- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2001

In an effort to cool off European leaders still fuming about his decision to dispatch the original Kyoto Protocol, President George W. Bush yesterday announced the establishment of a U.S. Climate Change Research Initiative, which will commit even more taxpayer dollars to studying the will-o-the-wisp of global climate change caused by mankinds industrial activities.
While Mr. Bush proposed Hindenberg-sized programs well overinflated with taxpayer dollars, he also sandbagged his European opponents by insisting that any new initiatives addressing the problem must be grounded in earthly logic and sound science.
Mr. Bush correctly recognized, "The Kyoto Protocol was fatally flawed in fundamental ways." Even Kyotos most passionate proponents recognize that its ratification by all the nations of the European Union (EU) would have little effect. As it stands, only one European nation, Romania, has ratified the treaty, and considering the economic damage that is likely to result (one study estimated that implementation could cause U.S. productivity to crash by $400 billion in 2010) there seems little chance that other EU countries will join this heated lemming rush. Besides, as Mr. Bush pointed out, developing nations, such as China and India, are exempt from the emissions restrictions, even though such countries are likely to produce more greenhouse gases than those in the developed world within 15 years.
Not that anyone is sure if such emissions will actually contribute to global warming, since those who read beyond the first sentence of the recently released report from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recognized (as did the scientists who prepared the report) that while there is a correlation between the probable warming of the Earths surface and mans greenhouse gas producing activities, no causation has been established between the two. As MIT meteorologist and member of the NAS panel Richard S. Lindzen recently opined in The Wall Street Journal, "We are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future." Unfortunately for global warmings biggest political proponents across the Atlantic, closing such a causal loop (if it exists at all) will require years, if not decades.
Indeed, global warming is less a physical than a political problem for EU leaders, many of whom are facing Taliban-esque fanaticism on the subject from members of the continents Green parties. In an effort to stay out of the line of such fire, many seem happy to target the United States and its leader for demolishing a treaty that most would not be caught dead ratifying.
Mr. Bush is right to stand up to such fanaticism. After all, on an issue that will supposedly affect so many in such a profound way, cooler heads should prevail.

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