Let’s give the President some credit. Despite the denialist campaign, he has finally come around to accepting global warming, and mankind’s contribution to it. However, all of his proposals are voluntary, and that did not sit well with much of the world:
”WASHINGTON - President Bush's call on Friday for a new fund to reduce global warming fell flat with Europeans and environmentalists who say U.N.-mandated cuts in greenhouse gases are what's needed.
"This here was a great step for the Americans and a small step for mankind," German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said after Bush's speech at the State Department before representatives of the nations that are the world's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. "In substance, we are still far apart."
In his speech, Bush acknowledged that climate change is real and that human activity is a factor.
"By setting this goal, we acknowledge there is a problem, and by setting this goal, we commit ourselves to doing something about it," Bush said. "We share a common responsibility: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while keeping our economies growing."
He said each nation should establish for itself what methods it will use to rein in the pollution problem without stunting economic growth.
But he refuses to sign onto mandatory emission-reduction obligations, preferring to encourage the development of new technologies and other voluntary measures, and won't participate in any talks toward a global agreement that do not include energy guzzlers from the developing world.
The ball is now in Congress' court, said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense, who was one of the few outsiders to address the panel of government ministers at the meeting.
"Congress needs to lead. The president is not giving us the leadership we need. Ultimately what we need are mandatory caps," Krupp said. "No air pollution problem in the world has ever been solved without having legal limits."
I see the legitimacy of the criticisms, but I for one am glad to see the administration openly rebuke the nonsense coming from Inhofe and the rest of the anti-science crowd. Without this small step forward, none of the more involved agenda the Europeans have in mind would have any chance of coming to fruition.