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Global smarming

National Politics: USA
Global Warming Perspective

Feb 19, 2007
Exxon Mobil and the White House are united in denying global warming. But new solutions exist, and even God isn't on their side.
Montreal and Kyoto are a hemisphere apart geographically, and a world apart in their environmental policy. The Montreal protocol, which effectively cut back damage to ozone layer, was signed in 1987 and applied in record time. Kofi Annan described it as "Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date..." Kyoto, agreed upon 10 years later and widely considered inadequate at the time, has still not been implemented with any effectiveness.
I had always thought that one reason for the disparity was that the ozone hole threatened fair-skinned and fairly affluent people like me with cancer, while global warming and consequent sea level rise was only going to drown brown-skinned paupers - so who cares? (As an editor at the Scotsman at the time told me, "you ken, some of us think it may be no bad thing for London to be 200ft under water.")
This view may still hold water - but there are other dimensions. Last week Exxon Mobil put full-page ads in, among other papers, the New York Times. The ads sort of implied that the company was as green as a New York St Patrick's Day, which might be convincing if you forgot that Exxon Mobil is alone with the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the White House in pretending that global warming has nothing to do with the product the company sells so profitably. The sound of silence has rarely been so deafening.

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