Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"According to Oppenheimer, behind-the-scenes debate is already under way in Washinton on how to approve the [Kyoto] treaty without losing face".

This assertion by Americans Michael Oppenheimer and Peter Goldmark, published in Turun Sanomat, is so far from American political reality that it bears careful scrutiny why these two gents from the Environmental Defense Organization would frame it in such a way.

The article doesn't mention exactly where, - and to what audience - the two men made such an assertion, but a quick Google search of their names reveals numerous German articles on the subject, which leads me to believe that they made the statement to a German audience.

Now, the key to everything is really this statement (and I translate from the Finnish):

"Most likely the US will demand significantly relevant changes in the treaty before joining, Oppenheimer predicts, but he holds this to be more akin to unavoidable political theater.

In this way the White House will be able to say that withdrawal from the original treaty was due to inherent weaknesses in the treaty, and not from American selfishness".

My guess is that Oppenheimer and Goldmark are attempting to set up a political environment where Europeans will be amenable to acceding to American demands. It makes sense, if you're a concerned environmentalist. However, I doubt that the message is understood in such a way in Europe. For Europeans, Kyoto has become equated with the expression of anti-Americanism to such a degree that any retreat from European demands has become politically untenable.

Those are the costs of policies based on bigotry.


Blogger Akaky said...

Finn, Kyoto ain't ever going to happen in the United States, ever; anyone talking of the US trying to find a way in through the back door is just kidding themselves. After Clinton signed the treaty, the Senate took a look at the text and passed the Byrd-Hagel resolution (Senate Resloution 98) 95-0, in essence telling Clinton dont even bother submitting this thing to the Senate because it's not going to pass. Clinton, as he was wont to do, made a big splash about following the spirit of Kyoto, but he knew that the treaty was dead on arrival and didnt give it to the Senate for a vote; all Bush did was make our refusal to join official.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

akaky: Agreed. But there is some consensus in Washington that the US might join if the treaty was amended. Many US corporations are already forming policies in anticipation of that. However, I doubt that anti-American Europe will agree to the changes. That is why these two guys were in Europe to begin with: they're trying to change EUROPEAN minds, not American.

12:54 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home