An Ostrich For President

At a recent forum on climate change, President of the United States, George W Bush, angered the rest of the world when he refused to set legal US targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases, stating that countries should set their own targets:

“We must do it in a way that does not undermine economic growth or prevent nations from delivering greater prosperity for their people…….”

…….was the message coming from the lips of the American president.

It’s easy to read between the lines of his statements, interpreting “……delivering greater prosperity for their people……” as, “…….delivering greater riches to the wealthy and powerful.”

Greed is a terrible master. It blinds to all going on around it. Science has already concluded that global warming, only a year or two ago considered a problem our children’s children would have to face, is now likely to seriously effect most human beings alive on the planet today. The acceleration of this phenomenon is staggering researchers, who now firmly believe only fast and efficient action stands any chance of combating the changes sufficient to prevent global catastrophe.

BBC report HERE.

What will the rich and powerful do with their ill-gotten gains then?

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5 Replies to “An Ostrich For President”

  1. Ah, but the problem lies in this sentence:

    “Science has already concluded that global warming, only a year or two ago considered a problem our children’s children would have to face, is now likely to seriously effect most human beings alive on the planet today.”

    Those who don’t want to know, or care about the consequences of what they are doing, say that, because the scientists change their minds, they must have been wrong in the first place. And because they have been wrong, there is no point in listening to them, because they must be wrong now.

    The problem is that, at least here in the UK, the emphasis seems to be on getting individuals to change. That, in itself, is not wrong. It is a good thing to get people to use public transport, to use resuable bags, to recycle (here in Bristol, they are trying to get people to recycle more. The outrage at being asked to sort waste is unbelievable!). But if a big business leaves all its lights on overnight (yes, Axa, I’m pointing at you…), doesn’t bother recycling (saw the Virgin trains rubbish collector putting a bag full of cans into the non-recycling skip), or insists on flying British grown herbs out to Africa to be packaged (Marks and Spencer), then it undoes all of the good that the little person tried to do.

    I’m in a ranty mood today, so I’ll shut up…

  2. Jo – you put your finger on it. Few want to make the effort, and who can really blame them given the apathetic attitudes of government to enforcing any environmental control on business. In America, much is being made of how the individual can measure their “environmental footprint” and curtail carbon emissions, but meanwhile the corporates continue to belch million of tons of the stuff out their chimneys every day. Bush is not prepared to upset the corporate pharmaceuticals and medical insurance companies by signing into law a bill that would provide federal funding to 14 million underprivileged kids, for healthcare they presently don’t have, so there’s no way he’ll try and enforce any environmental control on his wealthy patrons. In fact, the very phrase ‘environmental control’ is a joke in this country. It’s virtually non-existent.

    Please feel free to rant anytime. I do frequently.

  3. “Greed is a terrible master.” Definitely the driving force. Yesterday, the new green Conservative party announced it would lift millions of people out of inheritance tax. That’s a greedy persons’ vote winner. I wonder whether the Tories will make up the difference by slapping a green tax on poor people who throw stuff away and turn up their heating in winter. Woe betide anyone who can’t afford their own water wheel and wind farm. The new self-sufficient, hybrid driving, land-owning ‘green’ Tory will be someone we’ll all aspire to, especially when they’re telling the poor to buy bikes and lo-energy lightbulbs. As for Labour, they’re stuck with materialist aspirations forever. Whad’ya mean go green, I own the recycling company!

  4. And, of course, no-one would dare suggest to cancel the loopholes in the tax law that allow the richest people to avoid paying taxes (e.g. the multi-millionaire footballers who pay less tax on a monthly basis than I do) Because it’s those people who are funding the political parties – no-one is going to bite the hand that feeds them!

    The problem is that these parties make so many promises in the run up to an election (local or national), but then ‘realise’ when they get into power that they are ‘unworkable under the present system’. I feel that it should be a matter of law that any promises made under an election campaign must be followed through, within a set amount of time (e.g. a year for local, two years for national). Might make things interesting, and also get people more interested – if they knew that the parties would have to follow through, the cynicism surrounding politics might be dissipated, slightly.

  5. Ian – we’re in a sad state of affairs. Do you think there’s still time to dispose of politicians altogether, and work out a better system?

    Jo – it’ll never happen, of course. Ask a politician to ensure he keeps his promises? He wouldn’t have a clue how to react. It’s just not what politicians do. Section six of the politician’s entrance exam has questions like: “Describe, using as many irrelevant words as possible, how you would duck all the promises you made prior to being elected, and conclude with a suitable statement designed to ensure the electorate believe you’ll get round to keeping them one day. Bonus points will be awarded for describing instances you are able to lay the blame squarely on the opposition party.”

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