Equity in the greenhouse: The model of teamwork

How should the task of containing the global greenhouse effect be divided internationally, especially as between developed and developing countries? It is hard to overestimate the importance of this question. When George W. Bush, in agreement with a 95-0 vote of the U.S. Senate, refused to sign on even to the utterly inadequate constraints of Kyoto, he did not affirm junk science; he rejected an arrangement that "exempts 80% of the world, including major population centers such as China and India ..."1 It is also hard to be too cynical about the interests and powers that will largely shape any ultimate greenhouse regime. Above all, U.S. political leaders will (in effect, whatever they say to others and to themselves) resist arrangements that help humanity but advance the time when the rising star of Chinese power overtakes declining U.S. power. Still, the growing social movement concerned with the greenhouse effect can have some impact, by increasing the reputational costs of immoral choices. I will try to contribute to this supplement to power politics and disasters by defending a view of cogent reasoning over the fair division of tasks among the world's people in responding to the challenge of global climate change.
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