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An Examination Of President Bush's Environmental Policy

1197 words - 5 pages

As the old saying goes, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Unfortunately, this adage may be accurately applied to George W. Bush's stance on environmental issues. The president wishes to usher in a new era of environmental protection by abolishing the federal government's role in mandating, regulating, and litigating. More than three decades have passed under this form of environmental stewardship, but Bush believes it is time to return significant authority to state and local communities (Chandler). I believe the president's policies in this matter are dangerously misguided and pose a serious threat to the environment. President Bush has taken disturbing stances on several environmental issues. At the international level, he vehemently opposes the Kyoto Protocol, a widely accepted agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Originally, the summit that resulted in the Kyoto Protocol called for 60 to 80% emission reductions, as the scientific community advised this was necessary to stabilize the environment "“ it would do nothing to address the damage already done. This was immediately opposed, due to the economic setbacks such high requirements would involve. After a great deal of discussion and negotiation, the nations present agreed to a 6% global reduction "“ meager, yes, but certainly a step in the right direction. Bush believes the United States was targeted unfairly, as we were required to have greater reductions. "Unfair" is hardly the case, as there exists valid reasoning behind the decision. First and foremost, the United States is a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions, and it is essential that we begin curtailing our contributions to industrial pollution. In addition, it was hoped that developing nations would follow the lead of the "superpower" to environmental consciousness (Greenstein).The president also believes that further research of global warming is necessary, as he feels the scientific community does not have an accurate grasp on its causes, impacts, or resolutions. His opinion runs contrary to six years of solid agreement among scientists on the reality of global warming. Furthermore, small island nations such as Kiribati can ill-afford the delay, as several of their outermost islands have been swallowed entirely by the ocean (Greenstein). Rising sea levels "“ resulting from the melting of the polar icecaps due to global warming "“ threaten their survival. Apparently these evident dangers do not take priority over the economic inconveniences we would experience by heeding the call of the Kyoto Protocol. Another disturbing stance the president has taken involves the energy crisis in California and its connection to the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Bush desires to open up a portion of the refuge "“ 8% of the protected land, translating into roughly 1.5 million acres "“ and begin oil exploration. In response to the immediate uproar of...

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