Bush clean-tech plan gets mixed reviews
The $2 billion worldwide fund highlighted during Monday's State of the Union speech was called both a landmark proposal and an outdated approach.
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While the president called for "an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases," he continued to insist that major developing countries would have to be included. US News and World Report added:Skip to next paragraph
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"Since Bush, while not naming China and India by name, also reiterated his oft-made point that the United States won't agree to a global climate deal that doesn't include those fast-growing economies, the clean-tech fund is an acknowledgment that maybe we should lend a hand if we want them to get on board, seeing that we expanded our own economy with the same cheap, dirty coal and lots and lots of oil."
Not surprising, there were harsh responses from some Democrats. Rep. Brian Baird (D) of Washington, said Bush "should have shown bold leadership by calling on all Americans to cut their energy consumption and carbon generation by 20 percent in 20 weeks." The Associated Press reports:
"That would immediately put money into people's pockets through savings on energy, and it would have promptly cut energy prices. It would also have shown the world that we are truly serious and willing to take the lead on stopping climate change..."
"Americans 'are not nearly as divided as our rancorous politics might suggest,' she said. She repeatedly called on Bush to 'join us' and 'get to work' on such matters as energy security, global warming, and the United States' worldwide reputation."
The president's speech came on the heels of a call from nearly 200 American climate scientists, policy experts, and mayors for the president to take stronger action to combat global warming. In their "State of the Climate" declaration, the group wrote:
"Global climate change now threatens not only the environment, but also our national security, our economic stability, and our public health and safety. We can no longer discuss the State of the Union without assessing the state of the nation's climate."