Washington, D.C.—President Bush’s do nothing policy on global warming continues despite our Allies’ best efforts to spur U.S. reductions. At next week’s G8 summit, Germany and our other allies will once again implore him to join them in slashing global warming pollution. President Bush’s speech today indicates that he will snub them again next week.
Our allies’ pleas for action add to the voices of many big corporations such as Dow, Shell, General Electric, and General Motors. These and other Fortune 500 companies endorsed a 60 percent to 80 percent reduction in global warming pollution by 2050, the level scientists indicate that we must reach to stave off the worst impacts. Unfortunately, these appeals from his foreign and corporate allies continue to fall on President Bush’s deaf ears.
Since President Bush was sworn in, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have increased by over 168 million metric tons. It would have been higher if not for the 2001 recession and unseasonably mild weather in 2006. His faith-based program of voluntary measures to reduce pollution has failed. Meanwhile, every day the planet is closer to a human made catastrophe of biblical scale.
Congressional leaders are filling the leadership vacuum created by President Bush. They advocate reductions in pollution from vehicles, power plants, and other sources via investments in clean energy alternatives such as wind and solar, a boost in efficiency, and a cap and cut of pollution. Despite President Bush’s stubborn refusal to act, Congress must follow their leaders and adopt these policies to achieve energy independence to stop global warming. The future of the planet is at stake.
Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy for the Center for American Progress.