World environment - continued arrogance demonstrated by USA

The United States of America continues to adopt an arrogant and disinterested stance over the issue of Greenhouse Effect Gas emission (GEG). In yet another demonstration of irresponsibility, a team from the EU was snubbed by the Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, who said he was too busy to meet them yesterday. The European Union negotiation team, led by the Swedish environment Minister, Kiell Larsson and Margot Wallstrom, are in the USA to obtain a firm position from Washington that if the Bush administration does not intend to ratify the Protocol of Kyoto, which the USA already signed, at least alternative proposals would be presented at the forthcoming global environment meeting in Bonn next July. Robert Smith, the Chairman of the US Senate Environment Committee, cancelled a meeting which had been scheduled with the EU team, stating that his participation in Senate votes was more important. This is a clear demonstration that Washington is ashamed to admit that while noises are made about alternative policies, it does not have any. The only position to date is that the USA does not intend to recognise the Protocol of Kyoto and intends to ignore it, just as it ignored the solid basis for a world ecological framework which was laid down in Rio de Janeiro. An EU diplomat described the US alternative policy as “a blank slate”. The EU team met Christine Todd Whitman, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, who made a spectacular U-turn last week, moving from a firm previous public position of support for Kyoto and then (with her President overruling her) declaring that this Protocol did not interest the USA. It does not interest the USA because the Bush administration selfishly and egoistically regards the US economy, the richest in the world, as being more important than the future of humanity. President Bush even tried to justify this by claiming, in his ignorance, that there was no scientific evidence linking GEG with global warming, despite the fact that a report claiming the contrary, written by the world’s top scientists, was lying on a table in the United Nations building in New York, as PRAVDA.RU informed recently. The US position is that the demands for a reduction in its GEG emissions (by 7% of 1990 GEG levels until 2012) are excessive and that the developing countries should pollute less. This, from the greatest polluter in the world, is a position of insensitivity and negligence and demonstrates categorically what a superiority complex this nation suffers from. The European Union has decided that if the USA is not prepared to honour the agreements it signs and show a degree of responsibility equal to its supposed standing in the world, so be it. Europe will unilaterally honour the Protocol with any other countries interested in taking a position. Mention has been made of an approach to Russia, Japan, Australia and China, which could extend to all countries. It is thought that this could provoke a change of opinion in the USA.Behind Washington’s position is the powerful energy lobby within the USA, a lobby which backed the Bush camp for the presidency. It is becoming increasingly obvious that George Bush is sufficiently intelligent to do as he is told. This was highlighted precisely by this case, with his declarations in favour of GEG reduction during the election campaign and now, just two months into his presidency, he unites the world against the USA on one of the hottest issues in our times as he states the opposite. The one really responsible for this position is a man who likes to take a back seat and give orders from behind, the leader of an energy task force in the USA which is currently preparing a report on the energy shortages in California. This gentleman’s name is Richard Cheney, otherwise known as Dick.


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