|December 18, 2009|| |
by Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Matt Corley, Benjamin Armbruster, Zaid Jilani, Brad Johnson, and Alex Seitz-Wald
Time For Action
"The time for talk is over," President Obama told the assembled nations at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. "And at this point, the question is whether we will move forward together, or split apart." Heads of state from 130 countries have arrived in Copenhagen to find a deal. Former vice president Al Gore said the outcome of the talks will answer a fundamental moral question: Who are we as human beings? "Instead of forthrightly addressing a mortal threat to the future of civilization," if we "allowed this process to fall into paralysis," Gore argued, the next generation "would be justified in asking us: 'Who are you?'" British Prime Minister Gordon Brown exhorted the assembly, "[W]e cannot permit the politics of narrow interest to prevent a policy for human survival." The greatest responsibility for the crisis of climate change and of finding a solution lies with the Unites States. In the first year of his presidency, Obama has done much to allow the United States to rejoin the clean energy race, though it remains in the back of the pack. While shepherding key legislation to limit pollution and invest in green jobs, the White House has also begun regulating global warming pollution and launched dozens of initiatives to build a sustainable economy, and is now throwing its weight behind the Norway-Brazil plan to allow rich countries to fund the protection of rain forests. Gore said on Wednesday that he believes that those assembled can rise to this test of leadership in Copenhagen, that the U.S. Senate can pass legislation before Earth Day in April, and the world can meet again to sign a binding treaty six months from now.