U.S. must step up at G8 summit

Efforts to stall and sabotage climate change findings further undermine U.S. credibility.

The United States has ignored climate change, which many scientists and the majority of the world’s governments agree must be addressed immediately. In July, the United States has a golden opportunity to change its role when the world’s most powerful countries will gather to discuss proposals. Continuing down the road of willful ignorance on climate change serves only to hurt foreign relations, delay technological innovation and stall necessary safeguards to disaster.

The diplomatic absurdity of the United States’ refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol or offer a legitimate alternative continues to plague foreign relations. In light of this, continued efforts by the Bush administration to stall and sabotage scientific findings further undermines U.S. credibility to a near ridiculous extent as far as global environmental efforts are concerned. Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that findings by leading scholars of science in the plan, “Gleneagles Plan of Action” were altered and replaced with rhetoric favorable to the Bush administration’s hard-line stance against the existence of climate change.

This is unacceptable. Policy should be based on the opinions of experts not pundits. If studies conducted by scientists are consistently altered by nonscientists, how can any politicians make decisions based on them. It is time that the United States face the facts on climate change.

The Bush administration should at least acknowledge the existence of climate change. To do otherwise is about as senseless as only closing one’s eyes and covering one’s ears when a train is coming at them. This is not too much to ask for considering what awaits us in the future if no action is taken.

Better yet, the United States should take a strong lead on efforts to curb climate change. The condition of the environment is not an issue that should be dealt with lightly. Climate change is an overarching issue connecting pending diasasters to the well-being of individuals, nations, continents and an entire world.

Taking the lead and crafting and adhering to a scientifically accurate plan would benefit everyone.