In a direct swipe at the head-in-the-sand Bush Administration, a major Republican Senator called on the U.S. to rejoin the Kyoto process in a major address to the U.N. Security Council:
Among other things, Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana said:
“I have urged the Bush Administration and my colleagues in Congress to return to a leadership role on the issue of climate change.
I have advocated that the United States must be open to multi-lateral forums that attempt to achieve global solutions to the problem of greenhouse gases. Climate change could bring drought, famine, disease, mass migration, and rising sea levels threatening coasts and economies worldwide, all of which could lead to political conflict and instability. This problem cannot be solved without international cooperation.
“The time is ripe for bold action by the international community because much has changed since talks first began in 1992 on what became the Kyoto treaty. For one, China and India, who won exemptions from the treaty's emission-cutting requirements, have enjoyed rapid growth. They are now much greater sources of greenhouse gases than anticipated, but also far stronger economies, more integrated into the global system.
“Our scientific understanding of climate change has also advanced significantly. We have better computer models, more measurements and more evidence – from the shrinking polar caps to expanding tropical disease zones for plants and humans – that the problem is real and is caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.
“Most importantly, thanks to new technology, we can control many greenhouse gases with proactive, pro-growth solutions, not just draconian limitations on economic activity. Industry and government alike recognize that progress on climate change can go hand in hand with progress on energy security, air pollution, and technology development.”