Given the U.S. performance at the latest round of global warming negotiations at the Hague, it’s hard to see how George W. Bush could do any worse than the Clinton-Gore administration. The U.S. has isolated itself not only from its European allies, but also from developing countries and even a growing number of corporations. America has given new meaning to the term “outlaw nation.”
The news is not that climate shapes history. What is news is that the heating of our atmosphere has propelled our climate into a new state of instability. This new era of climate change could well be the most profound threat ever facing humanity. Its most predictable is stability—in our political systems, our economic organizations and our weather.
As the Washington, DC area recovers from effects of Hurricane Isabel, President George W. Bush keeps trying to divert the potential “perfect storm” forming from the combination of the constant stream of bad news coming out of the Middle East and growing domestic discontent over the war and occupation in Iraq.
The main focus of the U.S. government’s energy and resources should be on preventive measures, which are far more effective at reducing the threat of nuclear war than any pie-in-the-sky defensive schemes.
International competition for investment keeps environmental standards
"stuck in the mud."
With the right set of global rules, foreign direct investment could
be a channel for ecologically sustainable economic development.
In the coming decade, U.S. policy will be decisive in shaping International
The governance of international capital flows will be one of the key
environmental policy issues of the next decade. Along with labor, human
rights, and other social advocates, environmentalists are increasingly
demanding that international rules and corporate norms governing investment
explicitly embrace environmental and social performance goals.
In the past three decades, protecting the global environment has emerged as one of the major challenges in international relations. No fewer than ten global environmental treaties have been negotiated as well as literally hundreds of regional and bilateral agreements. Governments have also endorsed dozens of comprehensive action plans, most notably the 400-page Agenda 21, which set forth a blueprint for implementing sustainable development. The result is an increasingly complex and rich body of international environmental law and policy. At least on paper, this provides a broad framework for moving toward a more environmentally sustainable future.