The Greenies aren't particularly upset with President
Bush for launching – on false pretenses – an unauthorized war of aggression
against Iraq three years ago.
Nevertheless, the Greenies are extremely upset with Bush.
Well, for one thing, up until now, Bush hasn't taken the threat of global warming
Sir David King, her majesty's chief scientist, has declared "global warming"
to be a more serious threat to mankind than international terrorism. Hans Blix,
former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, concurs.
James Lovelock, father of the Gaia hypothesis, thinks King and Blix – if anything
– still underestimate the seriousness of the "global warming threat."
So serious that Lovelock now urges
the fastest possible substitution of nuclear energy for fossil fuels:
"Opposition to nuclear energy is based on irrational fear fed by Hollywood-style
fiction, the Green lobbies, and the media. These fears are unjustified, and
nuclear energy from its start in 1952 has proved to be the safest of all energy
"I am a Green, and I entreat my friends in the movement to drop their wrongheaded
objection to nuclear energy. Even if they were right about its dangers – and
they are not – its worldwide use as our main source of energy would pose an
insignificant threat compared with the dangers of intolerable and lethal heat
waves and sea levels rising to drown every coastal city of the world.
"We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilization
is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear – the one safe, available energy
source – now or suffer the pain soon to be inflicted by our outraged planet."
How did Lovelock – if not Blix and Sir David – come to view so seriously mankind's
increasing use of coal, oil, and natural gas?
In 1992, the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) caused to be established
the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), to which President Bush the
elder made us a party.
The IPCC's stated mission is "to assess the scientific, technical, and socioeconomic
information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate
The operative term is "human-induced."
The IPCC has three working groups, one of which is charged with assessing options
for limiting "human" greenhouse gas emissions.
So why haven't the IPCC weenies also settled on the nuclear-power option as
man's last best hope to prevent global warming?
Well, because of Greenie opposition, the IPCC weenies haven't even allowed
the operators of nuclear power plants to accrue credits for displacing greenhouse
But that may be about to change.
The FCCC's Kyoto Protocol obligates all "industrialized" signatories to reduce
by 2012 their emissions of six "greenhouse gases" – primarily carbon dioxide
– to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels!
Because of the Greenies, five European Union signatories – including Belgium,
with 60 percent of its electricity nuclear – were officially committed to phasing
out nuclear power.
But now, some EU countries – including Germany – are having second thoughts
about phasing out nuclear power. For one thing, replacing Germany's nuclear
power plants with coal-fired plants would result in an increase of more than
170 million metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions.
During his first term, Bush did launch a Global Climate Change Initiative.
But he didn't "cap" carbon dioxide emissions à la Kyoto.
Worse, Bush defined man-made greenhouse-gas intensity in terms of gross domestic
product. Bush sought to lower American emissions intensity from an estimated
183 metric tons per million dollars of GDP in 2002 to 151 tons by 2012.
Worse still, participation was to be voluntary. Bush simply proposed to improve
the methodology used for the Energy Department's greenhouse gas registry established
by Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. But the registry does credit reductions
of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon fixation, achieved "through any measures
whatsoever," including shifting from coal to nuclear power.
However, because the system is voluntary, the credits couldn't be traded.
Well, Bush has just announced his Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, and in
an attempt to placate the Greenies, Bush has encouraged Sen. Domenici, chairman
of the Senate Energy Committee, to introduce legislation that would – if enacted
– make participation mandatory in a greenhouse gas "cap and trade"
Why placate the Greenies? Well, Bush apparently really does want to revive
nuclear power. And replacing coal and oil with nuclear power is obviously the
way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
But another reason might be that Bush appears about ready to launch – on false
pretenses – another unauthorized war of aggression, this time against Iran.
You get the picture.