Letter: Hiding under Bush

April 20, 2001

It is easy to react to President Bush's apparent rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change with claims of "irresponsible" and "pariah" ("Bush's Kyoto stance angers UK scientists, THES , April 6).

Management of climate change, however, is going to require something rather more sophisticated. The real issue is not about target setting, nor getting inter-governmental agreement on sticking to targets. Governments do not deliver emissions reduction targets: people, communities and businesses do.

The real delivery of climate protection in the longer term will be achieved through myriad small and large decisions taken by consumers, communities and corporations.

These decisions involve our lifestyles, our values and our investment plans.

Governments may help shape the boundaries within which these decisions are made, but the responsibility to implement the Kyoto Protocol falls to each one of us, not simply to President Bush.

Mike Hulme
Centre for Climate Change Research
University of East Anglia

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