An informative and even-handed analysis of Kyoto from Hamish McRae in the Independent. He comes down broadly in favour, but unlike most British journalists, examines the flaws as well. Which makes a nice change from the usual cheer-leading.

I still don't think Americans appreciate how much damage George Bush's decision not to ratify Kyoto has done to the US's image around the world. If only he'd made a bigger effort to outline his reasoning. (Of course, if Al Gore had been elected, he wouldn't have ratified the treaty either. Most Europeans simply aren't aware of that.) In all the arguments I had with anti-American friends, acquaintances and multiple strangers in the weeks after 9/11, the one subject they threw in my face each time was "What about Kyoto, then?" From the way they talked, you'd have thought Osama Bin Laden was simply an exceptionally public-spirited member of Greenpeace. Things are much the same today.

More on the environment: Gregg Easterbrook has kind words for Bush's Clear Skies programme in the NY Times. And he praises the anti-methane initiative in the New Republic (subscriber-only). As for media coverage of green issues, here's his damning assessment:

The press corps is pretending the anti-methane initiative does not exist in order to avoid inconvenient complications of the Black Hat versus White Hat narrative it has settled into regarding global warming. In this narrative, the White House is completely ignoring building scientific evidence of artificially triggered climate change; everything Bush does is wicked; everything the enlightened Euros do is noble. The narrative is simple and easy to follow--plus, it's pretty easy to get supporting quotes from Democratic politicians and enviros. The drawback to the narrative is that it isn't true. But why should that stop the nation's reporters and editorialists?

That Bush is not doing enough regarding the greenhouse effect is a different and plausible complaint. The administration's energy policy leaves much to be desired, especially Bush's lack of action for higher gas mileage in SUVs and pickup trucks... And though Bush was only doing the inevitable when he withdrew the United States as a party to the Kyoto deal--Bill Clinton never submitted the treaty, completed in 1997, to the Senate because he knew Kyoto stood no chance of ratification--the president handled the decision poorly, offending European governments. But the notion that Bush has done nothing at all about greenhouse gases can only be sustained if you ignore what he has done. It's understandable that Democrats and enviros pretend Bush has taken no action; they have a self-interest in this pretense. Editors and editorialists should give credit where due.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/greenery-informative-and-even-handed.html|||2/16/2005 08:41:00 pm|||||||||