While most of the American media have given little or no coverage to the Doha climate conference, Amy Goodman and DemocracyNOW! Has been covering it from Doha all week. U.S. climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing refused to answer a question from Amy Goodman as to whether the position he was taking was consistent with what President Obama had said in his first speech after he was elected (that "he didn't want his--he didn't want our children to live in an America that isn't (sic) threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet"). On December 4, Pershing described his country's passive role this way:
"I think the United States's role is very much one of engaging actively and constructively in the discussion. We are one of the significant contributors to the intellectual thinking in the process. We have been. We will continue to try to do that. It doesn't mean that we will agree with everyone on everything. This is, after all, a negotiation. We're looking to participate in an outcome that will lead to a reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions. We're looking at an outcome that will be acceptable to all parties. We're looking at an outcome that will be effective in the time frame that we've set for ourselves to move forward." [emphasis added]
World Bank Reports: Situation Is Desperate
The day before Pershing made those comments, the World Bank released a report that warned that global warming was more advanced than anyone had thought and that the world was facing a "carbon tsunami" with devastating potential effects. As Amy Goodman reported:
"A shocking new report commissioned by the World Bank is warning temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, causing devastating food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought -- even if countries meet their current pledges to reduce emissions. If these promises are not met, the increase could happen even sooner. Meanwhile, scientists say it is still not too late to minimize the devastating impact of climate change. A separate report by the Climate Action Tracker says global warming could be kept below 2 degrees. "
UN Ambassador Susan Rice, multi-millionaire by mnn.com
The decision to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline coming from Canada into the United States technically belongs to the State Department, although there is little doubt that the President will make the final decision. By the time he decides, he may well have a new Secretary if State, and that Secretary of State could be the current ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice. As Secretary of State, Rice would be expected to advise the president on Keystone, unless she recuses herself for a conflict if interest, since she owns at least $1.2 million worth of stock in more than a dozen Canadian banks and oil companies, including TransCanada (over $300,000), Enbridge, and at least seven others.