The days are dwindling down for something substantive to come out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference. But before we begin to add the labels (and I am sure there are many we are waiting to fire off), lets see if President Obama can turn the tide and infuse some of his ever present hope back into the talks.
Although I admire the President's leadership abilities, he cannot do this with out the support and loud voice of a vocal majority. This is our time, Americans, to tell President Obama that for Copenhagen to be a success the developing countries of the world - the ones that will be hit first and hardest by climate change - need a stronger voice and more help. Hollow promises and superficial pledges by rich nation to strike a deal without the input or protection of the most vulnerable nations is not a "deal". What this equates to is the maintaining of the status quo. Jim Tankersley over at the Los Angeles Times wrote today, "A collapse in negotiations would trigger a blame game in which developing nations brand the United States and the West in general as the villains." Let's break this cycle and take leadership over a crisis that we had a responsibility in creating.
Fortunately, my friend Heather Taylor-Miesle, at the Natural Resources Defense Council has a plan. She recently wrote about the need for American leadership in Copenhagen. The largest shortcoming with American leadership has been our ability to have a singular voice that says, "climate change is real and we are the nation that can lead the charge to fix it." Heather gives a pretty clear vision of what is standing in our way toward becoming the great leader the world needs right now. The most pressing is that Americans need to insist that Barack Obama stand up for developing countries. Standing up for these countries now means committing to a more aggressive deal in Copenhagen. If we fail to act, the floods, famine, and subsequent instability in Africa, southeast Asia, and the tropics will only get worse.
Learn how your voice can put pressure on President Obama. Go back and read Heather's post. Get involved. Get loud. Our voice needs to be heard in Copenhagen if there is any hope of applying the label of success to these talks. Take the first step by signing the petition that urges President Obama to help developing fight climate change.
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most. Learn more