Conservatives Accuse Blair of Being Weak on Climate Change

In a depressing illustration of just how far global consensus on climate change has left the U.S. behind, this week British Prime Minister Tony Blair was criticized for doing too little on global warming by Michael Howard, the leader of the conservative Tory party. Howard attacked Blair for failing to use his close relationship with President Bush to push the U.S. to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. He accused Blair’s Labor Party of putting all its eggs in the onshore wind-power basket, ignoring the potential of several other forms of renewable energy. “Promoting greener behavior need not hold back economic growth or restrict choice,” Howard said, “but the longer we delay action, the harder it will be to achieve the outcome.” Meanwhile, Blair and Howard were both criticized from the left by the Liberal Democratic Party for dropping the ball on climate change and other green issues. Lest we belabor the point, however, notice: Britain’s three leading political parties are competing to see who can take the toughest line on global warming. Compare and contrast.