Action on climate change

A new report by the UN confirms that global warming is excelling at a rate faster than previously thought.

Last week, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed fears that global warming is excelling at a much faster pace than previously predicted. The scientists noted that industrial greenhouse gasses quickly increasing and methane-saturated Arctic permafrost melting are two main culprits of the pickup in speed. The panel also stated that the next U.N. proposal, which is slated for release in 2014, will be the first time that policy proposals to combat the issue will be incorporated in the organizationâÄôs assessment. Countries should not wait five years for the U.N.âÄôs proposal to take action on the issue. There is one way to solve the issue: political action. The countries cannot wait for an unreliable U.N. to take action, as that will just delay progress. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed Tuesday by President Barack Obama there are several initiatives that lay a foundation for the countryâÄôs venture into a greener world. Also announced Tuesday was the Obama administrationâÄôs decision to review coal-fired power plant emission standards. Those are good places to start. But the work that needs to be done is great. Global warming is unique in the sense that it is global; every country on Earth is affected by it. A global crisis on this scale is rare, and therefore, countries are inexperienced in dealing with and solving them. The U.N. is good at getting countries together to talk about global crises, but thatâÄôs about it [think Rwanda]. Hence, as the argument often goes for marshalling action out of U.N. [one that doesnâÄôt apply in all cases], a leader needs to act preemptively. ThereâÄôs no reason the United States canâÄôt be that leader.