Ousted Chair of U.N. Climate Panel Says U.S. Role Critical to Reverse Global Warming
Interview with Robert Watson, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Even the Bush administration has now acknowledged that human dependency on fossil fuels is causing global warming. President Bush's response is to say people should simply adjust to this new fact of life, rather than try to reverse the trend. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, took a more proactive stance under the leadership of Robert Watson. Founded by the United Nations in 1988, the IPCC has issued three reports on climate change, each providing more conclusive evidence than the preceding one on the environmental damage attributable to climate change triggered by human technology.
Robert Watson, a native Australian who is now a U.S. citizen, headed the IPCC when the group's third report was issued in 2001. As head of the organization, Watson made an urgent call to the nations of the world to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. After the Bush administration withdrew U.S. support for his re-election this fall, Watson was defeated by the less aggressive Dr. Rajendra Pachauri of India, whom the White House actively supported.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Robert Watson about the environmental and social impacts of global warming, the roles of the industrialized and developing nations in the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gases and the Bush administration's rationale for withdrawing from the Kyoto treaty.
To learn more about the IPCC, visit their Web site at www.ipcc.ch
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