Climate Rage  The only way to stop global warming is for rich nations to
pay for the damage they've done - or face the consequences

NAOMI KLEINPosted Nov 11, 2009 8:29 AM

One last chance to save the world  for months, that's how the United
Nations summit on climate change in Copenhagen, which starts in early
December, was being hyped. Officials from 192 countries were finally going
to make a deal to keep global temperatures below catastrophic levels. The
summit called for "that old comic-book sensibility of uniting in the face of
a common danger threatening the Earth," said Todd Stern, President Obama's
chief envoy on climate issues. "It's not a meteor or a space invader, but
the damage to our planet, to our community, to our children and their
children will be just as great."

That was back in March. Since then, the endless battle over health care
reform has robbed much of the president's momentum on climate change. With
Copenhagen now likely to begin before Congress has passed even a weak-ass
climate bill co-authored by the coal lobby, U.S. politicians have dropped
the superhero metaphors and are scrambling to lower expectations for
achieving a serious deal at the climate summit. It's just one meeting, says
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, not "the be-all and end-all."

As faith in government action dwindles, however, climate activists are
treating Copenhagen as an opportunity of a different kind. On track to be
the largest environmental gathering in history, the summit represents a
chance to seize the political terrain back from business-friendly
half-measures, such as carbon offsets and emissions trading, and introduce
some effective, common-sense proposals  ideas that have less to do with
creating complex new markets for pollution and more to do with keeping coal
and oil in the ground.