Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Word Of Caution

For those out there who believe things will get better on the climate change file, once there is a new resident in the White House. I share Monbiot's skepticism.
So don’t believe all this nonsense about waiting for the next president to sort it out. This is a much bigger problem than George W Bush. Yes, he is viscerally opposed to tackling climate change. But viscera don’t have much to do with it. Until the American people confront their political funding system, their politicians will keep speaking from the pocket, not the gut.
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  1. Thanks for the linkage, Mr. Sinister. Monbiot is amazing in his capacity to hold the collective memory. Or at least to *find* it!

  2. That's what it all comes down to in the U.S., really--the problem that drives the entire political culture. And until it's fixed, there's no hope for the country on pretty much any front. It's what made things so hopeless that I ultimately left.

  3. 'Tisn't the funding system in the United States you're up against.

    It's the population of the United States.

    Even the most left-wing members of the Senate weren't in favour of Kyoto, primarily for economic reasons.

    Let me put it another way: when even the late Paul Wellstone wasn't on-side, you know it wasn't a vote based on special interests.

    But this is an old story -- what people think they don't like about George Bush's foreign policy, they really just don't like about American foreign policy.

    The Europeans usually arrive eager to discuss the coming era that some are dubbing "AB" — "After Bush." That is the highly anticipated period beginning on Jan. 20, 2009, in which a newly sworn-in American president, chastened by the troubles in Iraq and by the scorn of allies who say the Bush White House flouted international law, will turn his or her back on the militaristic and unilateralist ways of the preceding seven years, contritely embrace multilateral institutions and international treaties, bring home U.S. troops, and perhaps even rename the "war on terror" as something other than a "war."

    But by the time the meetings end — be they with advisers to Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, or Republicans such as Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney — the visitors usually have the same reaction, says Smith, the director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The response is usually a little bit of shock and awe and disappointment. They say, 'What do you mean? We thought this would be a new era!'"

    Your main point -- don't get your hopes up for 2009 -- is spot-on. It's just your attribution of responsibility that's off.

  4. I think Monbiot's fixation on party financing is a little too simplistic (I mean let's not forget the Electoral College's role in messing up Presidential politics), but as I say, I share his main point that neither Hillary nor Obama should be seen as saviors by the rest of the world.

  5. No argument on that from here.

    But I must tell you that the Senate's where the game is played, for international treaties. (See Treaty of Versailles, History of.)

  6. Oh, I am not forgetting the Senate. It is a big reason why I want ours abolished. ;)