Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Brown: US Put Man on the Moon, Now Save Our Planet

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Brown: US Put Man on the Moon, Now Save Our Planet

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MURPHY Political Editor, in Washington AND PAUL WAUGH at Westminster

GORDON BROWN today challenged America to harness the spirit that put man on the moon to save "a planet imperilled".

In a speech to the US Congress he urged the most powerful --and polluting-- nation to lead the rest of the world in tackling climate change.

"I believe that you, the nation that had the vision to put a man on the moon, are also the nation with the vision to protect and preserve our planet earth," he was due to say.

Confronting America's bad habits, he JOE MURPHY Political Editor, in Washington AND PAUL WAUGH at Westminster also warned its leaders against the temptation to retreat into anti-trade policies to protect US jobs, a move he said would ultimately lengthen the "economic hurricane" sweeping the world. "So should we succumb to a race to the bottom and a protectionism that history tells us that, in the end, protects no one?" he was to say. "No. We should have the confidence that we can seize the opportunities ahead and make the future work for us." The Prime Minister was expected to draw an array of Democrat grandees, including vice-president Joe Biden, to the House of Representatives where he was to be only the fifth British leader to address the joint houses of Congress.

But his message will be controversial in a country where President Obama is under pressure to preserve the freedom to guzzle gas with impunity and to protect American jobs with import barriers.

Mr Brown pointed out that his predecessors making such speeches had come in times of war in Europe and Iraq. "I come to talk of new and different battles we must fight together; to speak of a global economy in crisis and a planet imperilled," he said.

"It is only by investing in environmental technology that we can end the dictatorship of oil, and it is only by tackling climate change that we can create the millions of green jobs we need.

"For the lesson of this crisis is that we cannot just wait for tomorrow today. Our task must be to build tomorrow today." In his draft text, Mr Brown appealed to Americans and the world to see the economic crisis as a unique opportu- nity to unite world powers behind reforms and economic stimulus packages to beat the recession. …

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