If Bush Won’t Do Something, these Mayors Will

Today’s NY Times reports that132 mayors from all over the country are defying Bush by agreeing to the rules of the Kyoto Treaty. Seattle’s mayor Greg Nickles, leads the way, and many others are coming on board, seeing that if the Feds don’t do something, they’ve got to act.

“The mayors, from cities as liberal as Los Angeles and as conservative as Hurst, Tex., represent nearly 29 million citizens in 35 states, according to Mayor Nickels’s office. They are pledging to have their cities meet what would have been a binding requirement for the nation had the Bush administration not rejected the Kyoto Protocol: a reduction in heat-trapping gas emissions to levels 7 percent below those of 1990, by 2012.

On Thursday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg brought New York City into the coalition, the latest Republican mayor to join.

A Spokesman said President Bush “favors an aggressive approach” on climate change, “one that fosters economic growth that will lead to new technology and innovation.”

But many of the mayors said they were acting precisely out of concern for the economic vitality of their cities. Mr. Nickels, for example, pointed out that the dry winters and the steep decline projected in the glaciers of the Cascade range could affect Seattle’s supply of drinking water and hydroelectric power.

The mayor of low-lying New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin, a Democrat, said he joined the coalition because a projected rise in sea levels “threatens the very existence of New Orleans.”

“I’m hoping it sends a message they really need to start looking at what’s really happening in the real world,” Mayor Arakawa of Honolulu said.”