Blair mustn't nurture Bush's
Special report: George Bush's America
Sunday March 25, 2001
Judge them not by their words, but by their deeds. By this measure, President Bush is
clearly no friend of the Earth, but he could become its worst enemy. European governments and environmentalists throughout
the world are reeling from his series of U-turns on pre-election pledges and a string of anti-green pronouncements.
Bush has said he will not honour his promise
to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, he has pulled back on protecting forests, opened up the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge to oil drillers and is weakening the requirement on mining companies to clean up after themselves. But most
significant of all, he has now said he will refuse to comply with the Kyoto protocol to cut greenhouse gases. The leader of
the world's richest economy and the world's biggest greenhouse polluter thinks it unfair and too economically damaging to
have to make cuts when poor countries with far lower emissions don't.
Bush, a scion of the oil industry, has no
mandate for this. He not only misled the US voters, but he didn't even get their support. He was not elected President but
merely declared it, and received fewer votes overall than the pro-environment Al Gore, not mentioning those cast for the green
candidate, Ralph Nader. Bush did, however, get $47 million from energy companies.
leaders have made it clear that they will not sit by while the world's environment is mugged by a quirk of America's electoral
system. European Commission President Romano Prodi, and Goran Persson, the Swedish Prime Minister, have told Bush he is heading
for a clash with Europe. The French, always looking for a scrap with les états Unis, have had to be calmed down. And our leader?
Tony Blair has shown he is prepared to do what it takes, such as bomb Baghdad, to earn a place as Bush's acolyte. But the
future of the world's climate is more important than this 'special relationship'. Mr Blair must make it clear that this is
one issue he won't sweep under the carpet.