The first U.S. president with a swagger just announced that his administration will never accept any environmental treaty that resembles the Kyoto Protocol in any way. The implicit reasons for this refusal to act have remained unchanged:
1. Reduction of pollution is incompatible with the founding principles of the Great American Profit-Making Machine.
2. By refusing, on all issues, to co-operate with foreigners less prone to warmongering, the puppet can still wear the strong leader mask in front of those at home who have no access to (or no interest in) impartial news channels.
3. Free rides are, you know, kind of fun.
Nothing new, of course. He said it very succinctly a few years ago: "We need an energy bill that encourages consumption" (speech in Trenton, NJ, Sept. 23, 2002). What Bush means by a Kyoto-style treaty is, quite simply, an agreement that puts limits to emissions. Even more simply, any environmental treaty. Because such contracts are generally not conducive to economic growth, and more importantly, to the growth of growth.
Consistently, Bush and the decision-makers who pull his strings have put forward the idea that as an alternative they are "investing heavily" on clean energy research. The favoured example seems to be the development of hydrogen fuel cells. Very good, but that will take time. And the same kind of research is being carried out in countries all over Europe and Asia that have paid for their ride on the Global Train by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Finally, numbers reveal the depressing relativity of the phrase "heavy investment". The Bush budget for 2006 cuts funding for environmental protection hugely (6 % from 2005) and earmarks $260 million for the
Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. I'm pretty sure they use more than that to prevent condom use in Africa. How about military spending? 419.3 billion
for the branch that really should have changed its name to the Department of Offense long ago.