No Consensus On Curbing Climate Change

Caption: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (C) sits behind the steering wheel of a solar taxi at a hotel near the venue of the UN Climate Change Conference 2007 in Nusa Dua on Bali island, 13 December 2007. Marathon attempts to craft a new strategy to tackle the peril of climate change were in deep trouble with UN organisers warning there was less than a day to agree a deal. As exhausted negotiators wrangled behind closed doors, green activists on the Indonesian resort island of Bali were hoping the clout of climate star Al Gore might save the talks from oblivion. AFP PHOTO/Adek BERRY (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
Getty Images/Adek Berry
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
The global warming conference in Bali is winding down and it's not likely any kind of agreement will be forthcoming.

As we've reported, the United States doesn't want to be boxed in by benchmarks for carbon emissions, saying it's too big a risk to the economy and complaining the Chinese won't agree so why should we. It's a head-in-the-sand approach that leaves many of our friends dumbfounded if not irate.

A frustrated New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has aggressively pursued a green agenda, told me today from Bali that the United States should be leading on these issues. Al Gore, fresh from his Nobel ceremony in Oslo, told the delegates the same thing.

The U.S. need look no further than NASA, whose scientists have been reporting climate change for years. This week NASA announced that artic ice was melting even faster than they predicted. "The artic is screaming," said one, and I wonder why we aren't listening.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.