In a dramatic change of policy, the Toxic Texan (George W. Bush) suddenly becomes interested in the environment, a clear sign that the criticism the USA received by PRAVDA.Ru and other newspapers after the refusal to ratify the Protocol of Kyoto made its effect felt. The USA had signed the Protocol of Kyoto, reducing emission of Greenhouse Effect Gases, but after having spent his election campaign stating that he would attack the issue of GEG, George Bush recently stated there was no connection between GEG and global warming and stated that the USA would not ratify Kyoto because it would be damaging for the economy. This created an explosion of outrage from the world’s press because not only is the USA the world’s richest nation with the strongest economy but also, it is the greatest polluter. This declaration by President Bush proved two things. First, he does not know what he is talking about, a suspicion now unfortunately confirmed, because the world’s top scientists produced a report (which is in the UNO building in New York), stating that GEG is directly responsible for global warming. Secondly, it demonstrates a total lack of responsibility. The official position had been that if third world countries polluted, then so could the USA. This is an admission, then, that the USA is a third world country? If not, it has to admit that it has added responsibilities. George Bush, aware of the international criticism, now turns to an alternative issue, that of POP (Persistent Organic Pollutants), also known as the 12 pirates. These are the 12 most toxic chemicals, such as DDT, PCB and dioxins, which pollute the Earth, not the atmosphere. George Bush stated that “there is a clear need to act…we must work to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, without delay, the emission of these toxic products”. This statement was issued on the eve of the Third Summit of the Americas in Canada, doubtless to attenuate the criticism President Bush knew he would face. The POP convention which the USA now intends to ratify was signed by 122 countries last December in Johannesburg, South Africa. The “12 pirates” are : hexachlorobenzines, endrine, mirex, toxafene, chlordane, heptachlorine, aldrine, DDT, dieldrine, PCB, furanes and dioxins. Although every effort to reduce pollution from harmful elements is to be praised, and the US Administration’s recognition that it was wrong and needed to change its attitude is commendable, it is also true that to ignore GEG and attack POP is no more than trying to pull the wool over the rest of the world’s eyes. The greenhouse effect exists, the planet is warming, the polar ice caps are melting, the climate is changing, it will become worse and the future of the planet is at stake. Thank you, Mr. Bush, for your interest in POP, now start to assume your responsibilities and decrease production of Greenhouse Effect Gases, because more than a few million dollars is at stake. After all, we are speaking about the future of humanity. Until this date arrives and the USA makes the proper, serious proposals to reduce GEG, we shall continue to label you the Toxic Texan.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY, PRAVDA.RU, LISBON
Russian President Vladimir Putin would never fall to the level of personal insults, Kremlin official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said