I may be old-fashioned, but I think it’s wrong to publicly attack and criticize your own country overseas. It is doubly wrong to do so in the presence of those who hate the United States.

Al Gore, a former senator from Tennessee, a former vice president of the United States and the 2000 Democratic candidate for president, apparently believes that since, as he said, he is “not an official of the United States,” he is free to attack his native country anywhere.


This month in Bali, Indonesia, the United Nations held a conference on global warming for the purpose of extending the Kyoto Protocols, which will formally end in 2012. The United States – concerned about Kyoto’s effect on economic growth – has refused to ratify the Protocols. On July 25, 1997, the U.S. Senate ignored then-Vice President Gore’s advice and voted 95-0 to reject the Kyoto Protocols.

Last week Gore appeared at the Bali conference and said, “I am not an official of the United States and I am not bound by the diplomatic niceties. So I am going to speak an inconvenient truth. My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali. We all know that.”

Oh, really? And just how do we all know that? Is it true that the U.S. is “principally responsible for obstructing progress” in Bali? The New York Times, which applauds the former vice president, reported on December 14 that “[t]he emerging economic powers, most notably China and India, also refuse to accept limits on their emissions, despite projections that they will soon become the dominant sources of the gases.” The same Times article stated while the U.S. opposes an agreement that would include numerical targets, so do “a few other countries, including Russia.”

On November 7, 2006, the Times reported, “China will surpass the United States in 2009, nearly a decade ahead of previous predictions, as the biggest emitter of the main gas linked to global warming, the International Energy Agency has concluded in a report to be released Tuesday.”

The article continued, “China’s rise, fueled heavily by coal, is particularly troubling to climate scientists because as a developing country, China is exempt from the Kyoto Protocol’s requirements for reductions in emissions of global warming gases. Unregulated emissions from China, India and other developing countries are likely to account for most of the global increase in carbon dioxide emissions over the next quarter-century. The agency’s prediction highlights the unexpected speed with which China is emerging as the biggest contributor to global warming. Still, China has resisted limits on its own emissions and those of other developing countries.”

The argument offered by China, India and other developing countries is clear and direct. Said Lu Xuedu, the deputy director general of the Chinese Office of Global Environmental Affairs, “You cannot tell people who are struggling to earn enough to eat that they need to reduce their emissions.”

China’s intent is to put the United States and Europe in a difficult economic position where standards of living will be reduced until developing countries rise to the standard of the U.S. At that point the developing countries will be required to reduce their emissions.

President Bush has been attacked by Gore for resisting a treaty that could inflict economic harm on the American people. Does Gore seriously think we should reduce the U.S. standard of living until developing countries – formerly called Third World countries until that term was discarded as demeaning – catch up with us economically?

China is growing at a tremendous rate. So far this year, China’s gross domestic product has grown 11 percent, while U.S. growth is two percent. According to the Times, India has a middle class of 250 million, while the entire U.S. population is 300 million. What’s going on here? These facts alone make clear it is not necessary to effectively mandate a reduction in the U.S. standard of living in order for other nations to grow.

I wonder if Al Gore knows what he’s doing. Reducing and sacrificing the U.S. standard of living as a way to bring others up the ladder, rather than allowing the U.S. to maintain its living standard while encouraging and helping others to reach our level, is a foolish and dangerous plan. It is simply unacceptable.


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