Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Why should Bush care about global warming? It's not going to effect his "base"

The Guardian today reports on a study by the Working Group on Climate Change and Development (pdf) saying that "[g]lobal warming threatens to reverse human progress and make international targets on halving world poverty by 2015 unattainable." The report has gotten the attiontion of individuals such as Tony Blair:
The report says the prime minister, Tony Blair, has signalled that he will use the UK's presidency of the G8 nations in 2005 to bring the issues of climate change and Africa - where many of the world's poorest countries are found - to the top of the international political agenda.
To Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
Archbishop Tutu, Nobel Peace laureate and former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, said: "I urge governments and development and environmental organisations to work together to find sustainable solutions to avert a catastrophe that will exacerbate human suffering to a magnitude that perhaps the world has not yet seen."
And yet, I can't imagine that the Bush administration would make much of it. After all, one can imagine Dick Cheney wondering, how do we make a profit off of this? Why there's much more money to be made by allowing big industry to do nothing at all about global warming. And who are the victims? Thousands of Haitians killed by hurricanes Jeanne and Ivan. Flood victims in Bangladesh. The trailorpark inhabitants in Florida who were victims of hurricane after hurricane this year. Not people that the Bush administration seems to have at the top of their list in terms of importance. And while you might say George W. Bush is a good steward of the land (according to himself), the tragedy is that not only is he not a good steward of the land, but by forwarding his irresponsible environmental policy he is also a bad steward of the people, especially those who are in the worst situations to begin with.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is trying to make do without the involvement of the US:
[British Environment secretary, Margaret Beckett] said: "No one can welcome what the report says, but ... I very much welcome the direction of the report and the way that it is bringing people with these concerns together."

She said she hoped the report would increase pressure on the US to shift its stance on global warming.

"It is true that the present American administration - and the last one - were not prepared to sign up to the Kyoto protocol, but we are moving on without America," she said.
Unfortunately, the world really needs America to move forward on this, too. And probably the best way to move forward on it is without George W. Bush in office.

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