Bush tries new spin on global warming, but retains bias for growth over emission controls

Fri, 2007-09-28 11:42Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Bush tries new spin on global warming, but retains bias for growth over emission controls

To many, the Bush Administration has been scrambling to appear more sensitive lately to perceptions the U.S. government either doesn’t take global warming seriously — or doesn’t take it seriously enough.

During the current U.S.-sponsored conference on climate change, for example, the president urged the world’s worst polluters, including the United States, to set goals for curbing emissions. He also proposed creation of an international fund to finance research into clean-energy technology.

The conference was attended by 16 countries responsible for more than 80 per cent of global carbon emissions. Officials from Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia and South Africa were attending, as well as European Union and UN climate-change officials.

Rather than seize the opportunity by calling for binding controls, Bush suggested each nation should decide for itself how far it wanted to go – without stunting economic growth, of course.

In a last-gasp effort at damage control, the White House circulated a pocket-size handbook aimed at dispelling various “myths” about U.S. environmental policy. But trying to dispel widely held notions is a far cry from taking action on global warming.

The U.S. alone spews up to one-quarter of the world’s total annual output of carbon emissions. China is the world’s largest nation in terms of both population and pollution. India is set to overtake China. Both were on hand when Bush took the podium to reiterate his tiresome call for voluntary action.

Another opportunity lost to histrionics and political posturing.

Comments

However, if the US dictated non-voluntary limits, the rest of the world would cry foul. And the biggest polluter, China, would likely ignore them anyway.

The rest of the world already agreed to non-voluntary limits under the kyoto protocol – the US doesn’t need to dictate anything, it just needs to agree with what most other countries are already doing. 

The issue is co-operation, and coming to agreement internationally on how best to tackle a problem that all (responsible) parties now agree is a major issue.

Real leadership doesn’t mean dictating but having the strength to bring about consensus. And international agreement means just that: nations must work together and make serious commitments. It’s delicate and difficult, but not less necessary for that. It requires leadership and real competence–two things the Bush administration are seriously lacking. Sadly, history shows that when those two things are called for, Bush and his apologists (like Max Headroom) will simply rationalize the problem away, saying that the problem can be solved voluntarily (read, magically) with no real effort necessary.

There’s no need to turn this into a false dichotomy–dictatorial leadership vs. doing nothing at all–unless you’re intent on doing nothing at all.

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This is a nice comment.The president urged the world’s worst polluters, including the United States, to set goals for curbing emissions. He also proposed creation of an international fund.regards, Custom Research Papers

I wish that the push for cleaner air was still as important. I think that when Pres Obama placed so many controversial Czars in these leadership roles, it became an issue for politicians. I know that the “green czar” Van Jones had way too many skeletons in the closet, however he was very involved from everything like emission control to discount filters for air conditioning units that eliminated toxins in the environment. I’m still waiting to see who is going to carry this forward, we need it.

It requires leadership and real competence–two things the Bush administration are seriously lacking. Sadly, history shows that when those two things are called for, Bush and his apologists (like Max Headroom) will simply rationalize the problem away, saying that the problem can be solved voluntarily (read, magically) with no real effort necessary.Belford University

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Global warming is the current rise in global average temperature of the oceans and atmosphere and its projected continuation. The scientific consensus is that global warming is happening, and started by human activity.
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