In 2001 Pres. George W. Bush broke step with the rest of the world when he rejected outright the Kyoto protocols, which came from an environmental summit of nations. The accord called for a reduction in emissions of five percent for industrialized nations.
Since then, Bush seems to have made it a personal objective to break step with the rest of the global community. He seems to take some kind of sick pleasure in doing the exact opposite of what the world’s experts in various fields of science and technology tell him is best.
Emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are causing the global weather patterns to change for the worse. There is now almost unanimous agreement among climatologists, environmentalists, and scientists in related fields that global warming is real, that humans are causing it, and that the results will be negative.
Last Friday, former Pres. Bill Clinton spoke before a United Nations climate conference hosted by Canada. “There's no longer any serious doubt that climate change is real, accelerating and caused by human activities,” Clinton told the conferees.
But why should Bush listen to reason from the experts on global weather? He hasn’t listened to any experts on anything, except when he can add a twist of Bush logic to their recommendations, which makes implementing them useless or even dangerous.
Clinton said Bush was flat wrong on his assumption that reducing emissions would hurt the U.S. economy.
When it comes to saving the earth’s climate, Bush has opted to go it alone. He points to the fact that his administration has spent billions of dollars trying to develop new technologies that will lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, the culprits in global warming.
That’s all well and good, but as Clinton pointed out, the U.S. could meet or even surpass the Kyoto targets by using improved technology. So why not join with the rest of the world and agree to abide by the Kyoto protocols?
The Kyoto agreement lasts only until 2012. The recent global environmental conference was meant to set in place talks that should eventually lead to agreements that extend well beyond 2012.
Canada was hoping that softened language in the stated objectives would encourage the United States to participate in the talks. But Bush has balked yet again.
It’s frustrating for other world leaders who have sense enough to listen to their experts on global climate. Most delegates last Friday appeared to be ready to leave an uncooperative U.S. behind again and open a new round of negotiations aimed at hammering down post-2012 protocols.
Most experts agree that the Kyoto protocols were a bare minimum of what should be done to alleviate global warming. It was only a first step, and a baby step at that.
The problem with leaving an unwilling U.S. behind is that most of the world’s greenhouse gases are produced here. It doesn’t do much good to agree on limiting emissions if the biggest emitter of all doesn’t go along.
Most of the 10,000 delegates who attended the Canadian conference last week were hoping that the aberrant weather conditions over the past two years, culminating in the destruction of New Orleans by hurricane Katrina, would be a wake-up call for Bush to join the global community in helping to alleviate global warming.
Unfortunately, reason and logic have never been among Bush’s strong points.
We have at least three more years before a new president can bring the U.S. into step with the global community. Whoever becomes president, man or woman, Democrat or Republican, it’s hard to imagine the upcoming administration could possibly do any worse for this nation than Bush has done.
Refusing to join the Canadian-hosted environmental conference is just the latest evidence.