After Bush failed to sign well-intentioned Kyoto, will Obama-led USA suddenly lead world in fighting Climate Change?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Mar 1, 2009
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obama kyoto protocol

I feel like Sleeping Beauty, waking up after an eight-year coma (in which Republicans only gradually acknowledged the existence of Climate Change, and never got around to trying to fight it). Suddenly, I find myself living in a sane, well-intentioned, proactive, responsible society. 

Via the New York Times


The Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, was widely viewed as badly flawed. Many countries that signed the accord lagged far behind their targets in curbing carbon dioxide emissions. The United States refused even to ratify it. And the treaty gave a pass to major emitters in the developing world like China and India.

But within weeks of taking office, President Obamahas radically shifted the global equation, placing the United States at the forefront of the international climate effort and raising hopes that an effective international accord might be possible. Mr. Obama’s chief climate negotiator, Todd Stern, said last week that the United States would be involved in the negotiation of a new treaty — to be signed in Copenhagen in December — “in a robust way.”

That treaty, officials and climate experts involved in the negotiations say, will significantly differ from the agreement of a decade ago, reaching beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions and including financial mechanisms and making good on longstanding promises to provide money and technical assistance to help developing countries cope with climate change.

The perception that the United States is now serious has set off a flurry of diplomacy around the globe. “The lesson of Kyoto is that if the U.S. isn’t taking it seriously there is no reason for anyone else to,” said Bill McKibben, who runs the environmental organization

This week the United Nation’s top climate official, Yvo de Boer…for the rest, go to the


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


2 Responses to “After Bush failed to sign well-intentioned Kyoto, will Obama-led USA suddenly lead world in fighting Climate Change?”

  1. […] worst of the worst economy since Dubya Dubya Two…we’re closing Gitmo, talking about leading (not sitting out) on international accords re climate change, and trying to help people, not just […]