Well yes, it goes without saying that the UN deserves the coveted Power Line Green Weenie Award every week, but this week stands out for the simple reason that the Rio+20 “Earth Summit” is commencing down in Brazil. The original Earth Summit in 1992 gave us the Kyoto Protocol (how’s that workin’ out for ya, greenies?), a parallel diplomatic process on biodiversity, and a crazy-quilt, everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink, phonebook-sized wish list known as “Agenda 21” that had no legal force but which was the perfect expression of environmental neurosis and a source of endless mischief. Back then, if your recall is good, environmentalists demanded that President Bush attend and submit to this regime, which he dutifully did. As we noted here previously, President Obama is not turning up for this green reunion, and you can hear the crickets chirping among environmental groups. (Oh sure, they put up an online petition you could sign asking The One to attend. Wow.)
The Wall Street Journal headline and lede this morning sums it up pretty well: “Rio Eco-Summit Fights Conference Fatigue.”
Thousands of officials from government, business and other groups are converging on Rio this week to advance the cause of sustainable development. Their timing couldn’t be worse. . .
The event also comes hot on the heels of other global environmental gatherings that have fallen short of hopes, leading to fatigue and diminished expectations. Some news coverage has already depicted the meeting as a failure, in part because some prominent world leaders won’t attend and in part because there isn’t a clear agenda to frame the discussion.
It gets worse from there. But take heart! The New York Times still believes!—sort of:
The 80-page draft text that the delegates will be discussing addresses a number of important issues. Yet it is clear that not only has humanity failed to address the problems at the needed scale in the intervening years, but that “Rio+20” will fail to do so as well.
That said, it would be shortsighted to give up on Rio+20: humanity needs the building blocks that can be added by this conference to be as robust as possible. . .
What in fact can be achieved at Rio+20? First, there could be a wholehearted agreement on the draft.
Yes, yes, by all means let’s make sure the “draft” gets everything right. And then the world will be saved.
Everybody ready? Losers.