I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while. The daughter of a friend of mine is a graduate student in Public and Industrial Environmental Management in Berlin. She is the coauthor of a blog dedicated to environmental activism and apparently will be attending the upcoming summit on the environment in Copenhagen, Denmark as a student representative. (Send her a little extra money, Pop; that’s a really expensive town.)
She was in Berlin for the recent 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, and she makes the observation that one our biggest security challenges in the future will be claims on resources and the environment:
Due to its overarching nature and potential catastrophic effects on international social, political, and economic structures, climate change has been noted as one of the greatest threats to American security by the Pentagon, the State Department and eleven retired three- and four-star admirals and generals.
Scott Horton, a go-to guy on almost everything, noted this about about Germany’s Chancellor Merkel’s recent address in Washington:
Angela Merkel’s speech to Congress on November 3 was a significant event similarly misunderstood by the broadcast media. Merkel gave her country’s thanks for the role played by prior American administrations—particularly that of George H.W. Bush—in German reunification. But carefully wrapped in those compliments was also a bit of a brickbat. Where was that leadership over most of the last decade? You’ll have our support for efforts in Afghanistan, she pledged—and now assume the leadership role we expect of you on issues like global warming. Merkel’s voice is that of a new and much more conservative Europe that looks to America for a forward role and has been sorely disappointed. But how much of this message got through in the American media? None of it. Alas, our media was too much focused on the congressional elections in Plattsburgh, New York, to be bothered with such trivia.
The summit sorely needs American leadership, but it doesn’t appear that it will get it.
Perhaps you will follow The Climateers to get a “citizens’ media” perspective on the proceedings. I plan to.
Update: This just in: U.S. to Propose Emissions Cut Before Climate Talks.