Archive for Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Oil hostages

March 12, 2002


President Bush recently announced a new global warming proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world. He earlier rejected the Kyoto treaty, saying its emissions reductions would be too costly for the U.S. economy  and too many developing nations were exempt. Bush's rejection of Kyoto stirred considerable global anger that the United States, by far the world's biggest polluter, was unwilling to do its share to try to head off global warming.

Bush wants to protect his party's financial supporters in the fossil fuel industry at the cost of great harm to everyone else and future generations. That's like saying .00000001 percent of the world's population is more deserving of consideration than all the rest of us, now and forever. Bush says he doesn't like the mandatory reductions in greenhouse emissions, as required under the Kyoto protocol, on the grounds they would harm the U.S. economy.

But there is every reason to believe that the United States could profit handsomely by encouraging development and commercialization of technology to address climate change, and, in so doing, prolong availability of fossil fuels. Does Bush think our economy will be OK when fossil fuels become scarce and expensive? Or that we can afford to fight terrorist wars when droughts and floods wipe out whole regions of our agricultural production?

Bush is saying modest emissions goals will improve the environment without putting the economy at risk. He suggests emissions reduction targets could be indexed to economic output. But linking U.S. emissions reductions to output is proposing a stagnating economy or continuous increases in emissions of heat-trapping gasses. I think Bush is proposing the U.S. economy, and global populations, be held hostage by big oil companies.

Speaking of hostage taking, the Abu Sayyaf can't hold a candle to Bush, Cheney and the fossil fuel companies.

Les Blevins,


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