Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

America Produces 23 per Cent of the World's Carbon Dioxide, and the Glaciers in a Montana National Park Are Melting. but Has This Anything to Do with Global Warming? Certainly Not!

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

America Produces 23 per Cent of the World's Carbon Dioxide, and the Glaciers in a Montana National Park Are Melting. but Has This Anything to Do with Global Warming? Certainly Not!

Article excerpt

There is no such thing as global warming, or carbon dioxide emissions. And if they do exist, it's certainly not the job of the Bush administration to do anything about it. Those environmentalist troublemakers may come up with statistics--such as that the US, with less than 5 per cent of the world's population, produces 23 per cent of its C[O.sub.2]--but there's no proof for any of this, so Dubbya and his cronies can safely relax and ignore all these supposed problems (which are subjects, after all, for losers like Al Gore).

I believe there are two reasons why this is, in essence, the approach of Dubbya and his cronies to the environmental issues of the day. The first is that moves to cut down carbon dioxide emissions would cost US industry--and especially the power plants so beloved of Bush, Cheney and co--a significant slice of its profits. The second is that the Bush administration's members are, either literally or figuratively old, and there is an instinctive, lazy attitude that if such problems were not known to exist in their younger days, then they are modernistic baloney.

Take what happened just over a week ago. The Environmental Protection Agency--the hapless government body whose duty it is to protect the environment--ruled that it could not categorise carbon dioxide as an air pollutant. The Clinton administration had insisted that the agency had the authority to deal with C[O.sub.2] as a pollutant; but the Bush administration has now reversed that. "We cannot try to use the Clean Air Act to regulate for climate change purposes because the act was not designed or intended for that purpose," explains Jeff Holmstead, an agency spokesman. So take that, all you campaigning tree-huggers.

To say that the agency under Dubbya is a toothless body is to put it mildly. In June, its head, Christie Todd Whitman, resigned after a series of climbdowns and humiliations under the Bush regime that appointed her. Her last report, issued four days before she stepped down, contained scant mention of global warming or other sensitive matters. The Bush administration had censored the report, reducing its discussion of global climate change to two inconsequential paragraphs. It highlighted instead that six major air pollutants--sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead and particulate matter--had declined by about a quarter over the past three decades.

But of carbon dioxide, widely assumed nowadays to be the principal cause of global warming, there was no mention. …

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