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Global warming and the global problem

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Being an American who resides in Europe, I have heard my fair share of criticism of the US and in particular, criticism of the Bush administration and their failure to accept Kyoto and global warming. While I agree with a lot of that criticism I have always questioned the pollution across Europe which seems on par with the American problem and Europeans have always quickly dismissed the problem and focused only on the US.

The reality is that the air in Paris during the summer is disgusting not to mention dangerous to your health and many other cities in Europe such as Munich and London are hardly worth bragging about as well. There are exceptions such as Stockholm but in general European cities always seem to be as polluted as US cities. A new study by the European Environment Agency confirms that Europe, we have a problem. The US shares plenty of blame with global warming but I would like to see Europe also recognize that there is a local problem here as well.

Tony Long, director of WWF's European policy office, said this illustrated the extent to which Europeans used more than their fair share of global resources. He argued: "Europe needs to learn to consume less, pollute less and tread more lightly on the planet. Perpetuating the inequality of living at the expense of some of the poorest countries in the world makes European environmental standards nothing to be proud about. This makes the EU's sustainable development strategy even more timely to get Europe back on track to sustainability."

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