Bush Plan Will Increase Dangers of Climate Change
California and the U.S. Face Serious Consequences From Further
OAKLAND, CA - "By delaying effective action, President Bush's
plan will increase the dangers of climate change." That was
how Dr. Peter H. Gleick, expert on the impacts of climate change
on water resources and director of the Pacific Institute of Oakland,
California, summed up President Bush's recently announced proposal
to reduce greenhouse gases. And according to a report by the Pacific
Institute, climate change will likely play havoc with California's
"According to an overwhelming majority of scientists, global
warming is well underway," emphasized Dr. Gleick. "The
Pacific Institute's research indicates that climate change will
likely pose a serious threat to California. The problem is that
the voluntary limits President Bush is proposing won't be effective.
In fact, Bush's plan will make the dangers of climate change worse
by delaying effective action."
According to a report released by the Pacific Institute, the
effects of climate change on California's water resources will
likely be very serious.
"Climate change won't just result in warmer temperatures,"
stressed Dr. Gleick. "One of the most troubling impacts of
unchecked climate change involves California's water supply. Global
warming will change when and where we get snow and rain. If our
snow pack melts too quickly or if water that falls as snow turns
to rain, we'll see more flooding in the winter and less water
during the summer when we need it most."
Not only could our water supply be threatened, but even a small
increase in sea level will seriously threaten California's coastal
areas and the millions of people who live there.
"Another reason why California should be concerned about
the Bush plan is that millions of residents live near the coast,"
continued Dr. Gleick. "If climate change goes unchecked,
California's coastal areas will face more frequent and severe
floods. A one-foot rise in sea level could cost California billions
Another troubling effect of delaying real action on climate change
is that California's natural systems, which in turn support important
industries like agriculture, will also be harmed.
"If rainfall patterns change or the amount of water available
for irrigation drops, California farmers will also be seriously
hurt," Dr. Gleick noted. "President Bush is right to
emphasize sustainable development and flexible regulation as possible
solutions," concluded Dr. Gleick, "but his voluntary
plan will almost certainly fail to slow global warming. And by
delaying real action, Bush's plan will increase the danger to
California, the United States, and the world."
"Water: The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability
and Change for the Water Resources of the United States"
is available online.
Dr. Peter H. Gleick is co-founder and President of the Pacific
Institute. Dr. Gleick is an internationally recognized expert
on water issues. He was elected an Academician of the International
Water Academy in Oslo, Norway and was recently appointed to the
Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academy of
Sciences, Washington, D.C.
Founded in 1987 and based in Oakland, California, The Pacific
Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security
is nonpartisan and independent. We provide esearch and policy
analysis on issues at the intersection of sustainable development,
environmental protection and international security.