Slouching from Gomorrah
Bali, as Kyoto before it was about establishing a position from which the world could negotiate about meeting the climate change challenge. The necessity of emerging with an agreement meant that the principles each had a blocking power. In such a situation you only get a major step forward if each wants something that the others can accept. This was not the case, because as Al Gore presciently said in his speech preceding the final negotiations by days
I am not an official of the United States and I am not bound by the diplomatic niceties. So I am going to speak an inconvenient truth. My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali. We all know that, but my country is not the only one that can take steps to ensure that we move forward from Bali with progress and with hope.
Eli is not happy that his country is behaving badly. The opprobrium the US government representative received was well deserved, and we, especially those who live in the US, must work towards the goals that Gore set forth.
Those of you who applauded when I spoke openly about the diplomatic truth here have a choice to make. You can do one of two things here. You can feel anger and frustration and direct it at the United States of America, or you can make a second choice. You can decide to move forward and do all of the difficult work that needs to be done and save an open, large, blank space in your document, and put a footnote by it, and when you look at the footnote, write the description of the footnote: This document is incomplete, but we are going to move forward anyway, on the hope, and I'm going to describe for you why I think you can also have the realistic expectation, that that blank will be filled in.
This is the beginning of a process that is designed to culminate in Copenhagen two years from now. Over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere it is not now. You must anticipate that.
At Bali, with the exception of the US, the world came together. The current US administration was isolated and forced to accept an outcome which can allow progress. Much to do in the next year. John McCain and all of the Democratic candidates clearly would allow the Bali process to go forward.
Read or listen to Gore's speech. Andrew Light's comments at Grist are worthwhile