Washington, Feb 12 - The Bush administration has found a way to deal with both European annoyance about the American contribution to global warming and French and German 'intransigence' about Iraq.
Alerted by oceanographers that global warming might eventually lead to disruptions in ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream's warming of Europe, the Bush Administration has embarked on an ambitious plan to disrupt the Gulf Stream and make Europe look like northern Canada.
"We can do it without lifting a finger, burning millions of gallons of fossil fuels, melting the ice caps, and throwing off the currents," said Vice-President Dick Cheney. "We can take advantage of our natural bounty and build our economy while disrupting those of our opponents."
Asked whether this new awareness of potential environmental change represented a shift from the administration's prior denials about the impact of carbon emissions, Cheney insisted his stance was consistent. "We were going to burn the gas then, and we're going to burn it now. We weren't worried then, and we're downright excited now."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld took a more bellicose stance, suggesting that the United States should explore military options for disrupting the current, suggesting that "global warming takes as long as sanctions to work, and we know they don't work."
Possible military options include the nuclear disruption of geologic features near the current, especially near its origins near the Caribbean. Cuba represents a serious problem in this regard, though planners suggested that simply removing the island might cause enough change to disrupt or even remove the current.
French reaction continued to be intransigent. "The Americans continue to think they can bully the rest of the world into doing what they want," said French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. "We can always buy homes in our warm former colonies if necessary."
Germans, while unhappy, saw benefits in new demand for well-engineered snow removal equipment and cars that can drive on snow throughout Europe. "We shall be colder, perhaps, but still as passionate as we were during the Cold War," said Gerhard Schroeder, German Prime Minister.
Although the British have perhaps the most to lose, facing the prospect of a glacial Scotland and frozen England, Prime Minister Tony Blair calmly stated that "our faith in the unique understandings between the United States and the United Kingdom remains intact. Perhaps this ice age will remind the French and Germans of the value of NATO and in particular of the value of American opinion within NATO."
Asked about the possibility of a French nuclear response, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said "What? They have nuclear weapons?" and went on to explain that there was no crisis though perhaps France was in league with Al Qaeda.
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Copyright 1999-2003 by Simon St.Laurent.