Open Letter to President George W. Bush from Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), UK Concerning the US Decision not to Implement the Kyoto Protocol; 24 June 2001
Dear Mr President,
I am writing on behalf of Scientists for Global Responsibility to express grave concern at your decision not to implement the Kyoto Protocol. We believe this stand to be highly irresponsible given the robust scientific evidence on Climate Change gathered and recently published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
It is not an overstatement to say that your decision threatens the lives of millions of people in the future and hence we urge you to reconsider immediately.
You stated in your letter to Senators Hagel, Helms, Craig, and Roberts that you question the certainty of the scientific evidence for Climate Change. As scientists we understand not only the importance of scientific uncertainty, but also the importance of having to take action in the face of such uncertainty. Let me present you with an analogy. In November your country held a Presidential election. Following a series of problems with the ballot, particularly in Florida, there was considerable uncertainty over which candidate had received enough votes to be declared as President. In the end, a 'best guess' of the number of votes cast for each candidate had to be made and the winner, you, was declared on this basis.
Likewise, in the issue of Climate Change, we have to act on the best evidence. In short, what I am saying is that the certainty of scientific evidence for Climate Change is considerably greater than the certainty of the 537 votes that put you in power. We have to accept you as President of the USA, you have to accept that Climate Change is serious and the USA must take its fair share of the action to reduce this problem.
Dr Stuart Parkinson, Co-ordinator of Climate Change and Energy Programme
Scientists for Global Responsibility , PO Box 473, FOLKESTONE CT20 1GS, UK