Presidents from Reagan to Obama ultimately recognized the importance of science and high-level international cooperation in addressing climate changeBreaking News
tags: climate change, global warming, environment
President George H.W. Bush initially sought a leadership role for the United States on the environment, according to declassified documents obtained and posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.
Contrary to the popular impression that Republican presidents have always downplayed such concerns, the record shows that some of Bush’s advisers – as under Ronald Reagan – early on recommended severing the “link between economic development and deterioration of the environment,” and demonstrating that “wise, active stewardship over the resources of our planet” was a “responsibility we have to ourselves and as our legacy to future generations.”
The new documentation presented here provides a nuanced picture of some of the continuities that characterized U.S. environmental policy from Reagan to Obama, but there is clear evidence that Reagan and both Bush presidents believed that greenhouse emissions and other problems were real and that even senior aides to George W. Bush sought actions “grounded in science” and designed to encourage renewed cooperation with other countries on restricting emissions.
Though these views could not stem the early push for withdrawal from leadership on climate change driven by Vice President Dick Cheney, similar voices pressing for a multilateral, diplomatic solution to existing problems later in Bush 43’s term presaged a pendulum swing back toward engagement, and set the stage for the Obama administration to reclaim a strong leadership role.
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump administration says joint UNC, Duke Middle East Studies program portrays Islam too positively
- What White Kids Learn About Race in School
- Frederick Douglass photos smashed stereotypes. Could Elizabeth Warren selfies do the same?
- Chronicling New York’s Muslim History
- New Documents Illuminate The University of Texas’s Secret Strategy to Keep Out Black Students
- Women Scientists Were Written Out of History. It’s Margaret Rossiter’s Lifelong Mission to Fix That
- Allen C. Guelzo Reviews Sidney Blumenthal's Latest Installment of His Biography of Lincoln
- What Reconstruction-Era Laws Can Teach Our Democracy: The NY Times Reviews Eric Foner's Latest Book
- Should historians read their own book?
- Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies At 75