According to Canadian Green leader, Elaine May, you can absorb it all in one minute. While Canada signed the Kyoto Accord and the US did not, this is not a legal issue. rather, I agree with May that it is a moral imperative to do something. Referring to the Kyoto accords May gets it right.
WHY we should meet them (Other than being legally bound?): Because the necessary reductions in atmospheric carbon to avoid catastrophic local and global impacts will be at least 30% below 1990 by 2020, 50% by 2030, 80% by 2050. Missing our Kyoto targets places us in an even more difficult situation in the next phase. Further delay, denial, and procrastination is not an option.
Then, I turn around and quote our own Vice President, Dick Cheney.
I think there's an emerging consensus that we do have global warming. You can look at the data on that, and I think clearly we're in a period of warming. Where there does not appear to be a consensus, where it begins to break down, is the extent to which that's part of a normal cycle versus the extent to which it's caused by man, greenhouse gases, et cetera.Not even George W. pushes this bull anymore. After all, he has been going to ethanol plants for photo-ops.
We saw in New Orleans that our failures to act did not affect the rich and poor alike. Those who suffered the most were, for the most part, black and poor.
It will be the same if we fail to act again. It will be 20 million in Bangladesh displaced by rising water. It will be the poor of Mozambique who have just taken the force of a Cat 3 Typhoon after flooding left 120,000 displaced. And, if that is not bad enough, the next typhoon in that area looks to be developing to a Category 4. The Image below shows Typhoon Gamede in the center and the remains of Flavio over Mozambique on the left. A full discussion of this image is at Chris Mooney's blog, Intersection.