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Registered: 10/15/02
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Blair Urged To Push Bush on Climate
    #4355927 - 06/30/05 05:07 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)


Blair is coming under increasing pressure to hold Bush to account on the issue. Liberal Democrats Environment Spokesman Norman Baker last week labeled Bush "public enemy No. 1" in environmental terms.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is headed for a confrontation with U.S. President George Bush over climate change at the Group of Eight summit in July, as British voters give him a hefty mandate to take the leader of the world's biggest polluter to task over the issue.
An overwhelming 83 percent of British voters want Blair to challenge Bush over global warming, according to an ICM poll for the Guardian newspaper published Tuesday.

The study also found growing public recognition that climate change is a scientific reality. Forty percent of those questioned said current levels of climate change were a threat, and a further 49 percent said they believed it would be a threat to future generations. The poll did not provide a margin of error.

In a clear appeal for ministerial action at the Scotland summit, 86 percent said coping with climate change was the government's responsibility -- though more than 70 percent said consumers and business must also act.

World leaders are headed for stormy negotiations in the face of the U.S. position on climate change. Bush has rejected two out of three British proposals to fight global warming, and recent leaks of a draft G8 communique have revealed deep disagreement on the basic tenets of scientific theory.

Blair had called on the U.S. administration to join India, China and Brazil in signing up to an emissions cap outside of the Kyoto Protocol, which it has so far refused to ratify. He also urged Bush to formally acknowledge the credibility of the science on climate change, and to commit to increased investment in green technologies.

However the U.S. president has only agreed to the latter, a measure the British government's Chief Scientific Adviser David King has called "irresponsibly inadequate."

Bush's chief climate change negotiator, Harlan Watson, told the BBC in May Washington would not acknowledge the science of climate change as it was still uncertain and did not merit urgent action. There was no hope of Blair persuading the U.S. president to change his position, he added.

Earlier this month, a group of science academies from across the G8 nations, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, issued a statement saying evidence of climate change was clear enough to compel their leaders to take action.

"The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action," they said.

Recent leaks of a draft G8 communique on climate change, to be signed by leaders at the July summit, have revealed just how divided Britain and the United States are on the most basic scientific fundamentals.

The document, leaked to Channel Four News, showed U.S. officials had objected to the phrase "Our world is warming" and an assertion that this was due "in large part to human activity."

All references to specific targets and timetables for action had been stripped out, differing from an earlier draft leaked in May, which itself was criticized for being too vague.

Though the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has insisted the leaked draft was one of multiple versions and that the communique is still being negotiated, the signs are that government hopes of a breakthrough deal with Washington are fading.

Environment Minister Margaret Beckett told the Independent newspaper last week of the government's "disappointment" with the Bush administration over its failure to tackle climate change.

Instead of emissions capping, Beckett said Britain now wants "a dialogue" that would include "major energy users" such as the United States, China and India.

The G8 would not be a forum for "trying to set targets" and Washington signing up to the Kyoto Protocol was now "off the agenda," she said. "They probably couldn't get it through their Senate and Congress."

Blair has insisted he will continue to press the issue, however. On his return from talks at the White House earlier this month, he told British Parliament that climate change was in his view "the single biggest issue" the global community faced long term.

"The brutal truth is, without America in a process of dialogue and action in the international community, we are not going to make progress on it."

"I will be doing my very best to persuade the United States and other countries that it is important that we take action on this issue," he added.

Real progress seems a remote prospect, however. Bush's stance has drawn much condemnation.

Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth, said earlier this year it defied belief any credence was still given to climate change deniers, many of who, it seemed, were working on behalf of Exxon Mobil and other large oil companies.

Indeed, details of the U.S. oil industry's influence on the White House have recently emerged. Philip A. Cooney resigned last week as chief of staff for the White House's environmental policy council, after documents obtained by The New York Times revealed he had edited official reports in a way that cast doubt on the link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

A former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, the main lobbying group for the U.S. oil industry, Cooney had no scientific training. However during his four-year stint at the White House, he adjusted or removed portions of scientific evidence on climate change that government scientists, including some senior administration officials, had approved.

Cooney has now been hired by Exxon Mobil, a company that has long financed research and lobbying that questions the link between carbon emissions and rising temperatures.

Blair is coming under increasing pressure to hold Bush to account on the issue. Liberal Democrats Environment Spokesman Norman Baker last week labeled Bush "public enemy No. 1" in environmental terms, while Stephen Tindale, executive director of Greenpeace, said Monday the Guardian poll showed there would be "widespread public support" for "radical government action."

Stephen Cox, executive director of the Royal Society, Britain's independent scientific academy, said Tuesday the current U.S. position made "little sense." Addressing Parliament, he warned a G8 climate communique that stopped short of acknowledging the clarity of scientific evidence and agreed long-term cuts to emissions would be a "missed opportunity of historic proportions."

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Registered: 05/13/04
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Re: Blair Urged To Push Bush on Climate [Re: GazzBut]
    #4356217 - 06/30/05 06:24 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

I hope Blair says something and Bush punches him in the mouth. When will the British leave us alone? Either invade us or shut the fuck up.

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

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Re: Blair Urged To Push Bush on Climate [Re: daimyo]
    #4358442 - 07/01/05 05:23 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

We still control the US. You are our little bitch with a big mouth and no brains!

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