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Beckett upbeat on climate change 2004-11-04

Posted by clype in Intolerance, Science.
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There is a chance The United States of America could change its stance on global warming despite Mr.George Bush Jr’s re-election, The UK Environment Secretary Ms.Margaret Beckett has said.

The Environment Secretary said public opinion was bringing change regardless of who had won the USA’s presidential election. She was speaking at a climate change conference in Germany.
But Myron Ebell, from a Washington-based ‘think tank’, said USA policy would not change and accused the UK’s Chief Scientist of being ‘alarmist’.

Business as usual? The climate change conference at ‘The British Embassy in Berlin’ was opened on Wednesday by
The Queen, who has reportedly told UK Prime Minister Mr.Tony Blair of her personal concern on the issue.

Russia’s upper house of parliament has now backed ‘The Kyoto Protocol’, which means it could come into force next year, 2005, despite the USA refusal to ratify the agreement.

BBC environment correspondent Mr.Roger Harrabin said many of the scientists had been dismayed by
Mr.Bush Jr’s presidential election victory because of his refusal to sign the “Kyoto agreement”.

‘The whole tissue of argument that makes climate change into the greatest problem facing humanity is based on a long series of improbabilities’, said Myron Ebell, Washington ‘think tank’ official.

But UK Government’s Chief Scientist Sir David King said that if any country could get the G8 group of leading industrialised nations to make progress on global warming, it would be the UK.

The Chief Scientist who has criticised the USA for failing to reduce ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions, said he knew the Bush administration officials well and would be getting down to business again.

Asked if his heart had not sunk on hearing news of Mr.Bush Jr’s victory, he added only:

‘I have given you my answer’

Public pressure?

The Environment Secretary was upbeat about the chances of progress.

‘When I was in “the States” last Easter… people were saying to me, irrespective of who won the “Presidency”, they believed things were changing in the “United States” — if you like — from the “bottom up”‘, she said.

‘And of course that was before, when a lot of people had written off the “Kyoto Protocol” altogether, believed that it would never be ratified by Russia and would never come into force’.

She argued that bringing the ‘Kyoto Protocol’ into force could ‘totally shift the ground’.

‘”American” companies operating around the world would be affected by the decisions of other governments’, she said.

‘Alarmism’ adviser
But Mr.Ebell, from ‘The Competitive Enterprise Institute’, said he did not think there would be a change, especially as there were also more conservative Republicans in both Houses of Congress.

‘The whole tissue of argument that makes climate change into the greatest problem facing humanity is based on a long series of improbabilities’, he said.

Mr.Ebell said The Chief Scientist had no expertise in climate science and was ‘alarmist’ and denied the world was going through an unprecedented period of warming.

Conservation Director at ‘The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ Mr.Mark Avery, said the issue should be top of the list if The US American President wanted to show he was taking a more inclusive approach in his second term.

‘If he’s looking for an area that shows America cares about the rest of the world, then climate change would be a good one’, he said

He suggested “global warming” was a ‘testing ground’ for the influence of The Prime Minister’s strong relationship with the USA Government. He said:

‘The prime minister has got the message but can he get this message across to his mate George Bush?’

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