What happens when developing countries start shouting louder about the fact that the US is responsible for 25% of carbon dioxide emissions? It's only natural ... as we get more evidence of rapid climate change (which is now coming at us in a steady stream like this story for example), the areas, people and countries that are negatively impacted by the climate change will start to point fingers and ask for reparations.
This is asymmetric global warming. The warming is caused in one place or by one group, and the negative effects are felt in another place or by another group.
The article I linked to above discusses declining water reserves in South American countries who rely on glaciers and snowpack for the majority of their water. It contains some choice lines like the following:
"We're the ones who've contributed the least to global warming and we're getting hit with the biggest bill," laments Edson Ramirez, a Bolivian hydrologist who coordinates U.N., French- and Japanese-sponsored projects to quantify the damage exacted on fragile Andes ecosystems by richer nations that use more gas and create more pollution.
Bolivia, South America's poorest country, is responsible for just 0.03 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions that scientists blame for global warming, says Ramirez. The United States, by contrast, contributes about one quarter.
President Evo Morales, in an Associated Press interview earlier this month, said he'll seek legal remedies if rich countries don't agree to pay for the damage they've wreaked on the developing world:
"It's not a question of cooperation. It's an obligation," he said.
Legal remedies. Yeah, good luck with that, Evo. He might have the moral high ground, but he won't have much luck convincing the US to send him millions while Atlanta goes dry and New Orleans sinks further beneath sea level. He'll need to get a bit more creative than that.