On Monday President George W. Bush claimed his administration’s “strategy” of setting “aspirational goals” to deal with global warming is working (really? based on what data?), and that the Kyoto Protocol – or any mandatory carbon emission caps – is bad policy.
Until a couple of weeks ago, it was hard to tell the Bush administration even had a policy in place to effectively deal with climate change.
Did I say effectively deal with climate change? Sorry about that.
I am hard pressed to think that Bush’s current stance on global warming is little more than an attempt to show the world he’s doing something about it while in reality doing as little as possible – if anything.
As with every other aspect of his presidency, he feels that the United States, or more specifically his government, can do as it damn well pleases. As long as the US stays outside of world consensu on how best to deal with climate change, it will remain enormously difficult – to put it mildly – for the sort of unified, aggressive action needed to ever take hold.
Kyoto is far from adequate, but talk of “aspirational goals” is hardly a counter argument. Further, Bush’s incessant equation of sound environmental policy vs. economic growth is a fallacious argument and extremely shortsighted.
We should be talking of economic sustainability and the path to that is through sound environmental policy.
Yet Bush seems to think that dealing with global warming is something we should “aspire” to, like the waitperson at the local bistro down the street aspiring to one day star in a movie. Will it ever happen? Odds are it won’t.
With the arctic ice melting at an alarming rate, with a leading climate scientist reporting that atmospheric CO2 concentrations may have already reached a “tipping point”, George Bush stands firm on aspiring to do something about it. One day. No particular rush.
How I wish it were different, but given Bush’s record of censoring his own scientists and until very recently (two weeks ago?) not even fully acknowledging man’s role in climate change, I simply don’t find Bush’s sudden claim at leadership on this issue at all compelling.
He has a record at least six years long of saying one thing and then doing another, and I don’t even like what he’s saying.
I wish I could trust Mr. Bush. But I don’t.