14 May 2007

Holding the bully's coat

The Bush administration is doing it again. They will persist in picking fights. And we apparently are, to borrow Linda McQuaig's phrase, prepared to hold the bully's coat.

As host of next month's annual summit meeting of the G8 industrial powers, Germany has prepared a strong declaration on climate change which includes pledges to limit global temperature rises to 2C this century and reduce world greenhouse gas emissions to 50% below their 1990 levels by 2050.
A modest goal, yet according to Reuters news service, the United States has "rejected any mention of targets and timetables, don't want the UN to get more involved and refuse to endorse carbon trading because it must by definition involve targets." Yup, sounds like the Bush administration. And apparently our benighted government intends to support the U.S. position.

In addition to pushing
for an ambitious plan to combat global warming following a European Union deal earlier this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also made a sincere attempt to improve Germany's relations with the United States. With their opposition to her initiative on global warming, the Bush people could undermine that budding relationship before it blossoms. This administration seems bent on alienating its friends.

Nothing is more important than dealing with global warming, and the United States produces more greenhouse gases than any other country. This is an opportunity for Americans to show some responsibility and support Chancellor Merkel's proposal. They could even show some leadership and propose even tighter targets than the Germans. But no, they refuse even to follow, never mind lead.

And, sadly, we will tag along behind. Holding their coats.

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