Saturday, January 17, 2004

Al Gore on Bush's Environment Policy

I'm thinking we should have elected this guy President (Oh yeah, we did.) Of course he didn't sound like this before.

So what, according to Gore, is behind the Bush Administrations Global Warming (non) policy?
Yet in spite of the clear evidence available all around us, there are many who still do not believe that Global Warming is a problem at all. And it’s no wonder: because they are the targets of a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation lavishly funded by polluters who are determined to prevent any action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, out of a fear that their profits might be affected if they had to stop dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere.

And wealthy right-wing ideologues have joined with the most cynical and irresponsible companies in the oil, coal and mining industries to contribute large sums of money to finance pseudo-scientific front groups that specialize in sowing confusion in the public’s mind about global warming. They issue one misleading “report” after another, pretending that there is significant disagreement in the legitimate scientific community in areas where there is actually a broad-based consensus.

The techniques they use were pioneered years earlier by the tobacco industry in its long campaign to create uncertainty in the public’s mind about the health risks caused by tobacco smoke. Indeed, some of the very same scientific camp-followers who took money from the tobacco companies during that effort are now taking money from coal and oil companies in return for their willingness to say that global warming is not real.

The Bush Administration ... has explored new frontiers in cynicism by time and time again actually appointing the principal lobbyists and lawyers for the biggest polluters to be in charge of administering the laws that their clients are charged with violating. Some of these appointees have continued to work very closely with the outside pseudo-scientific front groups even though they are now on the public payroll.
It sounds so radical, but it's nothing but a sober factual description of what's happening in George Bush's America -- and not just environental policy -- OSHA, energy, mass media, health care and on and on.

And with the election season here, remember this
And in case after case, the policy adopted immediately after the inauguration has been the exact opposite of what was pledged to the American people during the election campaign. The promise by candidate Bush to conduct a “humble” foreign policy and avoid any semblance of “nation building” was transformed in the first days of the Bush presidency, into a frenzied preparation for a military invasion of Iraq, complete with detailed plans for the remaking of that nation under American occupation.

And in the same way, a solemn promise made to the country that carbon dioxide would be regulated as a polluting greenhouse gas was instantly transformed by the inauguration into a promise to the generators of CO2 that it would not be regulated at all.

And a seemingly heartfelt declaration to the American people during the campaign that he genuinely believed that global warming is a real problem which must be addressed was replaced after the Inauguration by a dismissive expression of contempt for careful, peer-reviewed work by EPA scientists setting forth the plain facts on at global warming.
Good stuff. Read the rest here.

And for a rather poignant review of the Gore speech, read Bob Herbert's column in the NY Times:
The fates dealt Mr. Gore and the United States a weird hand in 2000. He got the most votes but the other guy became president. And the country, its Treasury looted and its most pressing needs deliberately ignored, has been rolling backward ever since.

"This is insanity," said Mr. Gore, referring to the administration's handling of the environment. But his speech made it clear that he could just as easily have applied that sentiment to the full range of Bush-Cheney policies. History will not be kind to the chicanery that passes for governing in the Bush II administration.