The Global View on Warming

European leaders see the issue as universal; why can't our president?

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Want a good example of how responsible international leaders react to climate change? Here's what Stavros Dimas, the European Commission member responsible for environmental policy, told a joint parliamentary session of the European Parliament last month:

This summer the Northwest Passage shipping route through the Arctic has become navigable for the first time since records began. The area covered by Arctic sea ice has shrunk to the smallest ever seen. The situation in the Arctic Sea is only one of many signs that climate change is happening. Unless the international community takes urgent action to cut emissions sharply, climate change will transform the face of our planet, undermine our economies and put tens of millions of people at risk.

European leaders take the global view and recognize we cannot continue on our current path without worldwide economic consequences. The Bush administration frets that U.S. carbon emissions are so vital to our economic well-being, any attempt to reduce them would throw the U.S. economy into a state of "detox."

The president is right to worry about the consequences to our economy. They will be mighty. But the consequences to our children's and grandchildren's economies will be even worse if we don't act. Besides, what could be more toxic to the U.S. economy than the damage this administration's wanton spending has already done?

Doesn't it make you wish that Stavros Dimas or Al Gore or someone of environmental vision were leading our delegation to Bali?