Bush and Global Warming
(Regarding the report "President Cancels Clean-Air Vow", March 15)
by Paul Georgia(*)
In his letter to the Republican senators Jesse Helms, Chuck Hagel,
Larry Craig and Pat Roberts, President George W. Bush has
backpedaled on his campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide
emissions, which, as more than 2000 of the world's leading climate
scientists have just told us, cause global warming. Does Mr. Bush
know better than these scientists?
Mr. Bush fears that curbing carbon dioxide would hurt U.S.
consumers. Global warming, however, affects not only U.S.
consumers, but all the citizens of this world. Pollution does not
respect national borders.
These men also fear that endorsing the goals of the Kyoto
Protocol on climate change would permit an international treaty to
govern U.S. energy policy. Given that the United States, with less
than 5 percent of the world's population, contributes more than 27
percent of carbon emissions, it seems only fair that the international
community play a role in regulation.
May I suggest that rather than attending the climate conference in
Bonn in July, the Bush negotiators should take a vacation while the
rest of the world fulfills its obligation to our children.
President Bush made the correct decision for the economy and the
environment when he decided to withdraw the United States'
signature from the KyotoProtocol.
Kyoto, which would have required a 30 percent to 40 percent
reduction in energy use over the next 10 years, would have been
devastating to the U.S. economy. Yet it would not have made a bit
of difference for the environment. It has been estimated that it
would take 30 Kyoto Protocols just to stabilize atmospheric
concentrations of carbon dioxide.
There is no sense in taking on enormously expensive policies with
no foreseeable benefits.
(*) The writer is an environmental policy analyst at the Competitive