Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Grist, and is re-posted with permission.
By Amanda Little, Grist’s former Muckraker columnist
Hours before the outcome of the Copenhagen conference was revealed, I sat down with New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman to discuss the implications of the historic summit. No matter what happens in Copenhagen, said Friedman, what matters most is what happens at home: Where the US goes, so goes the world. But we can’t lead the world without charting a path for ourselves.
Amanda Little: Did you have high expectations for COP15?
Thomas Friedman: I really question this whole process—and to some extent, its premise. Let me put it this way: Anything 192 countries could agree on would not be serious. Because it would be such a lowest common denominator that it’s not serious. At the end of the day, what I believe matters more than anything is what America does. Because if we lead it, more people will emulate us by just wanting to emulate us then will do the right thing by compulsion of a global treaty. What I care about is what 60 senators in the U.S. Senate will agree on and I want that to be a serious cap-and-trade or a serious carbon tax. If the U.S. leads—we still got a lot of juice—people will follow.Click to continue reading »