Whilst Sir Nicholas Stern’s report continues to receive blanket media coverage in the UK, Washington remains largely uninterested. Look at the New York Times and the Stern report is mentioned half-way through a report entitled “Budgets Falling in Race to Fight Global Warming”.
Outraged by he sees as America’s inability to respond to the seriousness of climate change, Blair is going to send Stern “to win American hearts and minds to the urgent cause of cutting carbon emissions”. It has also emerged that Blair has signed up former US vice-president Al Gore to advise on the environment and help with the climate change fight.
Labour hopes Gore will help sell Stern’s serious message of how urgent action is needed now. The Blair government also hopes that Stern’s report will gain traction in the US because it focuses on the economic case for change. But so far the White House has not read the report. Kristin Hellmer, the White House counsel on environmental quality, says: “The president has said from the beginning that climate change is a serious issue, and he is taking action on it.”
What exactly does “taking action” mean Kristin? Is he taking a bath? Taking a walk? Or maybe taking a nap?