Gore goes green

Many environmentalists doubt Al Gore's green concerns

Published: Saturday 15 January 2000

-- In a bid to appease the environmental groups, US vice-president recently announced that president Bill Clinton would sign an executive order, necessitating environmental assessments to be part of all new trade agreements.

Gore stressed on the need to end subsidies and eliminate trade barriers that prevent the US from exporting cutting-edge technologies that could help other countries clean up their air and water, he said.

While some environmental groups have called the order significant as it would put environment concerns at par with business concerns, not all are convinced of Gore's intentions.

Robert Mendelsohn of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has challenged Gore's understanding of environmental problems. In the last decade, our understanding of the effects of climate change, for instance, has undergone a "near revolution" because the natural sciences and economic analyses have altered dramatically, says Mendelsohn.

Gore's supporters have also been accused of "relishing" environmental threats, only to expand the government's domination over all issues. In a recently-concluded meeting between Gore and other environmental leaders, the vice-president's stance was thought to be "unusually pleading". The greens expressed concerns over the administration's lack of commitment to an array of environmental issues -- from protection of salmon in the Pacific to efforts to avert the threat of oil spills.

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