Thursday, June 09, 2005

Climate Neglect

The other night, a young new friend asked me if this administration was really as bad as everyone of conscience says it is.

I thought.

I thought about Nixon and his crew of thieves.

I thought about Johnson and his lies about Vietnam.

I thought about Reagan and his illegal arms deal with Iran to keep the hostages from being released until after the election.

And then I thought about this administration.

"No, this is the worst I can remember."

For instance,

Yesterday was a big day for climate change news.

First, start with this story from The Independent.

G8 scientists tell Bush: Act now - or else...
An unprecedented warning as global warming worsens
The Independent
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
08 June 2005

An unprecedented joint statement issued by the leading scientific academies of the world has called on the G8 governments to take urgent action to avert a global catastrophe caused by climate change.

The national academies of science for all the G8 countries, along with those of Brazil, India and China, have warned that governments must no longer procrastinate on what is widely seen as the greatest danger facing humanity. The statement, which has taken months to finalise, is all the more important as it is signed by Bruce Alberts, president of the US National Academy of Sciences, which has warned George Bush about the dangers of ignoring the threat posed by global warming.

It was released on the day that Tony Blair met Mr Bush in Washington, where the American President was expected to reaffirm his opposition to joining the Kyoto treat to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Over dinner at the White House last night, Mr Blair appeared to make little progress on one of his main priorities for Britain's year chairing the G8 - a new international effort to combat climate change.

The Prime Minister is trying to draw the US, China and India into the discussion, but there is little sign that the Bush administration will accept the growing scientific evidence about the problem.

Lord May of Oxford, the president of the Royal Society, Britain's national academy of sciences, lambasted President Bush yesterday for ignoring his own scientists by withdrawing from the Kyoto treaty. "The current US policy on climate change is misguided.

The Bush administration has consistently refused to accept advice of the US National Academy of Science.

And here is the Presidents response at the Blair Bush Press Conference to the question of his Climate Change policy and to Blair's request to reconsider that position.

In terms of climate change, I've always said it's a serious long-term issue that needs to be dealt with. And my administration isn't waiting around to deal with the issue, we're acting. I don't know if you're aware of this, but we lead the world when it comes to dollars spent, millions of dollars spent on research about climate change. We want to know more about it. It's easier to solve a problem when you know a lot about it. And if you look at the statistics, you'll find the United States has taken the lead on this research.

"We've taken the lead on research". That's rich.

And then there is this story

Ex-oil lobbyist watered down US climate research
The Guardian
Julian Borger in Washington
Thursday June 9, 2005

"A former oil industry lobbyist edited the Bush administration's official policy papers on climate change to play down the link between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, it was reported yesterday.

Documents released by a watchdog group, the Government Accountability Project, show that as chief of staff for the White House council on environmental quality, Philip Cooney watered down government scientific papers on climate change and played up uncertainties in the scientific literature. Mr Cooney is a law graduate and has no scientific training.

The Bush aide had performed a similar role in his previous job for the American Petroleum Institute, a lobby group representing oil giants and focused on countering the virtual consensus among scientists that man-made emissions are rapidly heating the planet.

"Cooney's still doing his old job for the American Petroleum Institute," said Kert Davies, the US research director for Greenpeace. "It's the American Petroleum Institute working within the White House."

The newly released documents, printed in the New York Times, show handwritten notes by Mr Cooney deleting paragraphs and editing others drafted by government scientists.

He inserted "significant and fundamental" before the word "uncertainties" in a section assessing the solidity of the evidence for climate change.

Mr Cooney also introduced the word "extremely"to the sentence: "The attribution of the causes of biological and ecological changes to climate change or variability is extremely difficult."

So who you going to listen to?

All of the scientist in the Academies of the G 8 plus China, plus India, plus Brazil warning you that governments must no longer procrastinate on what is widely seen as the greatest danger facing humanity.

Or are you going to listen to the American Petroleum Institute?

It's like not paying attention to a warning that someone is going to hijack airplanes and run them into your greatest buildings and thus kill thousands.

We wouldn't stand for that.

Would we?

Exactly when does this kind of neglect for the well being of your constituents

become criminal?

Oh that's right.

This administration is not neglecting its constituents.

We just aren't them.

That makes them the worst.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good posting, Oz, right on the mark as usual

9:17 AM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

So what else can one say? Send Bush the book on Global Warming for Dummies?

3:41 PM  

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