Obama needs buy-in from Senate on global 2015 climate change agreement

08/27/2014 11:44 AM

08/27/2014 5:20 PM

For those who believe, it’s easy to understand President Barack Obama’s desire to go it alone on an international climate change agreement.

The planet is threatened by the warming effects of human fossil fuel use, and doing nothing will only worsen conditions for life on Earth. But the Obama administration needs to hold off on forging a pact in 2015 at a United Nations summit in Paris to reduce carbon pollution among the world’s largest economies.

The president shouldn’t try to do the deal without buy-in from the legislative branch. A vote of two-thirds of the Senate is needed for a treaty to commit the United States to try to get global warming in check.

Businesses also need to be involved and individuals to reduce their energy use and turn to renewable sources. None of it will be easy or cheap.

Because of the enormous commitment that’s required, Obama should not try to go this deal without that legally binding endorsement of the Senate. The problem is so massive and has gone on for so long that everyone needs to be on board to try to reverse the horrific conditions that global warming continues to create.

A U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported Monday that global warming is an undeniable reality, it is human caused, dangerous and may likely be irreversible. Global warming has caused the melting of glaciers and other ice formations; raised ocean levels; swamped coastal areas; caused more flooding; creating massive, long-term droughts; and produced more dangerous and costly storms.

The 127-page report said global warming already is affecting all continents. More pollution from heat-trapping gases will raise the likelihood of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems,” the report said.

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