Saturday, June 03, 2017

Déjà Vu: Outrage Over Trump’s Paris Decision Is Identical To Bush’s Rejection Of Kyoto

Michael Bastasch

China called it “irresponsible,” Europeans said there would be “political implications” and environmentalists said the world faced a “climate disaster” and “the world would pay the price in tears” for the president’s decision. Sounds a lot like the reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate accord, but these were actually statements made by critics of former President George W. Bush’s rejection of the Kyoto Protocol. About 16 years ago, Bush announced that he would continue opposing the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s first binding global warming treaty, largely on the grounds that it would hurt the U.S. economy and allow China and India to continue emitting greenhouse gases. Bush also said the Kyoto Protocol would ”have a negative economic impact, with layoffs of workers and price increases for consumers,” the New York Times reported at the time. Outrage ensued. China’s foreign minister said Bush’s decision was “irresponsible.” China joined the Kyoto Protocol as a developing country, meaning they were not committed to reduce emissions. Neither did India. European leaders criticized Bush and urged him to do more to fight global warming. Europeans also reaffirmed their commitment to following the Kyoto Protocol without the U.S., even though they admitted it would be less effective. “It is important that the US accepts its responsibility for the world climate. They are the biggest economy in the world and the heaviest energy consumers,” European Union Commissioner Margaret Schröder told the Los Angeles Times in 2001. Environmentalists were probably the most outraged. When Bush announced his intention to rebuke the Kyoto Protocol, which was voted down by the Senate, activists claimed that “the world would pay the price in tears.” “Millions of people — in the US as well as in other countries — face the loss of their homes, their jobs and even their lives because of climate change,” said Charles Secrett, director of the U.K. branch of Friends of the Earth. “But this ignorant, short-sighted and selfish politician, long since firmly jammed into the pockets of the oil lobby, clearly couldn’t care less,” Secrett said in a statement. Fast forward 16 years, and it’s clear that a similar story is transpiring...more

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