The Summit of Our Discontent
U.S. continues to stomp mightily on Montreal climate summit
Poor Canada got it from both sides this week at the Montreal climate summit. On Tuesday, it suggested that the 189 nations party to the original 1992 U.N. climate convention meet formally over the next two years to discuss post-Kyoto strategies for greenhouse-gas reduction. The Bush administration/ExxonMobil delegation responded with a big fat middle finger; its complete opposition to such meetings is likely to kill the idea. Environmentalists kicked the proposal when it was down, with Greenpeace’s Bill Hare calling it “almost meaningless” and charging Canada with going too far in a vain attempt to appease and engage the U.S. Meanwhile, the Munich Re Foundation announced that weather-related financial losses in 2005 would exceed $200 billion, with insurance claims topping $70 billion. Foundation CEO Thomas Lobster said that these highest-ever figures are a “powerful indication” that “we are moving from predictions of the likely impacts of climate change to proof that it is already fully under way.” Yikes.