The Endless Summer

Here’s what American exceptionalism means now: on a per-capita basis, we either lead or come close to leading the world in consumption of resources, production of pollutants and a profound unwillingness to do anything about it. We may look back upon this year as the one in which climate change began to wreak serious havoc, yet we hear almost no conversation about changing policy or behavior. President Obama has done nicely in raising fuel averages for automobiles, but he came into office promising much more, and Mitt Romney promises even less. (There was a time he supported cap and trade.)

It has been well over 100 years since the phenomenon called the greenhouse effect was identified, 24 years since the steamy summer of ’88, when many of us first took notice, and, incredibly, 15 years since the Kyoto Protocol. That agreement stipulated that signatories would annually reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and was ratified (and even acted upon) by almost every country in the world, including every industrialized nation but one. That would be the United States. Now that’s exceptionalism. (Bill Clinton signed Kyoto; George W. Bush, despite an election pledge, repudiated it.)

Read the rest of this column here.

Posted in Food Politics

One Comment

  1. ZeroToSixtyComm said...

    How do we make this case to the American public given the recent Stanford study? Interesting that U.S. farmers have been preparing for climate change for decades, not what we expect to hear when we think about the Bible Belt’s perception of climate change.These ideas and more – sent an email to you. I’m working with South by Southwest Eco – we have some resources we’d love to see if you’re interested in. Hope you can find my email! Thank you.

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