a dramatic reversal of its previous position,
the White House this week conceded that emissions
of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases
were the only likely explanation for global warming.
the "best possible scientific information,"
an administration official, James Mahoney, delivered
a report to Congress that essentially reversed
the previous White House position set out by George
Bush, who had refused to link carbon dioxide emissions
to climate change.
years ago, when his administration last published
a document claiming that global warming over the
last few decades had been prompted by human behaviour,
Mr Bush dismissed it as something "put out
by the bureaucracy".
of Mr Bush's first acts on the international scene
as president was to refuse to ratify the Kyoto
treaty, which aimed to cut emissions by 5.2% from
1990 levels by 2012 - prompting outrage throughout
must argue with the Americans and get them to
agree we have to have a global solution, and America
is a very important part of that solution,"
the deputy prime minister, John Prescott, said
at the time.
Mr Bush also alienated himself from members of
his own cabinet as he overrode the recommendations
of his newly-appointed head of the Environmental
Protection Agency, Christine Todd Whitman. This
was widely seen as a payback to the energy lobby
which had donated a huge amount to his campaign.
the time Mr Bush cast doubts on the science, claimed
restrictions would hamper economic growth, and
said the treaty was "unfair to the United
States and to other industrialised nations"
because it exempted developing countries.
it will be far more difficult for him to distance
himself from the current report, because it has
been signed by the secretaries of energy and commerce
in his administration.
just days before the Republican convention opens
in New York, it is thought to be another attempt
by the administration to show moderate leanings.
report, which also quotes studies that indicate
that carbon dioxide stimulates the growth of invasive
weeds more than it does crops, is part of a regular
series submitted to Congress to monitor global
Bush's former allies in the energy industry criticised
the findings. Myron Ebell, of the Competitive
Enterprise Institute, told the New York Times
it was "another indication that the administration
continues to be incoherent in its global warming
say the report's conclusions simply highlight
the distance between what the Bush administration
has done and what good science suggests should
four years the Bush administration has brought
the international global warming negotiations
to a virtual standstill by claiming that uncertainties
in climate science do not justify the cost of
tackling it," said Rob Gueterbock of Greenpeace.
"Now they have finally accepted that CO2
is causing global warming, they have absolutely
no excuse for not rejoining the Kyoto process.
Every day they continue to stall will now be held
to be criminally negligent by future generations."
A New York judge has rejected a request from New
York's largest anti-war group to hold a rally
in Central Park the day before the Republican
supreme court justice Jacqueline Silbermann ruled
that United for Peace and Justice was "guilty
of inexcusable and inequitable delay" in
bringing the case to court.
group said it still planned to march past Madison
Square Garden, the convention site.
city's parks department had argued that a protest
in the park would ruin the lawn.
Posted: August 30, 2004