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Bush’s plan for global warming evokes derision

The science of global warming has never been 100% certain because the weather pattern of the earth is incredibly complex, but we are finally starting to see some of the bad effects of global warming in terms of melting of glaciers, loss of polar ice, and so on. It would be a bit naive to blame global warming for the increase in number of cases of extreme weather such as hurricanes, droughts, etc, but it is also true that the incidence of these cases of extreme weather have been increasing over the years. And as recently as last year, an international panel of experts came out with a report that confirmed the dangers of global warming, including an urgency to act now to make changes; the impact of the changes caused by global warming could be massive and affect a large number of countries in terms of increased water levels that would threaten low-lying regions, would increase the threat of drought and famine and increase the occurrence of extreme weather.
Many years ago, a beginning was made whereby the countries that were responsible for most of the emissions that caused global warming got together and signed an agreement known as Kyoto (it is now recognized as imperfect, but was a good first step). However, when President Bush came to power as President of the country with the most emissions, he deemed the science as imperfect and also raised the worry about the economic impact of the measures needed to correct the emission levels – hence he decided to pull the US out of the Kyoto Act in a major shock to people concerned about global warming. Ever since then, the US has been seen as a laggard in the move towards limiting the emissions contributing to the spread of global warming. The US has been advocating a separate track recently in which the world’s top existing and growing polluters would get together. However, in the current such discussion, the plan proposed by Bush has finally convinced people that the US under Bush will not do anything significant, and that it is better to wait for him to go:

President Bush has finally set a target date for reining in U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases but the plan is falling flat in the international arena, where critics have long accused him of not moving quickly enough on tackling global warming. “Losership instead of leadership,” Germany’s environment minister said late last week of Bush’s new strategy. A major disappointment, South Africa said. Too little and too late, a Chinese official added.
Since Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, many nations have viewed him as an obstacle to the fight against global warming, which scientists say is worsened by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. American environmentalists and congressional Democrats criticized the Bush plan for not setting an earlier deadline for curbing emissions, and his speech was widely viewed elsewhere as out of touch with the rest of the world. Bush is “lagging hopelessly behind the problems with his proposals,” German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement in Berlin.

What is significant is that there are many state and city level officials who are recognizing the problem, and are willing to take steps to solve the problem. President Bush is not able to stop these local initiatives, although he would dearly love to; the problem is more likely that industry does not want to take these measures and Bush is so influenced by these industries and by the arrogance of his own belief that this is a made-up problem that he would rather go down in history as the leader who stood by when he could have been taking a leadership role.

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