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Bush an 'environmental disaster,' Ehrlich tells Commonwealth Club
STANFORD -- "When George Bush said he would be the 'environmental president,' he was being as sincere as when he said 'read my lips, no new taxes,' " Stanford ecologist Paul Ehrlich told the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 16.
"Bush got off to a good start with the appointment of Bill Reilly as head of the Environmental Protection Agency and with his support of the Clean Air Act," Ehrlich said in the luncheon address. "Unfortunately, his subsequent performance has put the future of our children and grandchildren in grave jeopardy.
"Bush hasn't listened to Reilly and undermined Reilly's attempts to administer the Clean Air Act responsibly," Ehrlich said.
In addition, Ehrlich - Bing Professor of Population Studies and the author of The Population Bomb and The Population Explosion - said Bush has:
"Worst of all, Bush, who once wrote compellingly about the need to limit the size of the human population, has subsequently done everything possible to fuel the population explosion," Ehrlich said.
Ehrlich said that when Bush was head of the Central Intelligence Agency, he supported National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200), which was produced at the request of President Nixon by the CIA, the Agency for International Development, and the departments of Defense and Agriculture.
"NSSM 200 warned that population growth threatened the world's economic, political and ecological systems, as well as humanitarian values. It recognized the role of population pressures in generating wars. While Bush has been vice president and president, about one billion people have been added to Earth's population, bringing the total to 5.5 billion. Fewer than 2 billion were alive when Bush was born," Ehrlich said.
"George Bush seems incapable of understanding that the critical security issue now is that of environmental security, and that it is impossible to have environmental security as long as the population explosion continues," Ehrlich said. "And, tragically, by working against the provision of birth control to hundreds of million of women in poor nations who desire it, George Bush has been a major force promoting abortion worldwide.
"In short, George Bush promised to be the 'environmental president' and then did everything he could to wreck the environmental underpinnings of our economy," Ehrlich concluded. "As a registered Republican I am deeply ashamed of the Bush-Reagan record, which represents a 180-degree turn from the pioneering efforts of Teddy Roosevelt and those of modern Republican environmentalists like the late Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.); Sens. William Cohen (R-Me.), John Chafee (R-R.I.) and Jim Jeffords (R- Vt.); and congressmen like our own Tom Campbell (R-Calif.)"
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