This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Poll: Who is to blame?

Is Palau right to hold industrialized nations accountable for its environmental troubles?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...


  • Barbaraanncornish

    If we are going to have global commence then we have to have global law. The United States and other nations are going to have to accept that this is now a global village and they cannot act independently of everyone else. I believe the law, not war, is the way to go for civilized nations.

  • Bjamos1941

    If we are truly a CHRISTIAN nation as many people believe, then we are not good stewarts of this wonderful declining Earth of ours. If we worked on our Earth…. not declare war…..where would we be today?

  • AlanGodber

    I totally agree with Barbara. Could not have said it better. The USA needs to support this legal move by Palau NOW in 2012. No excuses are acceptable.  


    Great, so now we’ve found another way to make tort lawyers rich.  Why stop with energy companies and why just companies in the U.S.?  Surely third world countries coal fired electric plants and reliance on kerosene as a basic energy source make them worse polluters.  Why not go after them?  Why stop with energy companies?  Shouldn’t all people that rely on any petrochemical or petrochemical product be made to pay?  Your thesis is nonsense on the face of it.  Technology will solve our problems – not tort.


    Barb, we do have rules for global commerce – we don’t however, allow foreign jurisdiction over our citizens for conducting lawful commerce.

  • Vperrins

    Someone has to wake this country up!

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely.  Corporations that pollute should be fined and responsible for every person who suffers from that pollution.  The US government, should hold them accountable and not be burdened with the debt. That’s the GOP way, isn’t it?  It’s all about privatization?

  • Chairnitram

    You have got to be kidding me! the whole global warming thing is a money making scam to begin with. weather has always fluctuated up and down… just watch the weather reports and the record highs and lows…

  • Satellte3

    Palau bilked the US government for decades under the compact of free association only to put expensive motorboats in ll the luxury homes of Koror. Maybe the Marshall Islands have some real complaint, but Palauans are spoiled parasitic cheats with no more claims to steal from others.

  • Ma429329

    They’re not asking for more money. They only want the United States, China, and India (as well as other industrialized nations) to work on a solution for REALLY lowering greenhouse gas emissions- something we all agree is not good for our planet. As a poor, small nation- the way they plan on doing that is by making an international standard as to what amount of emissions is acceptable. Can’t we all agree that is a step in the right direction? And the USA is the biggest opponent- its disgraceful. If you agree, please look for my petition- coming soon.

  • mbee1

    There is a tiny problem for this potential lawsuit.  CO2 is not a cause of global warming.  None of the research actually proves it is. CO2 is a lagging indicator of warming or cooling which means something else is doing the warming.  Since we did not reach the temperature of 1225 until 1990.  We are currently at the same temperature as in Roman times which is a lot less than 1000 AD perhaps all the lemming looking for money are wrong.

  • Chairnitram

    totally agree with that one 

  • Bill Huggins

    When you pull in for a fill up, have you ever wondered what happened to the previous tankful? The Law of Conservation of Matter says that the carbon in the previous tankful of hydrocarbons bonded to oxygen that came in the carbonator to form 19 pounds of CO2 per gallon of gas.

    A vehicle like a Suburban would convert 854 gallons of gas to 16,000 of CO2 in 12,500 miles. Our energy process is to transfer the carbon in the ground to the atmosphere. It’s a law that can’t be repealed.
    Google the
    Law of Conservation of Matter. See what you find.

    And here is this:

  • Stephen J Suor

    To any who is suggesting that CO2 is not having a detrimental impact on the climate and the world as a whole all they have to do is look at the increased acidification of the worlds oceans. The world oceans PH levels are decreasing with the increased level of CO2 making the waters more acidic. This has lead to the bleaching (death) of massive areas of the worlds coral reefs. These reefs are the largest bio-diverse areas on the planet and if these fail it will have far reaching implications for humankind. Examples of these very implications: Coral reefs serve as storm breaks for coastal communities worldwide and without them the survival of these very communities is in question. Coral reefs serve as the oceans nursery for the majority of the fish we ourselves consume. If reef failure continues we are looking at a collapse in global fish stocks which will lead to worldwide hunger. We have chosen to ignore the canary in the coal mine our oceans, so I support Palau in it’s actions. Palau and other island nations are sounding the alarm bell as they are the first nations facing these and other threats, it’s time for the US and other industrialized nations to take heed.

  • Kuch7373

    So when the earth starts to cool, and the next ice age hits, who do I sue to keep my home heated?

  • Vmachado209

    Our typical convenient response to the global warming
    concern is to pretend that it doesn’t exist…there’s no proof of it.  Even if you don’t believe what you see, how
    can we continue to consume the world’s finite resources, burn fossil at almost
    unimaginable rates, replace fertile productive agricultural land with
    impermeable and grossly energy demanding communities and still possibly think
    it’ll never change the planet?  Stop
    being so lazy and selfish and start thinking about the future of our children
    and their planet.

  • Vsanfi

    Droughted and flooded countries should not hold the industrialized government taxpayers accountable, but fine the 10 oil-coal companies responsible directly. 

  • Elizabeth

    the corporations are the government…………………..even the supreme court says so…………………..

  • Elizabeth

    the corporations are the government…………………..even the supreme court says so…………………..

  • Elizabeth

    but who makes the laws…………………..not us.

  • Elizabeth

    but who makes the laws…………………..not us.

  • Jshaw2100

    Wrong.  The vast majority of CO2 has been produced by the gigantic economies of the industrialized world, nations which have been developed for many, many years.  Moreover, many of the developed nations use tremendous amounts of coal.

  • Jshaw2100

    Moose, actually we do allow foreign jurisdiction over our commerce.  Ever hear of the WTO?

  • Jshaw2100

    Sure, if science shows that humans caused the ice age.

  • Jshaw2100

    Great post.

  • Mathewmanley1

    Anyone who denies a causal relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming at this point, with all the evidence we currently have, is insane. The great debate going forward, and one that is not likely to be settled peacefully anytime soon, is who should have to pay the economic costs of changing our energy infrastructure. As Thomas Friedman wrote in his book Hot, Flat and Crowded, China views this debate differently than we do. Pointing out that the U.S. and other western nations have been polluting the earth and contributing to global warming since the industrial revolution; they compare us to a fat, obese man who has ordered a huge and expensive meal, then at the last minute he invites an Asian for a cup of coffee, then asks if they are going to split the bill. China and India are going to defend their right to grow, and have a legitimate complaint there.

    Only with a global governance, and actions like Palau is pursuing, will we be able to attempt to resolve the monumental challenge that global warming represents.

  • Dlueck

    Past warming periods between ice ages were caused by Earth’s orbital variations. The fact that CO2 rise would follow these events should be no surprise as the warming oceans after an ice age would release CO2, since CO2 is less soluble in warm water than cold. This is clearly not the case in our present time as the ice age ended long ago and we should be in a long cool down heading to the next ice age for the last 2000 years or so. The climate deniers need to learn more science or they will allow the power companies to destroy the environment for millions of years. scientists have known that CO2 has been a major cause of global warming on Earth for over a hundred years. Time to catch up on your science if you want to do something useful for the Earth and humanity

  • mbee1

    Diueck, you have half the story, why not look at the rest.  We have been in a long cool down until 1990 when we finally got back to the temperature of 1225 a lot less than in 1000 AD.  Presently we are at the same temperautres as in Roman times.  You for some reaon want to ignor past climate changes and blame all present climate changes on man.  People just like you used to burn witches but that is no longer PC so you blame man made CO2 for climate change when there is zero evidence to support that view.  CO2 lags climate change it has for 500 million years.

  • mbee1

    You folks seem to under the impression that CO2 is a poison. It is a neccessary part of making plants grow. The world has been at extremely low CO2 levels for tens of millions of years during which we have had ice ages and warm ups like the current warmup which is still less than the temperature of 1000 AD.

  • Jimbobmt

    It seems obvious that a nation whose citizen’s homes and livelihoods are threatened by the actions of other nations has the right to hold those nations responsible.  It is the responsibility of the governments of those nations to regulate environmentally harmful activities carried out by corporations (or any entities)  within their borders, particularly if these activities so dramatically affect other nations who have no control and see no benefit from them.  Also it’s clear that in the climatic countdown, essential time is slipping away.  For all the international talk and posturing, ghg emissions worldwide continue to rise rather than diminish.  In our own country the government seems powerless to act on its own on any major issue.  There seems to be considerable grassroots and NGO pressure around this issue; perhaps an international legal challenge on top of what seems to be increasingly undeniable  environmental evidence can galvanize a latent “silent majority” and create some real action.

  • mbee1

    So your solution is to sue?  Why not put a program into place to limit population , that is the real cause of the problems.  Is that to hard for you to grasp?

  • mbee1

    Global warming is occuring and has since the depths of the little ice age.   We still have not reacdhed the temperatures of 1000 AD.  The tiny problem is man is not causing the warming.

  • Mathewmanley1

     Good points, I agree. We can’t rely on our broken political system to implement any real changes. India has a very fragmented government as well. China has a strong central government that could make sweeping changes overnight, but of course will not, because they feel the United States is responsible for the majority of the emissions that have led us to our current state. Plus they can’t afford to stop growing at this point in their development…An international governing body/court system that has some real clout is our only hope.

  • PBS viewer

    The story was quite one sided, as I have come to expect from PBS and “Need to Know” in particular.  “Most scientists agree” was one of the first utterances by the hostess, a statement which is just not true.  No time was given to anyone who disagreed with the basic assumption that climate change is caused by human industrializing.  Any balanced story would have included experts on both sides of the argument.  As a matter of fact, no “experts” were sited at all, other than experts in the law, and only those who agreed that the industrialized nations were to blame.
    It’s a shame that the people of Palau are facing a climatic crisis. I think the U.S. and other prosperous nations should do what they can to help small nations that cannot deal with this kind of problem  To do so would be a charitable work, because the climate change we are experiencing is a natural phenomenon, not a result of industrial pollution.  There are plenty of good reasons to reduce the amount of pollutants in the air, but climate change isn’t one of them.

  • Adrian from RI

    The climate was always changing and will keep on doing so. You might as well get used to it.

  • suniti bernard

    I’m really embarrassed to live in the United States. The US (citizens, companies) is a wasteful nation. I would like to see this country be accountable for the climate change that is occuring all over the world. I think United Sates should be the first Industrial counrty to be sued billions perhaps trillion of dollars. 

  • Roy

    There’s one hugh fact about climate change that nobody seems to be adressing -  The greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere causing global warming will not dissapate for at least 100 years if we stop the emissions tomorrow – it’s already TOO LATE..  Our main problem is overpopulation of the planet – nobody seems to be addressing this fact either – and the world population is suppose to double in about 50 yrs.  We are in for one massaive disastor and all the major leadeers of the world have their heads in the sand..  there’ been 5 major extictions since the earth formed about 5 billion yrs. ago — we’re next…….

  • Bill Huggins

    It’s much more important to vote against abortion for the 33rd time.

  • Lowerysv

    There is more than sufficient evidence to show that fossil fuels are contributing to climate change, and although the industrialized nations might argue that they aren’t wholly at fault, in fact, many (including the US) are not making the hard decisions and necessary investment to ameliorate the effects of greenhouse gases and to minimize their emission. Palau and others in the same situation should insist on a highly publicized hearing both before the UN and before the World Court.