Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Global warming and Bush

I must say that I really enjoyed reading the recent three-part series on climate change in the New Yorker over the past couple months (unfortunately the articles aren't up online -- they may have been at one time when the articles first came out, but the New Yorkers certainly arrives faster than I can read it, so who knows). The articles reiterated the scientific evidence for human involvement in climate change and convinced me at least that global warming is a serious problem and we better start taking it seriously (as a nation, seeing as how the U.S. is by far the greatest producer in the world of greenhouse emissions) and very soon if we want to avoid potentially disastrous climate changes in the future. Here is an online interview with Elizabeth Kolbert, the author of the three articles, on the New Yorker website. Here also is an article from the Christian Science Monitor regarding a leaked document that is illustrative of the Bush administration's refusal to let science stand in the way of business.
The documents show that Washington officials:

# Removed all reference to the fact that climate change is a 'serious threat to human health and to ecosystems';

# Deleted any suggestion that global warming has already started;

# Expunged any suggestion that human activity was to blame for climate change.

Among the sentences removed was the following: 'Unless urgent action is taken, there will be a growing risk of adverse effects on economic development, human health and the natural environment, and of irreversible long-term changes to our climate and oceans.'
But wait, you'll say, this may just indicate a reasonable skepticism of the science on the part of the Bush administration, that has absolutely nothing to do with business, so why did you bring that up?
News of the leaked documents comes the week after Exxon Mobil announced that Peter Cooney, chief of staff of the Bush administration's Council on Environmental Quality, would soon resign his position with the White House and work for Exxon.

Although Mr. Cooney said the move had been long planned, it came to light two days after The New York Times and the Government Accountability Project reported that he had "made changes [during final editing] in several government climate change reports that were issued in 2002 and 2003." The changes "consistently played down the certainty of the science surrounding climate change."
And so the refrain of the Bush administration ("Fuck your kids, fuck your future, we're going to make some money now so just sit down and shut up") is sung out once again, loud and clear in a belting tenor.

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