The Kyoto Protocol Was Gored
By Joshua Frank
17 July, 2006
Seems as if Al Gore's part-documentary
part-campaign flick is reaching quite a few people this summer. Environmentalists
and skeptics alike. Perhaps the ol’ VP is repenting for some of
the dirty deeds he supported during his compliant years in Washington.
One of the more egregious
of Gore’s follies while serving his country came about in the
late 1990s when the Clinton administration was debating whether or not
to back the largest international environmental pact in history, the
Kyoto Protocol. Mr. Gore, the big “enviro”, despite common
belief, was the one most responsible for Clinton’s derailment
of the landmark accord.
Seems contradictory, I know.
Here’s the most popular environmentalist speaking out about the
fact the Earth is rapidly warming, indeed pointing out that humans are
at least partially to blame, yet when he had the power to do something
significant at the governmental level, he refused to act. In fact Gore’s
culpability in enviro degradation goes well beyond his family’s
past ownership in Occidental Petroleum, where they owned over a quarter
of a million dollars in the company while Gore sought the presidency
It was the winter of 1997
when Vice President Gore, who was in direct control of Clinton’s
environmental policies, flew to Japan to address the international delegation
about the US’s position on the Kyoto Protocol. Gore and Clinton
had just come off an election victory and it was time to pay back the
big oil and gas companies who had handed over $6 million to their party
the year prior.
Gore warmed up his attentive
audience by affirming that Clinton and the US public believed the Earth
was in peril and that all global citizens must act swiftly to save it.
But in typical Gore doublespeak, he declared the United States would
not support the agreement because it did not ask enough of developing
nations, even though the US is the leading polluter in the world.
As Gore put it then, "Signing
the Protocol, while an important step forward, imposes no obligations
on the United States. The Protocol becomes binding only with the advice
and consent of the US Senate.”
Gore soon returned to Washington
only to reiterate his message that the Clinton administration would
not put the Kyoto Protocol before the Senate. "As we have said
before, we will not submit the Protocol for ratification without the
meaningful participation of key developing countries in efforts to address
climate change,” he said.
It was at that moment when
Clinton and Gore ruined any chances of the Kyoto Protocol being honestly
debated in Washington. Later in November of 1998 Gore "symbolically"
signed the accord, likely to appease his environmental pals like the
Sierra Club’s Carl Pope, a close friend of Al’s.
But the Vice President’s
tepid gesture couldn't have carried less weight. The Clinton administration,
with Gore's guidance, refused to allow the Republican controlled Senate
to decide on the Kyoto Protocol for themselves. Gore advised Clinton
not to send the Protocol to the Senate to be ratified. The blame could
have burdened the Republican Party, not the Democrats and the Clinton
administration. But instead the buck stopped with Al Gore and Bill Clinton.
Predictably, President Bush followed their lead.
And there you have it. It
was Mr. Global Warming himself who first tried to kill off the Kyoto
Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out! How Liberals
Helped Reelect George W. Bush and edits http://www.BrickBurner.org