Vague. That’s the best word to describe President Bush’s new plan to address climate change. After years of denial, the Bush administration has finally identified global warming as a significant threat and has produced a defective plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The scheme, introduced last Thursday, is President Bush’s first proposal to combat global warming. Appearing interestingly near to the end of the term, it is a political maneuver to save the image of the Bush Administration in its final days of office.
The proposal deals with long-term goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, it does not make any significant statements about how the United States is going to cut emissions in the near future. In addition, the goals of the program are not binding and are merely guidelines that countries may or may not choose to follow.
Another failure of the new plan is that there are no limits on domestic emissions. To have any viable impact on the future of global warming, domestic emissions need to be addressed, limited, and enforced.
Even if President Bush’s ideas are realized, the earliest his plan would go into effect would conveniently not be until the Bush administration is out of office.
This plan shows that President Bush does not truly want to affect global warming. He only wants to appease the American public and pacify those who believe he is not doing enough to find a solution to this problem.
The President refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol and, instead of compromising with other developed countries, he must deter the efforts of others and take the lead.
Members of the Bush administration have continually seemed to think they have all the right answers to the problems facing the world today. But rather than overpower the spotlight once again, the administration should take a backseat to the countries whose programs will actually change the future of the climate.
Bush’s proposal came just one week before the Group of 8 (G8) meeting and is a political plot to undermine the ideas of other, more concerned, administrations. For example, Germany’s plan, already supported by Britain and Japan, aims to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by the year 2050.
The Bush administration is not the only group currently failing to recognize the dire issue at hand. NASA administrator Michael Griffin stated last week in an interview on National Public Radio that it is not necessary to deal with global warming.
In the interview, Griffin stated that NASA cannot “take actions to affect climate change one way or another.” It is highly irresponsible for a person of that position to disregard this issue and make careless statements about the future of our world.
The United States needs to unite with other developed countries to create a serious plan to combat the most pressing threat of our time.
The right plan would set specific guidelines that would result in the definite reduction of greenhouse gases. The plan needs to address the problem fully, not partially, and above all, the plan needs to be everything but vague.