The Obama administration is still aggressively pushing a climate-change agenda that centers on developed nations paying the costs of keeping greenhouse gases out of developing countries, but several important partners are abandoning the effort over lack of money and increasing doubts over the wisdom of the plan.
The divide was stunningly evident last month at the international climate conference in Warsaw, Poland, where the Obama administration again tried to rally the industrialized world to its cause.
"The Obama administration has historically signed on to the entire man-made climate-change disaster narrative. Todd Stern, who was the chief U.S. negotiator at the conference in Warsaw did ultimately agree to what is called the International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (IMLD), which is a formula through which the industrialized world transfers money to the developing world," said Marita Noon, executive director at Energy Makes America Great and the Citizen's Alliance for Responsible Energy.
But while the IMLD agreement sounds like a win for the administration, the plan contains no concrete funding mechanism because of the increasing reluctance of nations to spend billions without any promise of tangible results.
The skepticism was on full display in Warsaw. Australia's new conservative prime minister, Tony Abbott, refused to commit another dollar to the climate-change agenda and called the program "socialism masquerading as environmentalism."
Japan also announced it was essentially abandoning its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, noting that the problems with its nuclear energy program left it no other course. Great Britain is also looking to scrap its involvement in the climate-change movement, with the Guardian newspaper reporting Prime Minister David Cameron told his ministers, "We've got to get rid of all this green cr-p."
"We are really seeing a large falling apart of this entire process. In fact, Susan Smith with the World Wildlife Fund has called the entire conference a farce because they didn't accomplish what they had hoped to accomplish. They went into this thinking there was going to be so-called 'money on the table.' As she reported, what they found when they got there was exactly the opposite," said Noon, who noted that only the United States and European Union seem committed to the climate-change agenda at this point.
So are other nations getting out of the climate-change movement because they cannot afford it or because they are growing increasingly doubtful of the science behind it all? Noon says it's both of those concerns and more.
"The developed countries are all in economic trouble themselves, and they just don't have the billions to pour into this. The world is supposed to be sending $1 billion a year to the developing countries by 2020, and that's just not going to happen," she said, while noting that the latest scientific data are also sparking increased skepticism.
"[Carbon dioxide] emissions have continued to rise, but global temperatures have stalled. In fact, German scientists are currently predicting that we are now heading into a new ice age for like the next 100 years," Noon said. "While [carbon dioxide] has risen, the economy has gone down and global warming has not continued to rise. So people are seeing there's really not a connection between the emissions and global temperatures."
Noon said with just the U.S. and the European Union left on board the climate-change movement, it makes it much harder for them to claim any efforts they undertake will make any difference when the rest of the world just goes about its business.
Nonetheless, Noon said Americans should be sobered by the fact President Obama has no intention of abandoning this fight and will try to enact as much of this agenda through the executive branch as possible.
"As we've seen with this president, he can go as far as he wants to," she said. "Hopefully, we are beginning to see some push-back on questioning the constitutionality of all of these executive orders that are being used to go around Congress. Certainly, Congress is not going to ratify any new climate-change treaty that might come out of Paris in two years, which is the goal of the climate-change alarmists."