Critics have long accused President Bush of lagging behind other western leaders in their concern over global warming. Thursday, Mr. Bush came forward with a long-term strategy on climate change.
The President is urging the world's most-polluting nations to agree on a global emissions goal for greenhouse gases by next year. The U.S. is the largest emitter of the gases that are known to cause global warming, and has been harshly criticized in the international community for not taking the lead in mandating pollution cuts.
Bush announced the climate initiatives ahead of the G-8 summit in Germany next week. An while the majority of scientists agree that human activities such as oil consumption are driving global warming, the Bush Administration has questioned the evidence, and refers to the phenomenon with the less-controversial term, “climate change.”
A debate at the world's top space agency underscores the political wrangling over global warming. NASA administrator Mike Griffin, a political-appointee, expressed ambivalence on the issue on national public radio this week:
- “I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with.”
NASA's top climate scientist fired back, telling ABC News that Griffin's comment “indicates a complete ignorance of understanding the implications of climate change.”
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow says Bush is committed to acting on climate change. He says the U.S. wants to find effective ways to clean the air while still letting leaders meet the needs of their citizens.
Other discussions at the G-8 summit will involve trade, terrorism and efforts to fight disease and poverty.