May 20, 2006

Clinton says must “get off our butts” to stop warming

By Pat Jackson

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Former President Bill Clinton
said on Saturday global warming is a greater threat to the
future than terrorism and that the United States and other
countries must "get off our butts" and do something about it.

Clinton, speaking to the graduating class at University of
Texas' Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, said the
United States must pursue policies that make "more partners and
fewer enemies" and use "institutionalized cooperation" before
there is catastrophic damage from global warming.

"Climate change is more remote than terror but a more
profound threat to the future of the children and the
grandchildren and the great-grandchildren I hope all of you
have," Clinton said.

"It's the only thing we face today that has the power to
remove the preconditions of civilized society," he said.

"I am not one of those who is pessimistic about the future
of the world, assuming we get off our butts and do something
about climate change in a timely fashion."

During Clinton's administration, the global Kyoto Protocol
to curb the release of greenhouse gases was created but the
Bush administration has rejected it on grounds it will hurt the
U.S. economy.

"I think we should be in the Kyoto climate change system,"
Clinton said. "We can't solve global warming or any other
problem in the world you can mention that amounts to a hill of
beans by ourselves."

The United States is considered the largest emitter of the
"greenhouse gases" blamed for global warming. President George
W. Bush has said that global warming may be occurring but its
cause is not clear. Generally, it is believed that the burning
of fossil fuels is the primary cause of climate change.