Monday, October 30, 2006

Al Gore Hired by Great Britain

The British government has hired Al Gore as an advisor on climate change. This is not all that significant, but it is a relatively stark contrast between how the UK views Gore and how the US views Gore.

An AP story sums it up thusly:

"The British government also hired former U.S. vice president Al Gore, who has emerged as a powerful environmental spokesman since his defeat in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, to advise it on climate change, a clear indication of Prime Minister Tony Blair'’s growing dissatisfaction with U.S. environmental policy."
Reading the AP article linked above also is a useful tool to compare seemingly disparate entities, the United States of America and KFC (formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken).
"U.S. President George W. Bush kept his country, by far the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming, out of the Kyoto international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases, saying the pact would harm the U.S. economy."
The above quote basically reminds us that the United States failed to help the global fight to reduce carbon emissions, because by doing so, the US would be sacrificing some economic prosperity. Without arguing the merits of the claim, if you substitute "KFC" for "the United States" and "transfat" for "carbon," you may understand the reason why KFC has been holding out in reducing or eliminating transfat from its fare.

Today, KFC announced transfats will be phased off the menu. The president of KFC, Gregg Dedrick, said "there is no compromise...Nothing is more important to us than the quality of our food and preserving the terrific taste of our product."

Substitute "economy" for "food" and "planet" for "product," and you see that the United States is forgoing a goal for the greater good, in order to best uphold some continental flavor -- or something.

Meanwhile, Reuters today states
"[c]ompared to voters in Europe, where the Green Party is a political force and global climate change is part of the public dialogue, U.S. voters in national elections tend to cast their ballots based on candidates' stances on the Iraq war, the economy and health care -- not on environmental policy."

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