Blog Roundup #67

A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary


Overthrow: “Montreal Climate Summit, the first United Nations climate conference since the Kyoto agreement came to legal force in Feb. 16, 2005, is taking place against a backdrop of increasing concern about the speed of the changes to the global climate and its consequences.”

Treehugger: “Today in Montreal the United Nations Climate Change Conference begins, and it will end on December 9th. This event will bring together more than 10,000 people including delegates, official observers from government, industry, business, the scientific community, and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) interested in figuring out what to do for the post-Kyoto era. This thing will be big! Stay tuned this week for more, including the expected statement by the US that they aren’t changing their position and that doing something about greenhouse gas emissions and efficiency is “bad for the economy.”

Politics in the Zeros: “Pay up to save rainforests: “A bloc of developing countries plans to make a radical proposal this week at the United Nations summit on climate change in Montreal: pay us, and we will preserve our rainforests. The group of 10 countries, led by Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica, argues that the rest of the world is benefiting from the rainforests’ natural wealth without sharing the cost.” They do have a point.”

Mojo Blog: “Sam Rosenfeld has a very good TAPPED post about aid to Africa, noting that while turning poor African countries into democracies with 10 percent GDP growth a year is very hard, spending a bit of money to provide them with bed nets for malaria is not. That’s right. I think, though, he’s attacking a straw man here. Very few “aid critics,” even William Easterly, think that modest steps like sending malaria nets to Africa are useless. Easterly would probably laud it as the sort of thing we should be doing. But that’s not what people like Jeffrey Sachs are proposing. Sachs argues that you can’t solve one poverty problem without solving a whole host of others, and wants to send nations not just malaria nets but trees that replenish nitrogen in the soil, rainwater harvesting, better health clinics, etc. etc. The UN Millenium Project is very broad, and as such, is open to the usual criticisms. In fact, critics of Jeffrey Sachs sometimes cite the Gates Foundation’s malaria net work as their preferred, more modest alternative.”

Stygius: “While I agree with John Bolton that — theoretically — unilateralism is not isolationism, an isolated unilateralist makes the two a distinction without a difference. Via Steve Clemons, it looks like Bolton’s tactics at the United Nations are managing to alienate America’s most steadfast partner. The Telegraph: “Britain has rebuffed a Bolton move to join him in refusing to pass the organisation’s 2006 budget until member states approve wide-ranging management reforms.”