This is from the transcript of President Obama’s interview on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
“Mexico actually has taken some of the boldest steps around the issues of alternative energy and carbon reductions of any country out there. . . .
What I think that offers is the possibility of a template that we can create between Canada, the United States and Mexico that is moving forcefully around these issues.”
Challenge accepted. I agree to demonstrate our leadership by replicating whatever Mexico did. Er, I suppose that’s more like “whatever Mexico said.”
There. That’s better. Now the Europeans like us again. And you can almost feel the planet healing already.
President Obama has performed this feat in foreign relations and energy policy with just a word from his lips — which is, after all, also how Mexico performed it.
But let’s take a look at what, if anything, this means.
Mexico has said they’d sure like to reduce emissions 50 percent by 2050. But of course, like the vast majority of the world (expressly . . . and the rest of the world in practice), it’s just a target. It’s not binding, and it should go without saying that they do not yet have a viable strategy to acheive it. But, of course, that’s no problem for our guys, either.
Mexico’s AGW plan appeared around the time of the Bali conference, and it is heavy on preventing deforestation — which is an indication that they, like major emitters Brazil and Indonesia (among others), are keen on getting scores of billions in wealth transfers for promising not to cut down trees, while at the same time insisting on no international monitoring. There was a big push for re-forestation rent-seeking at the international level during Bali, which numerous signs (including from domestic sources, which I suppose is only fair) indicate will only escalate in the coming months.
So we see — for example, by contrasting this from mid-2007 against the miraculous turnaround Mexico had somehow pulled by just a few months later here — that “just words” mean a lot if you croon the right tune to the appropriate people. Oh, and your name isn’t Bush. And those conditions apply to our new president. Ahorale! Andale!
And while we are learning lessons from Mexico, perhaps we might observe how they grasp the importance of tapping domestic oil reserves. Of course, we would want to eschew their political corruption and socialist-style policies, which have caused their declining production trend (and which are distinct from our homegrown intellectual corruption and socializing of the politics of energy production). But hey. Nobody’s perfect — no matter how hard we try to paint them as superior.