Obama: Get Ye to Copenhagen and Earn Your Nobel

Photo cortesy Mahlum, Wikimedia Commons


The Times of London today reports it’s unlikely Obama will attend Copenhagen climate talks and may use his Nobel acceptance speech to set US environmental goals instead.

I was off the grid in remote rural India when Obama won the Nobel. Didn’t hear about it for a few days. When I did, my Indian hosts were scratching their heads wondering what this likeable man had done to deserve it.

Since then their own prime minister has followed the pessimistic US lead when he said that India will not sacrifice its economic development for a new climate change deal.

But imagine for a moment that Obama really did attend Copenhagen and brought all his theoretical mediator skills to bear on the proceedings.

Rather than using a Nobel he doesn’t yet deserve to set US environmental goals, Obama could actually set those environmental goals in the midst of the most monumental environmental meeting ever held (read Bill McKibben on this in the latest MoJo).

It might actually change the world. And that would justify his Nobel.

Can’t you try, Barack Obama?
 

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  • Julia Whitty is the environmental correspondent for Mother Jones. Her latest book is Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean. For more of her stories, click here.