Thursday, May 7, 2009

Obama declines immediate action to protect the ozone layer

Obama declined an immediate phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (a powerful climate-warming gas) under a treaty designed to protect the ozone layer:
A number of lawmakers, foreign governments and environmental advocates had urged the administration to offer an amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty on ozone-depleting substances, calling for the rapid elimination of HFC’s. Some officials at the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency had pushed for such a course, but the White House decided on a more moderate approach to give it negotiating room in upcoming rounds of climate and environmental talks.

...The treaty is considered a model of international comity and scientific success. Some within the administration, as well as several Democratic committee chairs on Capitol Hill, urged that the United States take the lead in calling for the elimination of HFC’s under the treaty. But White House officials blocked the move, saying they needed more time to study the issue and instructing the State Department to stall.

A White House official said that the climate and energy bill now before the House of Representatives provides for a phase-out of HFC’s. In addition, the chemical is among the six greenhouse gases that the E.P.A. is proposing to regulate under its recent finding that carbon dioxide and other substances pose a risk to human health and the environment. FULL ARTICLE

How about take your politics, your bartering strategies, your tit-for-that, and shove it. Does Obama want to hold out on this so the raging climate skeptics think that there is something to negotiate?

I'll wait and play games with health care reform. I've already had to swallow obscenely wasted tax dollars spent bailing out banks. Beating around the bush with gay marriage to appeal to a wide electorate? I'm coping (begrudgingly).

But there is only one (quickly diminishing) environment. There are no compromises.

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