President Obama has decided to stand athwart global warming and to yell “Stop!” [Exclusive image below!]
According to Carbon Control News (July 2), President Obama will agree at upcoming international climate control meetings this week to set the planet’s thermostat by capping global warming at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
There’s no word on what Obama has selected as the baseline pre-industrial global temperature, but the exercise is superficially reminiscent of King Cnut’s effort to control the tides. Here’s the Wikipedia summary of Cnut’s folly:
Henry of Huntingdon, the 12th-century chronicler, tells how Cnut set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes; but the tide failed to stop. According to Henry, Cnut leapt backwards and said “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.” He then hung his gold crown on a crucifix, and never wore it again. [We should be so lucky!]
But since Barack (the only under-50 community organizer in history with two autobiographies) seems to be no Cnut (a warrior king who learned the limits of his power), there must be an alternative explanation for Obama’s action.
The 2-degree limit seems to be an ironic effort to disconnect greenhouse gas emissions from global warming legislation in order to make it easier to pass the legislation and, then, to give the greens the freedom to ratchet down emissions levels beyond levels currently being discussed.
One green told Carbon Control News that,
“… it’s a lot easier to talk about 2 degrees than to quantify how much carbon can be in the air.”
Carbon Control News also reported that,
Another environmentalist says a commitment based on limiting temperature rise leaves open discussion of actual emission reductions that would be needed to meet that goal. [The environmentalist suggested that] the U.S. and other developed countries may eventually have to seek emissions reductions beyond the 80 percent cut by 2050 that is so often presented as the long-term goal.
The report continued,
Meanwhile, some suggest the focus on temperature-based targets are an effort to avoid thornier talk of specific greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments that have proved a sticking point between the U.S. and other countries participating in the global talks. One global warming skeptic says framing the debate in temperature terms avoids the “bean counters” quantifying emission reductions and could provide an easier sell politically. “The more vague you can make it, the more easily you can declare a PR victory without actually doing anything,” the source says. [GreenHellBlog Note: The use of this latter information source is very exciting since we didn’t know that Carbon Control News even knew what a skeptic was!]
Perhaps, King Barack has aready accomplished his mission as there’s been no global warming over the last 10 years?