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Letter to the Editor: U.S. needs carbon dioxide limits

Saturday, September 18, 2004

To the editor:

Campaigning for the presidency in 2000, George W. Bush promised to limit carbon dioxide emissions to control global warming. After he assumed office -- in what was widely seen as payback for the energy industry that helped finance his campaign -- Bush reneged on his pledge. Bush claimed such regulations were inappropriate because there was no clear scientific link between human activity and global warming.

Last week, a report signed by Secretary of Commerce Don Evans and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham concluded, "Rising temperatures in North America are due in part to human activity." The report found that global warming was already causing drought, damaging farms and changing migration patterns.

Nevertheless, the Bush administration is still committed to doing nothing. John H. Marburger, the president's top science adviser, said the new report has "no implications for policy." Bush denies that there has been any change in the administration's position. Asked by The New York Times to explain the switch, Bush replied "Ah, did we? I don't think so." Apparently Bush does not know what is going on in his own administration and certainly doesn't care what scientific consensus should mean for policy.

Throughout his presidency Bush has rejected scientific consensus on environmental issues when these deny his political agenda of promoting the interests of the corporate polluters who pay his campaign bills. The recent hurricanes in Florida are but a harbinger of a future without a policy controlling carbon dioxide.

JENNIFER St.CLAIR, Cape Girardeau