Tuesday, as he dined in the White House, one of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s main objectives was to convince President Bush to agree to a new international agreement to curb climate change at the upcoming G8 meeting. Unfortunately, it seems that Mr. Blair arrived for dinner about four years too late. Based on documents recently procured through a Freedom of Information Act request from Greenpeace, we now know that President Bush relied heavily upon the advice of oil giant Exxon when rejecting the Kyoto agreement.
News of Blair’s failure to sway Bush on Kyoto comes on the same day that the New York Times is reporting that a member of President Bush’s Council on Environmental Quality (who, NOT coincidentally, was a former oil industry lobbyist) doctored government reports on climate change in a manner that cast doubt upon the scientific validity of climate change research.Despite what Exxon claims and the carefully edited White House reports would have you believe, the overwhelming scientific consensus is that global climate is real and its effects are already being observed:
- the Arctic is warming twice as fast as researchers predicted;
- nine of the ten hottest years in recorded history occurred in the nineties;
- the oceans have already warmed so much that they have begun rising and will continue to rise for more than a century, even if we eliminated our greenhouse gas emissions today;
- the concentration of carbon dioxide is the highest it was been in at least the last 420,000 years.