British scientists attended last week’s American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Seattle with an agenda: They want the Bush administration to reconsider its rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
Sir David King, Tony Blair’s chief science advisor, was blunt about why he and his delegation of 24 British scientists were at America’s premiere science conference: “The issue clearly is that the British government has taken a major step toward reducing emissions tied to global warming while the Bush administration has not." King and his cohorts insist that now is the time to take action, especially in light of scenarios that show major flooding and coastal erosion around Britain should the Earth continue to get warmer.
The delegation was hoping that its visit would help the American public and scientific community put additional pressure on the Bush administration to revisit its climate policy moving forward.
In Britain, King asserted, climate science has bridged both major political parties. Blair's Labor Party, he said, is continuing a path first started by Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative Party government in the 1980s.
“I don't think it's a matter for discussion,” he said of British climate policy. “It's a matter of frustration for scientists” that the United States hasn't followed the same path.