Earth Summit? What Earth Summit?

I mentioned here yesterday that President Obama has gone silent about climate change, and is not currently planning to attend the Rio Earth Summit next month, which is the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit that started the who UN climate change circus and bestowed on us the infamous Kyoto Protocol, which I have elsewhere described as the most feckless diplomatic product since the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 that promised to end war.

Back in 1992, President Bush faced an onslaught from environmental groups to pressure him into attending the Rio meeting, including this video voiced by Darth Vader himself that 10 environmental groups sponsored as an ad in movie theaters:

Up to now Obama has faced little of the same kind of pressure, for the simple reason that he has a D (for Democrat) after his name.  This has proven embarrassing to a few environmentalists, as the sometimes iconoclastic folks at Grist.com noted:

In my research into the 2012 Earth Summit, I’ve noticed very little action from the major U.S. greens. A handful of them, including EarthJustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Nature Conservancy, and the Pew Environment Group, have been involved, along with groups focused on clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and other issues, but where’s the old guard that sponsored the Darth Vader ad two decades ago? . . .

For even the most active of these traditional American Big Green groups, the Earth Summit isn’t frontpage news. For most of the old school greens, it’s not news at all. . .

Nonetheless, their silence is notable. These are the groups that know how to call out the cavalry — or the Horsemen of the Fucking Apocalypse if necessary — when the need arises. So far, I’m not hearing any thundering hooves, and neither, I promise, is President Obama. When I last checked, this petition asking him to attend the Earth Summit had garnered a pathetic 321 signatures.

Well, it seems the mainline green groups, perhaps embarrassed by the obvious hypocrisy, are making a perfunctory effort to pressure Obama.  But you can tell their heart isn’t in it.  No Darth Vader movie trailers this time.  Grist’s Greg Hanscom brings us up to date:

This year, many of the major U.S. green groups were weirdly silent about the Earth Summit — until this week, when they sent Obama a letter:

“We are writing on behalf of civil society organizations that represent more than 5 million Americans to urge you to commit as soon as possible to lead the United States delegation to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil in June.

“Your presence at this Summit would signal its critical importance to all Americans, demonstrate our country’s deep concern over urgent global issues that will inevitably affect our security and well-being, and highlight our nation’s determination to be a contender in the race to a low-carbon green economy.”

The letter [PDF] also asks Obama to roll out a list of commitments from the U.S. to promote the green economy here and abroad. The groups want Obama to push for elimination of fossil-fuel subsidies, sign onto the U.N.’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, which aims to bring clean power to developing countries, and crack down on ocean pollution and overfishing.

 

With neither Germany’s Angela Merkel or Britain’s David Cameron turning up, it is doubtful Obama will.  Give that man a Green Weenie!

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