Branson offers to set up `environmental war room`

With his characteristic media savvy, Richard Branson offered to set up an 'environmental war room' to help combat climate change. It appears that he envisions a quasi-independent but UN-linked office that would promote climate change best practices and mediate between countries.  Branson put out the idea at another gloomy UN meeting about mitigating and adapting to climate change. The New York gathering, a follow-up to Bali, even bored the AP reporter, John Heilprin, covering the story to snarkiness:

No less than 117 speakers, representing virtually all the world's nations, signed up to take the stage during talks that dragged into the evening. The glacial pace of their speechmaking belied their expressions of urgency and fear that global warming will test the world - and the U.N. - in ways never before seen.

Branson grabbed headlines, but it's totally unclear how such a war room could help. Perhaps it's just the cynical side of me coming out, but I don't see how another quasi-governmental international body is really going to help this process along.

At the governmental level, what needs to happen, and everyone knows it, is that the US needs to get a new president and institute some sort of system to cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas credits with real teeth to make burning fossil fuels relatively more expensive. Then, we'll join the world community to press the developing nations to get on board, sweetening the deal with promises of technology transfer from a new several hundred billion dollar cleantech fund which is paid for by auctioning off carbon credits to power companies.

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