President Calls for More Studies and Meetings While Other Leaders Press On
WASHINGTON (July 13, 2001) - Today's statement by President Bush outlining his global warming agenda offers nothing to control the emissions responsible for the problem, according to NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). In the face of overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, the president's main initiative is to call for more studies. Meanwhile, Bush still rejects the idea of binding pollution cuts.
"What these initiatives lack is anything that would actually reduce global warming pollution," said David Hawkins, director of NRDC's Climate Center. "The announcement is pure cotton candy -- a spoonful of sugar spun into a ball of fluff."
Hawkins noted the White House action plan consists almost entirely of meetings and research ideas, with a few small funding measures thrown in. The scheme favors questionable notions for capturing greenhouse emissions in forests and farmland -- a concept that scientists say is unproven. Today, for example, the British Royal Society, an independent body of top researchers, warned against relying on carbon sinks as the answer. "They can't make a major contribution to reducing carbon emissions and solving the global warming problem," professor John Shepherd, an author of the report, told Reuters.
"The president's only concrete proposal is to hide the pollution under a rug," Hawkins said.
The president also stressed several ideas involving developing countries. Yet the White House this year slashed U.S. assistance for global warming and energy efficiency efforts in developing countries by nearly a third, according to a report released this week by NRDC.
Finally, NRDC is concerned about the president's pledge to "participate constructively" in next week's global warming treaty talks in Bonn in light of the administration's vehement rejection of the accord.
"After setting the house on fire, it is a bit strange for the president to show up now with a paintbrush," Hawkins said. "Active U.S. engagement in the talks at this stage can only disrupt the process. It would be better for them to stay on the bench while other countries finish their work."
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Related NRDC Pages
NRDC's Global Warming pages