global warming and US politics

Martin Wolf looks at the implications for climate change of the Republican victory in recent midterm elections.

The most important consequence of this election may therefore be to bury what little hope remained of getting to grips with the risk of dangerous climate change. Countries cannot keep bits of the atmosphere to themselves. Moving off the world’s current trajectory is a collective task. Without US will and technological resources, the needed shift will not happen. Other countries will not – indeed cannot – compensate.

Many Republicans seem to have concluded man-made climate change is a hoax. If so, this is quite a hoax. Just read the synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. One is asked to imagine that thousands of scientists have put together a complex fabrication in order to promote their not particularly remunerative careers, in the near certainty they will be found out. This hypothesis makes no sense.

Martin Wolf, “Republican midterm victory bodes ill for warming planet“, Financial Times, 12 November 2014.

Martin reminds us that the US is not only “the world’s largest and most technologically advanced economy, guarantor of the open world economy and greatest military power”. It “is also the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and among the highest emitters per head”.

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