90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
India, China and the Climate

The passage of the House climate bill – discussed in our first hour today – has been greeted with enthusiasm in many quarters. But in some ways, the real question is whether a global framework can be established in Copenhagen in December, when countries will negotiate a new international treaty to curb greenhouse gases. After all, America emits only about one fifth of greenhouse gases worldwide – far more than its share per capita, but only one piece in the world’s energy-consumption pie chart. One of our guests today, Harvard economist Robert Stavins, underscored the urgency of getting other countries on board:

I think the most important question with this initial foray is not so much what it leads to next for the United States but whether or not this has an effect of helping the United States to play a leadership role in international negotiations to put in place a post-Kyoto Protocol climate regime…

Two countries in particular will hold huge sway in those negotiations: India and China. In India, the Environment Minister’s office issued a statement in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. bill’s passage that seemed less than promising for future negotiations: “India cannot and will not take emission reduction targets because poverty eradication and social and economic development are first and over-riding priorities.”

In China, which now leads the world in greenhouse gas emissions, news of the U.S. climate effort got a mixed review. The government-backed China Daily ran with the headline, “China Unhappy With U.S. Climate Bill.” A government minister, though, gave a more equivocal response:

We think that we should give a positive evaluation to this bill…. But in the area of tackling climate change, especially on the issue of cutting emissions, if they could take some more positive, effective measures it would give a bigger impetus to the year-end talks.

As Prof. Stavins said today during our hour, little matters if China and India don’t get involved. The math is simple: if China and India fail to take action, it will be impossible to avert reaching the amount of carbon in the atmosphere that many scientists now believe would create dangerous warming.

And just to complicate matters, another of our guests today, John Broder of The New York Times, has written that some tariff provisions in the House bill — which would penalize countries that don’t accept a carbon cap — are generating controversy. Indeed, those provisions could alienate the very allies the U.S. needs in Copenhagen.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Gary S.

    You have lost any pretense of journalistic integrity. I listened to the discussion on the Cap and Trade bill in Congress for a few minutes on Wed. I had to switch channels. There was no opposing point of view and the 2 experts being interviewed were only shills for the global warming crowd. Why would you intentionally ignore the opposing point of view? It’s obvious you have a political or social agenda to promote. If you’re only going to promote the left’s prospective on issues, you’re going to alienate half the listening audience.

  • Greg R.

    Dear Gary S.,
    “…opposing point of view?” How can anyone in the 21st century think that there needs to be a debate with opposing points of view on the question of the affects 6 billion+ people are having on the planet and whether or not something needs to be done? If we’re going to think of ourselves as world leaders, then, in my opinion, it’s way past time for us as a nation and a society to take the petty politics out of the discussion and focus on the changes that are necessary – not if they are necessary – and how to pay for those changes so as not ti allow the polluters who are killing the world to pass along all the costs to us. Patrick Moynihan might have said it best, “You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.”

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment