Prof. Henrik Selin on Obama’s Climate Change Challenges

August 27, 2014

Prof. Henrik Selin of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University understands that global climate change policy is a difficult topic and feels that it is made all the more difficult in the prevailing political climate of Washington, DC.

Commenting on the challenges faced by US President Barack Obama as he seeks forward movement on global climate change policy, Prof. Selin points out in a news story in US News & World Report (August 27, 2014)

“You are likely not to see countries going beyond their comfort zone,” Selin says. “If you have sort of serious negotiations, it’s sort of a give and take around commitments—you can see countries being pushed a little further than they had a thought. Here, apparently, the idea is every country leans back in their chair and says, ‘We’re willing to do this, and no more.’”

He goes on to stress that the problem at hand is not just difficult, it is outright dangerous for the future health of the planet:

“This is one of those times when the political gridlock in the D.C. area, when the sort of dysfunction on the Hill is not merely annoying, but is actually dangerous… You have 100 people in the Senate that have a huge, huge influence on the U.S. negotiating position that basically puts it at odds with most of the countries in the world.”

Read full news report here.

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