Manic Misinterpretations of Climate Change Capitulation by US in Bali

A supposedly sensational climate change pact was agreed upon in Bali on Saturday with the United States and the Bush administration finally capitulating to international demands to stave off the bogeyman known as global warming.

Yet, much as the media completely misinterpreted what came out of the G-8 summit in Germany six months ago, press outlets today are applauding an agreement that fell far short of what global warming alarmists were hoping to achieve, and much like what transpired in June, resulted in absolutely no specific international carbon dioxide emissions cuts.

Not surprisingly, this isn't how the news is being reported here as demonstrated at CNN.com in an article hysterically titled "U.S. Agrees to Bali Compromise" (emphasis added):

The United States made a dramatic reversal Saturday, first rejecting and then accepting a compromise to set the stage for intense negotiations in the next two years aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.

The U.N. climate change conference in Bali was filled with emotion and cliff-hanging anticipation on Saturday, an extra day added because of a failure to reach agreement during the scheduled sessions.

The final result was a global warming pact that provides for negotiating rounds to conclude in 2009.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the pact "a good beginning." "This is just a beginning and not an ending," Ban said. "We'll have to engage in many complex, difficult and long negotiations."

The Associated Press was similarly jubilant (emphasis added):

World leaders overcame bitter divisions Saturday and agreed to reach a new deal on fighting global warming by 2009, turning a corner in mankind's race to stave off environmental disaster caused by rising temperatures.

The contentious, two-week U.N. climate conference on the resort island of Bali ended with the United States, facing angry criticism from other delegations, relenting in its opposition to a request from developing nations for more technological help fighting climate change.

Surprisingly, Time magazine's website reported much more accurately what transpired on the island of Bali Saturday (emphasis added, watch for oddly placed sentences ending without periods that appear to be their computer glitch):

The roadmap is essentially the beginning of a beginning. The negotiations to come have a specific end date - 2009 - and for the first time, dismantles what the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Yvo de Boer called "the Berlin Wall of climate change," the idea that only the rich nations need to take responsibility for fighting global warming. Both developed countries [sic]

The two sides still have different responsibilities, with developed nations ready to take on more quantifiable emissions cuts, and developing nations preparing to take on less specific national actions, but no country is left behind. That matters because the majority of future carbon emissions will come from the developing world, and no climate deal can work without the participation of China and India. "The developing nations of the South are on the same road as the North," says Peter Goldmark, director for the climate and air program for Environmental Defense. "They're using the same roadmap."

Bringing the developing nations on board made it possible for the U.S. to join.

Readers should understand that this was a huge victory for the U.S., and what was indeed missing from the Kyoto Protocol the Clinton administration, with support from then Vice President Al Gore and 95 senators, refused to ratify in 1997. Now, ten years later, developing nations are the ones that have capitulated and agreed to participate in emissions cuts.

Though most media will downplay this, it was indeed a win for the Bush administration and America, as it establishes that any agreement to emissions cuts in the future - assuming such occur - will include developing nations like China and India. This potentially assures that any climate change agreement the U.S. enters into in the future will not give such nations an unfair economic advantage.

Again, this was a HUGE win for the Bush administration that will likely be downplayed by the press.

Yet, Time had more information about what happened in Bali that most media will ignore (emphasis added):

The Bali roadmap contains no specific commitments or figures on the emissions reductions that developed countries will need to take, beyond language that "deep cuts" will be needed. Earlier in the week the EU fought hard to include a specific target of 25 to 40% cuts for developed nations by 2020, and a need to halve global emissions - two figures cited by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) latest assessment of global warming science. Neither made it into the final text, thanks largely to determined opposition from the U.S., although a footnote points to the IPCC report. For environmentalists who had hoped that the recent avalanche of data underscoring the rising crisis of climate change might prompt tougher action, Bali was a disappointment. "It was a rather weak deal," said Meena Rahman, chair of Friends of the Earth International. "It's compromised."

In fact, Canada walked away very disappointed with this compromise as reported by The Canadian Press (emphasis added):

Canada helped gut some of the substance from a world climate-change deal and then expressed regret Saturday when the final agreement was ultimately watered down even more than it had hoped.

Environment Minister John Baird hailed as a positive step a United Nations agreement to seek a new global climate-change treaty by 2012.

But he expressed regret that the agreement was almost completely stripped of any reference to numbers and targets which would have been the starting point for the discussion.

In the end, as press outlet after press outlet will report in the coming days that the Bush administration gave in to international demands at Bali concerning global warming, the truth is that much like at the G-8, the White House got exactly what it wanted from this conference, and the alarmists got virtually nothing.

In fact, once again, the Administration demonstrated its diplomatic aplomb concerning this matter, a skill media can't possibly acknowledge.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.