New York Times August 27, 2014: "The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress." click to read more--you should.
This article breathlessly describes how the President of the United States will broker a 'hybrid agreement' a new invention, called 'legal and political magic' by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The agreement would help avert the disaster of climate change and is the last chance to avert catastrophe according to the New York Times. In June Obama issued an Executive Order to command restrictions on energy and is being sued by some states.
Here's another quote from the article:
"American negotiators are instead homing in on a hybrid agreement — a proposal to blend legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty with new voluntary pledges. The mix would create a deal that would update the treaty, and thus, negotiators say, not require a new vote of ratification."
In 1992 at the UN Earth Summit in Rio there were two treaties up for ratification: the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United States Senate did not approve the Convention on Biological Diversity after seeing that it would restrict human beings into islands of human habitation. Of course that is slowly happening anyway as a result of ICLEI members curcumventing the treaty process. The Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed by G.H.W. Bush and was approved by the Senate in October 1992, but it is considered 'not legally binding' because it does not set emission limits or have enforcement powers in place. There are no 'legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty" that the US agreed to--it simply doesn't exist. Who will be 'compelled' to reduce emissions?
The US did not agree to the Kyoto Protocols, which were the follow-up to the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change. Will this 'legal and political magic' ensnare us in a treaty to which we did not agree?
Did the New York Times get it wrong? What's going on? How can the US 'update' an existing treaty? What is the legality of 'updating' a treaty which would effectively change the document to something that had not been agreed to previously? This is an extremely important question that goes far beyond the panic of Climate Change (we must avert disaster, no time to ask questions, you denier, you). Can any President of the United States change any document, amend any agreement, agree to something that requires the consent of Congress without going to Congress? The Congress is YOU.
When the US agrees to a treaty it overrides existing US law.
The US Constitution on the subject of treaties:
"Article II: [The President] shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.
"Article VI: This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."
Before you get on your high horse about saving the planet look at what is behind the green mask. This is not a left / right issue. This is GLOBALIZATION.