To call Bush's repudiation of the Kyoto treaty grossly irresponsible is to minimalize the seriousness of his act. It's difficult to find moments in history to which Bush's treacherous act can be compared. Perhaps it can best be viewed as an unprovoked act of war against the biosphere of this planet Earth we all share. Bush's moral stance is basically that, since the USA has done the lion's share of the damage to the environment so far, it has an inalienable right to continue. Others reject this logic.

So, with the planet under attack by American Imperialists, what can we do? Plenty, I think. Much has been made of globalism in the past two years, with emphasis on its ill effects. Globalism is, however, a double-edged sword, one that can cut Bush to the quick. Intrinsic in the international agreements upon which globalism is founded is the notion of fair competition: all nations play on a level field, and the best competitor wins. If one nation gains an unfair advantage by cheating, other nations have a right to lodge protests with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and then to retaliate against the offending nation through trade sanctions. The machinery is ponderous but effective.

All other nations should immediately adopt the Kyoto protocol and begin to reduce their output of CO2 (and other greenhouse gases). Once this is under way, protests should be filed with the WTO against the USA for unfair competition, to wit, burdening the biosphere with unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions in order to improve the competitive position of the US economy. This should be an open-and-shut case. The rest of the world would then be able to boycott US products in some proportion to the amount of unnecessary CO2 generated by the US economy. This is a message that even a Bush can understand.

There's another play, one that only Americans can join. It's time to warm up Kenneth Starr (or does he only do Democrats?). In the wake of WW II, the US and other nations firmly established at the Nürnberg trials the principle that gross offenses against humanity can and should be punished. Bush's repudiation of the Kyoto accords (which you'll recall were specially watered down for the American palate) threatens everyone on the planet, and especially those living in places near sea level, such as Florida. His action can reasonably be seen as treasonous within the context of the Nurnberg principles. Treason, unlike sexual peccadilloes, is a really good reason to impeach a president, one explicitly enumerated in the US constitution. Are you there, Ken? Ken?

J.H. Crawford
7 April 2001

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