Saving the world is a tough job, even for those who have an outlet like Time magazine to further their cause.
Time’s Bryan Walsh, who has previously warned that inaction on global warming “will be enormous for all of us,” urged world leaders to buy into the alarmism in the article “Can We Save the World by 2015?”
“If international leaders were as united as the scientific community on climate change, warming might be a thing of the past,” Walsh wrote in a story posted December 1 on Time’s Web site. “This year the UN’s Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a series of reports that laid to rest any doubts that global warming is real — and outlined the frightening consequences of continued inaction.”
Walsh cited David Doniger, the policy director of the left-wing Natural Resource Defense Council's climate center – hardly an objective source to cite when it comes to environmental stories.
“It's really critical to get negotiations formally started,” Doniger said in the Time article. “We're almost at the point of no return. If we don't turn these emission trends down soon, we're cooked.”
Walsh accused President George W. Bush of “foot dragging on climate change” in the article, but took a “counterintuitive” position on what Bush should do. He warned if Bush were to be more proactive in establishing a deadline for ending negotiations on capping carbon emissions – 2010 as the latest possible date the lame duck Bush Administration could agree to – it might “allow China or India to soften their negotiating tactics, and perhaps accept lesser limitations, such as mandatory targets in energy efficiency or renewable power use.”
“The best contribution President Bush can make for the Bali process is to continue doing what he has done best on climate change: nothing,” Walsh wrote.
Walsh also applauded corporations for “going green.”
“The good news is that the White House is seemingly the only place green hasn't gone mainstream,” Walsh wrote. “Just last week, 150 top global corporations – including General Electric (NYSE: GE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Shell (LON: RDSA) – endorsed a petition calling for mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, a business position unthinkable just a year ago.”
Walsh also touted a measure in the Kyoto Protocol that requires participating developed nations to cut their 1990 emissions levels by 5 percent before 2012. According to Ben Lieberman of The Heritage Foundation, such a target will be close to impossible for these countries to reach by 2008, when Kyoto’s bills come due:
“The European Union nations that have signed onto the Kyoto Protocol – and regularly criticize the U.S. for failing to join them – are falling considerably short of its requirements. Despite the caps on carbon dioxide emissions, nearly every Western European nation has higher carbon emissions today than when the treaty was signed in 1997, and these emissions increases show no signs of leveling off. Compliance with Kyoto's looming 2008–2012 targets will be all but impossible for most of these countries, and many are actually seeing their emissions rising faster than those in the U.S.”
These sort of do-or-die stands on this issue are nothing new for Walsh. He recently warned in another Time Magazine article global-warming inaction “could put up to 30% of species on the planet at risk for extinction.”