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Bush Proposal Too Little, Too Late

Administration continues to show little understanding of climate science

April 16, 2008

(Washington, DC)  Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) expressed disappointment in the president’s approach to control global warming, presented today in a speech at the White House.  The administration would reduce emissions, primarily carbon dioxide from electric generating plants across the country after 2025, ignoring the well established goal of a reducing all domestic greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20 percent by that time.

“PSR doctors and public health professionals are scientists and take seriously the short term and long term reduction goals necessary to prevent the catastrophic consequences of climate change.  We know that the U.S. must begin reducing total greenhouse gas emissions immediately and show a steady decline for the next four decades, ultimately reaching at least an 80 percent reduction in U.S. emissions.  The president’s plan is not even a good starting point,” stated Dr. Michael McCally, executive director for PSR.

As global warming accelerates the public health will suffer from more severe heat waves, more intense storms, worse flooding, increased allergens and the spread of water and vector borne diseases.  An immediate effort by the U.S. to reduce its own emissions and lead the world in global reductions will help to reduce the seriousness of these dangerous impacts.

Based on projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global emissions need to be reduced by some 85 percent by 2050.  As a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. must take the lead.  Yet, the White House recommendations would not begin significant reductions for almost two decades.  “It has taken this administration seven years to come up with an ineffective plan.  The president’s lack of leadership and weak proposal put the health of the American people and the world at risk,” added McCally.

PSR, founded in 1961 and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985, is guided by the values and expertise of medicine and public health and works to protect human life from the gravest threats to health and survival. 

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