Quite frankly, the EU can piss off. The article below pretty much sums it all up. Pay special attention to the portions regarding Kyoto. I remember the "hard-hitting" European press corps asking President Bush to explain himself regarding this issue, and for the EU President or commissioner (or whatever the hell his title is) to explain why the Kyoto treaty has not been ratified by any EU countries. They kept hammering away at Bush, while letting the leader of the EU, the man they SHOULD have been demanding accountability from, not the President of the United States, they let him (Mr. Prodi I believe, or at least something close to that) off with some half-intelligible, garbled answer in broken English...when the man speaks perfect English when he wants to. It still amazes me how fiercely Europeans defend their sovereignty on one hand (evil USA trying to meddle) while formally giving it up to the EU, while at the same time STILL attempting to comment on all aspects of US policy (from the environment to the death penalty to McDonald's hamburgers). The President of the United States is accountable to the people of the United States....Boeing is accountable to its stockholders and bound to follow the laws of the United States and the State of Illinois.
While we are lectured by the Europeans on this forum for turning Airbus vs Boeing into USA vs Europe, this is just proof positive that, to the EU, A v B is USA v EU. Notice also that the article in the original post is from Reuters, the new public relations wing of Airbus Industrie.
Environmentalism, in the form preferred, apparently, within Europe, IS a bandwagon. People differ in their opinions on environmentalism based on the science they choose to place more stock in. It seems the Euro tree huggers, like many over here, choose to follow the school that says that anything humans do damages the environment. It's just that, in the European version, the failings of their own leaders on environmental issues, are ignored, while they fervently seek out the accountability of other leaders.
June 17, 2001
Europe Builds Itself Up at Bush's Expense
By GREGG EASTERBROOK
WASHINGTON — THOUSANDS of protesters chanted against President Bush
during his stops in Spain, Belgium and Sweden last week, some baring their
rear ends; European leaders spoke condescendingly of America's president;
the European press depicted him as a cowboy hayseed. In other words, from
the European perspective, the Bush visit could not have gone better.
As the European Union struggles to expand, to "harmonize" its thousands of
overlapping rules, to manage its uncountable internecine jealousies and to
formulate a new understanding of what it means to be European, there is one
thing all Europeans seem to agree on. It is faux horror about the United
For all their pretenses of being dismayed by Mr. Bush, if European Union
leaders were to describe their dream American president for this moment in
time, they might well specify someone exactly like Mr. Bush —
seemingly, at least to European eyes, unsophisticated, swaggering and
brash, all the qualities the European Union can unite on in dreading the
"The European Union has a hormone problem," says Jeffrey Gedmin, a Europe
scholar who runs the New Atlantic Initiative at the American Enterprise
Institute in Washington. "They are developing a sense that whatever
diminishes the stature of the United States is of benefit to Europe."
During Mr. Bush's visit, President Jacques Chirac of France, Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder of Germany and Prime Minister Wim Kok of the Netherlands
all criticized his positions on global warming and missile defense,
breaking the taboo that heads of state do not air disagreements during
state visits. The Council of Europe, roughly analogous to the Organization
of American States, was so underwhelmed that the American president was in
its jurisdiction that by midweek the front page of its Web site had no
mention of his presence. Instead, the major news was, "Parliamentary
Assembly to Observe Elections in Bulgaria."
Such slights against the leader of the best friend Europe has ever had were
intended to inflate the European Union's collective ego. For great issues
have recently made the European Union fractious: proposed expansion from 15
to 27 member nations (basically all the former Eastern Europeans states
want in, and Ireland just voted no to that); whether Turkey should become
part of Europe (if it qualifies for the European Union, Turkey would
receive huge subsidies); whether there should be a European meta-government
that supersedes national capitals. And with the demise of the Soviet Union,
Europe now has no enemy to unite its competing states.
In such a context, Europe might find it useful to have a common antagonist.
Enter Mr. Bush.
The Bush administration's rejection of the Kyoto global warming treaty,
supposedly bad news, actually could not have been scripted better. European
Union leaders got to repeatedly denounce Mr. Bush for saying the United
States will not ratify Kyoto — though no European Union nation has
ratified it, either. After the 1992 "Earth Summit" in Rio, when Mr. Bush's
father declared that the United States would not accept mandatory
greenhouse-gas reductions, he was lambasted by European leaders, who vowed
prompt, decisive action to impose restrictions on their own. They did
Last week, after deriding the Bush position on Kyoto, the European Union
again vowed prompt greenhouse action, promising to ratify Kyoto on its own.
Yet no European nation other than Denmark has any serious
greenhouse-reduction strategy even in the planning stages, while a
stand-alone European Union ratification of Kyoto is a million-to-one shot.
From the Europeans' standpoint, the ideal outcome was for the Kyoto treaty
to collapse but for Washington to take the blame. Now Europe gets to act
outraged, while being spared the hard work and cost of actual reform.
Indeed, despite European protestations, American ecological standards are
far more strict than European rules, and have been for 20 years or more.
"Europe is now the world leader on environmental issues," the Swedish
environment minister, Kjell Larsson, said as Mr. Bush arrived in his
nation. But Paris today has worse smog than Houston; water quality,
especially of rivers, is lower in Europe than in the United States; acid
rain reduction has been more rapid in the United States than in Europe;
European Union nations like Greece, Italy and Portugal still discharge huge
volumes of untreated municipal waste water, a practice all but banned in
America. In addition, the European Union did not act against leaded
gasoline till more than a decade after the United States; the forested
percentage of the United States is higher than the forested percentage of
most European countries, while America has fewer threatened species than
Europe; and many other environmental indicators favor the United States.
It is true that Europe is more energy-efficient than America. And moreover,
as Bjorn Lomborg, a professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark,
demonstrates in the forthcoming book "The Skeptical Environmentalist," smog
is declining and water quality improving everywhere in the West, Europe and
America alike. But the idea that Europe is ahead on environmental matters
is a convenient fiction of European politics.
TRYING to build up Europe by acting outraged against America has become the
European national sport on many fronts. One is anger about globalization by
American companies, though European firms are themselves active
European diplomats harp on America's refusal to agree to a global treaty
banning land mines. (The Pentagon maintains that its defense of the
North-South Korean border rules out a land-mine ban.) Land-mine reduction
is an important goal, but pales on the arms agenda compared with reduction
of nuclear warheads — something that, inconveniently, Washington is
On no subject is Europe's internal need to feel superior to the United
States more clear than capital punishment. Outlawing capital punishment is
now a condition of European Union membership, and European commentators
like to suggest there is a huge values gap between Europe and America.
Always skipped is that 12 American states ban the death penalty, while
polls show public pro-and-con views regarding capital punishment are nearly
identical in the United States and the European Union. When the French
politician Jack Lang was campaigning for mayor of Paris, he ostentatiously
traveled to Texas to meet with a death- row prisoner; he was lauded in
France. (Imagine if a candidate for mayor of Dallas traveled to Paris to
meet with poor North African immigrants to discuss French racism.)
Something besides moral opposition to the death penalty underlies this
That something may extend to a realignment of American-European relations.
Speaking in France before Mr. Bush's visit, former Secretary of State Henry
A. Kissinger said the European allies now perceive a need to check American
strength. Using the balance-of- power calculations that are the mainstay of
traditional European diplomacy, Europe worries that America is too strong,
and wants to bring it down a notch.
Mr. Gedmin of the American Enterprise Institute thinks the day may not be
far off when Europe sides with Russia or even China against America on some
key issue. A possible preview: When Mr. Bush first decided to review North
Korea policy, the European Union sent a delegation to Pyongyang to confuse
It seems certain there's more Euro-static coming, because for the moment,
many European leaders believe that making small of America is in their
Gregg Easterbrook, a senior editor of The New Republic and visiting fellow
at the Brookings Institution, is the author of "A Moment on the Earth: The
Coming Age of Environmental Optimism."
Southside Irish...our two teams are the White Sox and whoever plays the Cubs!