February 28, 2007
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Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 3, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1990
BUSH GLOBAL CHANGE MEETING
Sparks flew at the April 1990 White
House Conference on Science and Economic Research Related to Global
Change, according to several published accounts. The environmental, energy
and economic ministers who attended--from 18 nations, the European Community and
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development--were irritated
because they were denied the opportunity to speak in the plenary sessions.
Instead, they listened to President George Bush and other Administration
officials emphasize the scientific uncertainties of global warming. This
situation, and others described in the articles listed below, created the
impression among many that the affair was intended more for show than for
development of policy.
European Community officials released a position paper urging immediate
development of an effective policy response, including a protocol for carbon
dioxide emission reductions and protection of tropical forests. West Germany's
environment minister said he would propose a 25-percent reduction in carbon
dioxide emissions in his country by the year 2005. In one working group, U.S.
staff distributed a 12-page document containing resolutions for the creation of
new international institutions for scientific and economic research related to
global change, creation of an information exchange network, and principles for
international cooperation. European delegates objected to its tone and method of
presentation, and the document was withdrawn by U.S. participants who described
its distribution as an error. President Bush's closing remarks quelled the
unrest somewhat when he stated that the United States never considered research
a substitute for action, and offered to host the first session to negotiate a
climate convention, possibly this fall.
"Global-Change Meeting: U.S. Stance Attacked As Too Narrow," P.
Zurer, Chem. Eng. News, p. 4, Apr. 23, 1990.
"Diplomatic Squalls Spoil U.S. Climate Conference," G. Anderson,
Nature, p. 799, Apr. 26; editorial, pp. 797-798.
"Climate Extravaganza Bombs," L. Roberts, Science, p. 436,
"U.S. Fails in Bid to Play Down Global Warming Threat," C. Joyce,
New Scientist, p. 30, Apr. 28; editorial p. 27.
"International Meeting Yields Debate--," Intl. Environ. Rptr.,
pp. 201-202, May. Includes discussion of the positions taken by the EC, the
Netherlands, West Germany, Poland, France, Norway, India, Japan and Canada.
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