The Republicans have become used to treason, first undermining President Obama’s efforts toward a negotiated nuclear settlement with Iran, and now, as Politico reports, his goal of a climate change agreement:
Top Republican lawmakers are planning a wide-ranging offensive — including outreach to foreign officials by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office — to undermine President Barack Obama’s hopes of reaching an international climate change agreement that would cement his environmental legacy.
This is not entirely new. As far back as this spring, McConnell very publicly addressed foreign nations when, during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, he told EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy,:
One final point: You have assured international officials that the U.S. is serious about imposing climate change regulations. I’d say what we have learned from your recent time on Capitol Hill is this is not the case. I would remind you that the Executive Branch is only one-third of the U.S. government. The Congress, of course, didn’t pass Cap and Trade back in 2009 and 2010 when the Democrats had very large majorities here. So, the failure of Congress to sign off should signal to other countries that they should proceed with caution into the December 2015 climate talks in Paris.
It is one thing to cast doubts and misinformation at home. Republicans have been doing that for decades. They are even within their legal rights to try to block legislation in Congress. But it is entirely another matter altogether if they subvert the president’s will by working with foreign governments to accomplish their goal.
Apparently feeling that earlier public warning was not enough of a betrayal, that is precisely what “a top policy aide” to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Neil Chatterjee, has been up to, according to Environment & Energy News:
GOP Senate staff, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) energy aide Neil Chatterjee, has been reaching out to foreign officials over the past months to warn that the White House’s pledges of emissions reductions and aid dollars won’t withstand congressional opposition — and especially the possible election of a new Republican president. E.U. members who have been among the strongest proponents of a stringent deal in Paris this year were on their call list.
President Obama has big plans for the Paris climate conference, the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), otherwise known as “Paris 2015,” which runs from November 30th to December 11th.
According to the conference’s official website,
COP21 will be a crucial conference, as it needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. France will therefore be playing a leading international role to ensure points of view converge and to facilitate the search for consensus by the United Nations, as well as within the European Union, which has a major role in climate negotiations.
In March, the White House lauded the the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submission by Mexico’s President Peña Nieto, saying, “Mexico’s submission is in keeping with the Lima Decision calling on all parties to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions well in advance of COP21 in Paris this December. We hope that Mexico’s actions will encourage other economies to submit INDCs that are ambitious, timely, transparent, detailed, and achievable.”
So Republicans are subverting not only their own president but the world. The G-7 Leaders’ Declaration, issued at Schloss Elmau, Germany, of June 8, 2015, stated,
The UN Climate Conference in Paris COP 21 is crucial for the protection of the global climate, the UN summit in New York will set the universal global sustainable development agenda for the years to come and the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa will support the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. We want to provide key impetus for ambitious results. “Think ahead. Act together.” – that is our guiding principle.
Think together. Act together.
Unless you’re a Republican. Then you plot and act against the collective will of the international community. Not with facts and science, but by casting doubt on their own country, betraying not only their president but the people who elected them to toffice.
While Obama’s climate plan fact sheet stressed “increasing awareness of the global challenges in addressing climate change in advance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21),” Republicans stress subverting efforts to combat climate change at COP21.
E&E-News reports that Jake Schmidt, who directs the international program for the Natural Resources Defense Council, “said it was ironic that after years of arguing EPA would act alone if it tackled climate change, Republicans now seem to be trying to persuade other countries not to cooperate.”
“Now McConnell’s strategy has shifted to ‘Since those countries are moving ahead, we’re going to try to undercut the international efforts because the U.S. isn’t trustworthy.'”
So here we are with the world on fire, and Republicans are playing politics.
We are presented with the hottest year on record year after year, each hotter than the last. The ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, drought and wildfire plague the West, with an area the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined now burned to ashes, the Forest Service is spending $200 million EACH WEEK to fight the blazes, and the Republicans are playing politics.
Anything to stop Obama and help their rich friends subvert every attempt to save our planet and keep it habitable for our children.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.