By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Not signing the treaty is "equivalent to launching a nuclear attack whose missiles will land across the globe over the next 30 years." British Labour politician Alan Simpson
The U.S. is fostering "explosive diplomatic isolation." the French daily Libération
This is not "isolationism, it is in-your-face truculence." The Independent
It's the "kiss of death." Bangkok Post
That certainly sounds like a consensus. But you wouldn't know it from reading coverage of the treaty negotiations by Times reporter Douglas Jehl. For two days, Jehl pussyfooted around the backlash, using such euphemisms as "discord," "dismay," and "disappointment." A March 30 Times editorial was tiptoeing too, calling Bush's decision "ill-advised" and suggesting ever so deferentially that he "should try to improve the treaty, not kill it."
The full litany of complaints finally appeared in the Times on April 1, in an A-3 news story by Edmund Andrews. Writing out of Frankfurt, Andrews framed the story with Timesian cynicism, arguing that European leaders don't have much leverage to push forward with the Kyoto treaty. Because the U.S. produces more greenhouse gases than anyone else in the world, a treaty that lacks U.S. cooperation is doomed to cost the participating countries more while "American companies benefit from easier rules."
Of course, the Times could become a source of political resistance any day now. An April 1 editorial noted that America finally seems to have woken up to "the breathtakingly open pro-wealth, pro-business bias that has dominated White House actions . . . for the past two months." The question is, what are we going to do about it?