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Monday, December 13, 2004

Cleaning Up The World

   By Emelius at 3:55 PM

      The world gathered to make the world a cleaner healthier place. Noticeably absent though was the United States, the worlds largest offender of pollution. While 190 countries came together to sign the Kyoto Protocol, the US felt that there was no need to engage in the reduction of green house gasses. My thought is that Bush thinks that he will destroy the world before the current agreement expires in 2012.

More than 6,000 attendees are milling in convention halls that resemble a kind of greenhouse bazaar, where businesses are trumpeting the merits of everything from windmills to nuclear power, which do not add to the atmosphere's greenhouse-gas burden. In a host of presentations, environmental and human rights groups have been showing how the accumulating gases stand to imperil some of the world's poorest countries and native cultures. More broadly, the conference reflects a world that remains deeply divided over what to do about the buildup of greenhouse gases that climate experts say has caused most of a 50-year warming trend.

Experts now largely agree that if oil and coal burning continue to increase at current rates, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will more than double in this century from pre-industrial levels, causing warming that could disrupt climate patterns and raise sea levels.

      This all comes on the heels of Bush pushing his 'Clear Skies' program where he would have us believe that air pollution is a top priority for him.

Environmentalists, however, say the Bush legislative proposal carried by Inhofe goes further than the rule, weakening parts of the Clean Air Act.

"The Bush administration is now staking its money on a bill in Congress that weakens and delays public health protections already provided under the current Clean Air Act, while forcing the EPA to delay public health protections under current law," said John Walke, director of clean air programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Administration officials now hope Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, can get the bill onto the Senate floor soon. The interstate rule on power plant pollution was to have been made final by the end of this year, but doing that could detract from the need for the legislation.

"The president wants to synchronize our strategy, and Senator Inhofe has asked that we allow his hearings to be concluded before we finalize CAIR (the interstate rule)," Leavitt told the AP. "We believe that it improves the possibility of passage of Clear Skies legislation, and of course we prefer to have legislation."


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