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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, June 4, 2007

Global warming plan a pale shade of green

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Was America's chief executive really flashing a green light for the U.S. making a concerted effort to combat global warming?

After a moment's excitement among hopeful environmentalists and scientists that the reticent President Bush was coming around at last, everyone had to put their hats and horns away.

The proposal he unveiled as the main dish to be served at the Group of Eight summit this week in Germany turned out to be, shall we say, half baked.

Yes, it's a relief to see Bush give even lip service to the issues of greenhouse gas emission controls, given that his administration has a history of disparaging such efforts.

But this is not really a 180-degree turnabout; it's more like a glance over the shoulder.

Bush, at least, has expressed the desire for the U.S. to take a lead role in environmental policymaking once the Kyoto Protocol expires in five years.

But what's lacking is overt action toward fulfilling that desire.

Instead of setting the binding targets for reduction of emissions, the Bush administration calls on the nations that contribute the most greenhouse gases to set "aspirational goals."

The world is well past the point of aspirations and in critical need of action. It's disappointing to see that the president still needs to be nudged into taking an entirely new direction.