There is certainly no reason for them no to have known. Whether it was a choice to not believe into them or to believe but ignore them, is another question. The Kyoto Protocol was signed back in 1997, back during previous administration, and its main concern was fighting global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It came into force in 2005, during the Bush administration. Yet US is one of the last few countries that didn’t sign it while having highest per-capita emissions. That carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas was known as far back as late 19th century. Environmental movement and awareness of global warming was growing during the administration; documentaries like ‘The Inconvenient Truth’ came out during it. It seems like there was really no way to avoid hearing about CO2 and its role in global warming and the dangers it will bring.
George W. Bush made campaign promises to address global warming and instead rolled back the Clean Air Act with the Clear Skies Act, allowing industry to pollute more. 99% of scientists agree that anthropogenic global warming exists, yet Bush chose to defend that one percent which is either in severe denial, or simply defending the status quo. Bush made choices that ignored available scientific expertise.
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