News Release

Global Warming: A Crucial Moment

In recent days, the Bush administration has moved away from restricting emissions of carbon dioxide. Today, it is being reported that the Bush administration plans to pull out of the Kyoto protocol on global warming altogether. The following analysts are available for interviews:

ROSS GELBSPAN
Author of The Heat Is On: The Climate Crisis, the Cover-Up, the Prescription, Gelbspan said today: “President Bush is correct in saying the Kyoto protocol is flawed — but not for the reasons he puts forward. It is flawed because its targets are far too low in the face of an increasingly disruptive climate. With the impacts of climate change projected to cost the world $300 billion a year in a few decades and temperatures expected to rise by up to 10 degrees later in this century, humanity needs to take a far more aggressive approach to curbing its use of coal and oil. It would be a wonderful surprise if, in revisiting the issue, President Bush were to endorse a program designed to meet the requirements of nature — rewiring the world with efficient and clean energy…. It is, however, far more likely Bush will turn his back on the findings of the world’s scientific community — that a stable climate requires global emissions reductions of about 70 percent. He is also turning his back on our European allies — many of whom (Holland, Germany, the UK, for example) are already planning to cut their emissions by 50 to 60 percent in the next 50 years.”
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TYSON SLOCUM
Senior researcher for the Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program at Public Citizen, Slocum said today: “Bush’s unwavering support for heavy industry’s narrow interests is coming at the expense of public health standards, sensible environmental regulations, and true solutions to the nation’s electricity deregulation failure…. Since 1996, the GOP has received nearly $110 million — or more than 73 percent — of all energy industry contributions. Bush proposed spending tens of billions in taxpayer dollars to provide subsidies to the coal, petroleum, and nuclear industries in the name of solving the electricity crisis, when the actual culprit is deregulation’s failure to develop properly functioning markets, not a shortage of supply.”
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KERT DAVIES
Director of the Global Warming Campaign for Greenpeace USA, Davies said today: “If it is indeed Bush’s policy to pull out of the Kyoto protocol, he has declared war on the environment not only in the U.S., but on the global environment. The world will not stand for this — the administration will feel a backlash on the foreign policy front.”
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KEVIN TRENBERTH
Head of the Climate Analysis Section of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Trenberth said today: “The original approach that Bush made on the campaign trail was to link carbon dioxide with other pollutants. But now, the campaign promise is being applied only to the other pollutants. Yet carbon dioxide is long-lived and so has ramifications long into the future as it builds up in the atmosphere…. The U.S. is a major contributor — about 25 percent of current carbon dioxide emissions.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020