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Monday, January 26, 2009

Global Warming, the Climate Envoy, and the Erosion of Sovereignty

Any doubts about just how serious the Obama administration would treat global warming were obliterated when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Todd Stern Climate Envoy for the State Department.

In the June 2007 issue of the American Interest, Washington lawyer Todd Stern and think tank executive William Antholis wrote a memo to the next president. Addressed from the "United States Department of Brainstorms" to "The 44th President of the United States," the action memorandum laid out the case for "creating the E-8" -- a novel international group uniting leading developed nations and developing ones for an annual gathering focused on combating global warming.

Now, as Al Kamen noted this morning, Stern will be in a position to write memos to the president for real. This morning, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that Stern will be the special envoy for climate change.

"With the appointment today of a special envoy, we are sending an unequivocal message that the United States will be energetic, focused, strategic and serious about addressing global climate change and the corollary issue of clean energy," Clinton said at the announcement.

In the Obama administration, climate change won't merely be an environmental issue, an energy issue, but it will also be a foreign policy issue. Of course, if you take climate change as seriously as the Obama administration it makes perfect sense to make this a foreign policy issue. After all, it makes no sense for the United States to get serious about climate change if the rest of the world doesn't follow. As such, the answers to climate change must be done on a global level.

Of course, there is a very serious and pernicious side effect to making climate change a foreign policy issue. While the liberal elites were busy condemning Bush for not joining the Kyoto Treaty, they also dismissed his concerns over such a treaty. The main concern for me is that Kyoto is a great first step toward ceding our own sovereignty.

Making climate change a foreign policy issue also means that one day it will be the world that decides just how much greenhouse gases a company in Cleveland can emit. At some point bureaucrats in Belgium will tell our domestic companies how to run their companies. After all, making global warming a foreign policy issue means creating a world consensus on how much global warming is allowed. At some point, it also means that the rest of the world will tell our companies just how much in greenhouse gases they can emit. If you believe that we will soon melt away and die from global warming, then such sacrifices are a small price to pay. If you are at all skeptical about global warming such ceding of sovereignty is unacceptable.

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