in difference. So event mitigating the supply a bit – by obfuscating the science and promoting uncertainty is worth $millions per day.

    That’s why denial has been so well funded.
    http://anarchist606.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-much-is-global-warming-denial-worth.html

  19. Chris Dudley says:

    It seems to me that Krugman wants BHO to be another FDR. But FDR had a much stronger majority than BHO at the start of his administration which is why he could engage in bold persistent experimentation. BHO is accomplishing more that the Clinton administration so there does seem to be a larger vision. Is it as large as FDR’s? He’ll need to get several more republican senators to switch parties to test that. Until that happens, this seems mostly like griping.

    On the climate process, consensus is a very good approach, but you need facilitators who know what they are doing and participants who know how to use friendly amendments. That is what was lacking here. Negotiators need to be trained in the process before they take up issues. It was crazy to have an untrained chairman at the end. If protocol demands a certain person, the process demands that that person have adequate training in the rules of consensus decision making.

  20. dhogaza says:

    It seems to me that Krugman wants BHO to be another FDR. But FDR had a much stronger majority than BHO at the start of his administration which is why he could engage in bold persistent experimentation.

    And labor was much more aggressive in fighting for its rights – think of the wobblies, the plant occupations of the 1920s.

    Also think of the veterans march on washington during the early depression, and McArthur’s suppression.

    There was something close to a spirit of revolution amongst much of the population.

    That helped FDR tremendously.

    It doesn’t exist today. Yes, there are protests, and a lot of people showed up at Copenhagen, but there’s not the deep anger across such a wide swath of society as existed when FDR was elected.

    The hatred from the right’s about equivalent in both cases, however :)

  21. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi Bill McKibben-

    Thank you so much for your efforts.

    On we go.

    Personally, Copenhagen seems like progress to me, although inadequate and not fast enough.

    The U.S. can spend a trillion dollars or more per year on weaponry, but can’t seem to scrape together a few billion to fight climate change?

    The money needs to go to climate change prevention, by the way, not “adaptation”.

    Anyway, thanks for your efforts. You and Joe are a couple of bright spots, shining through the gloom.

    Shine on, man.

  22. Peter Sergienko says:

    Thank you Joe Romm and Bill McKibben for your work and leadership and for creating communities where such a high level of discourse on critical issues occurs. It is truly valuable to me both in my work and as a citizen to have access to the information and opinions shared in this space.

    May I suggest that Bill and Joe are both right. I’ve always viewed Joe’s understanding and communication of what the science requires and analyzing what is politically possible in relation to the science as his greatest strength. I’ve always viewed Bill’s big picture critiques of our dominant culture’s values and his ability to articulate a positive vision for new and more humane values as his greatest strength.

    The Obama administration’s total performance at Copenhagen represents positive outcomes from Joe’s perspective because it achieved what was politically possible. From Bill’s perspective, however, Copenhagen represents a reinforcing of our existing values and, as such, makes fundamental cultural change more difficult and distant.

    Going forward, we must continue work that expands what is politically possible, including work that questions and advocates for changes in values. The crux of the matter, to me, is whether or not we can get enough done under our existing values in time for necessary changes in values to occur. Here’s hoping that we can and do.

    Peace to all.

  23. Talking about the science…oh, I forgot, we were talking about the politics. Well, just in case we want to talk about the science, can we stop with pretending that 2 C is going to prevent climate catastrophe? When Dr. James Hansen says we have to keep global temperature increase to 1 C, and that 2 C is the temperature we had back in the Pliocene, when the poles had no ice, I think we ought to take that number as the real one. Just my two cents.

  24. Gareth says:

    Joe,

    You might want to reflect on Mark Lynas’ take on the final “negotiations”. It’s a dramatic account of the Chinese using their new-found clout. The big question — if Lynas is correct — is how do we do more than just get the Chinese to the table?

    Cheers

    (PS: Bill — keep up the good work!)

  25. James Newberry says:

    Yes Francesca (#23), recent research at Yale by Pagani (et al) and in Britain indicate that we are headed to 2C rise and perhaps more with today’s concentration. Note that the earth is responding to carbon dioxide Equivalent of some 430ppm and rising. Maybe we will need to take the one trillion dollars per year the US spends on militarism (and profitering) and attempt to save ourselves and humanity.

  26. Stuart says:

    Gareth @24 – I also read Lynas’ article and would like to know Joe’s take on it.

    With the political situation in Congress I doubt President Obama could get a really strong climate bill through, but maybe something could be passed that could be built on later like the health care bill. At least some of the more obstructionist Senators have voiced support for passing a climate change bill, but that tune may change. Without a U.S. bill passing then any strong international treaty is doubtful.

    The question is China – they seem to hold all the cards. If a weak international accord is the result then we are going to sail right past 450 and into truly dangerous territory.

    [JR: I’ll try to post something Wednesday.]

  27. David B. Benson says:

    Richard Brenne (15) — TO reach 350 ppm we first have to stop going up and start coming down as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately, all that will likely take more than 100 years. So I think Bill McKibben will never have a chance for a long rest…

  28. Bob Jacobson says:

    All of the excuses for the American side, including deviousness and recalcitrance by the Chinese (are we surprised?), ring hollow.

    Obama could have specified stretch goals that put everyone, domestically as well as internationally, on notice. For God’s sake, he’s the year’s Nobel Peach Prize laureate and America’s sole nationally elected leader, not an executive functionary of a parliament! We in the U.S. have learned, however, that he is less a leader than a mediator. Where climate leadership will come from then is much more problematic than believed.

    Copenhagen was a failure in the making in its initial conception and going into the event. The UN is a dubious organ for change. But secretive negotiations among the Have Nations will only lead to serious problems with the Have Nots and a fractured world.

    What about a well designed alternative to the UNFCCC, one that is a priori well suited to the task? I know several top level entities that would be glad to participate in such a project: the Earth Forum. Dump the petty politics and have one goal, survival of our species and the ecosystems that make survival possible. I would be glad to have that discussion continued elsewhere. I don’t believe success can be designed into an organization, but failure can be designed out.

  29. Bob Jacobson says:

    PS In my comment above, it’s obviously a typo, although appropriate to Mr. Obama, “Nobel Peach Prize laureate” should read “Noble Peace Prize laureate.”

  30. Chris Winter says:

    FWIW, Bob Jacobson, you’re not alone in making that typo.

    http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/12/president_obamas_speech_after.html
    President Obama’s speech after receiving the Nobel Peach Prize
    By Staten Island Advance
    December 10, 2009, 12:24PM