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British Optimism

Britain Hopes To Push U.S. On Climate Change, Says Adviser

Britain hopes it can exert influence on reelected President George W. Bush and push the United States to do more to combat climate change, the British government's chief scientist said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has made tackling global warming and reducing carbon emissions one of two priorities for Britain's year-long presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) richest nations starting in January.

... [David] King said he was encouraged by comments over the summer by Jack Marburger, Bush's chief scientific adviser, and by Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham.

I actually wouldn't be surprised if Bush announces a major climate change initiative in the next few years. Of course, it will be a lot of nice words without much substance, like so many of his liberal-sounding proposals. Indeed, to judge from the prescription drug plan and Healthy Forests, he'll find a way to give some favors to his corporate backers -- perhaps via huge subsidies or tax breaks for R&D on technical fixes -- without actually doing much to address the real problem. Adjusting to climate change will require some sacrifices in the short term, and Bush has never been one to demand sacrifices from anyone (certainly not a foreign anyone).


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