Prompted by a call from Citizens For Global Solutions, I wrote the following letter to the editor to the Chicago Sun-Times:
This week and next, leaders from around the world gather in Bali to plan the next steps beyond the Kyoto Protocol in reducing greenhouse gas pollution to stem global warming and its potentially devastating consequences. We must take our cue from the 150 corporate signatories of the Bali Communique, who recognize that the international scale of this looming problem puts its solution beyond the scope of individual good intentions and in the arena of decisive government action. When even corporations recognize that a legal framework for addressing greenhouse gas pollution is in their self-interest, we know the time has come to act. As the top contributor to greenhouse gas pollution, the U.S. must demonstrate leadership on this front, reversing our isolationism in rejecting the Kyoto Protocol, which has lessened our standing in the eyes of the international community, by agreeing to mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions.
We should not see the imposition of controls on greenhouse gas pollution as a purely reactionary or negative measure. The transition away from fossil fuels represents a tremendous opportunity for America. We still have the world’s largest economy and retain an enormous capacity for innovation. Agreeing to an international framework on greenhouse gas pollution aligns us to lead the world in creating the next generation of clean energy sources, spurring growth in our own economy through the creation of new industries, as well as increasing our national security by lessening our dependence on foreign oil with all the financial, military, and political entanglements that entails. Let us bring this forward-looking orientation to the Bali talks and lead the world to a more secure future with responsibility and optimism.