I was sitting in bed reading about climate change when I idly fired up the NYTimes app on my phone. New stories quickly updated, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that “US and China Reach Climate Deal After Months of Secret Talks“. Under the plan, China committed for the first time to capping its emissions (rather than simply slowing growth), while the United States promised to accelerate the pace of its decarbonization efforts. All in all, a positive step that will hopefully pave the way to a worldwide agreement next year.
But some have expressed skepticism over Obama’s ability to follow through on his commitments, both now and after he’s gone. From the AP story:
But Republicans signaled that they would seek to thwart Obama’s efforts once the GOP controls the Senate next year, pointing out that Obama was saddling future presidents with a tough-to-meet goal.
“This unrealistic plan, that the president would dump on his successor, would ensure higher utility rates and far fewer jobs,” said incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
It is, of course, quite thoughtful for the Republicans to show such concern for future generations of Presidents. If only they could muster the same dismay over the possibility of dumping an atmosphere full of carbon dioxide on future generations of everybody.