Monday, April 05, 2004

The Environment on the Republican Campaign Trail

What to do if you're a Repblican in an election year and newspapers are spewing an unending barrage of stories about how your president is dismantling popular environmental protections?

Deny it.
George W. Bush's campaign workers have hit on an age-old political tactic to deal with the tricky subject of global warming - deny, and deny aggressively.
The Observer has obtained a remarkable email sent to the press secretaries of all Republican congressmen advising them what to say when questioned on the environment in the run-up to November's election. The advice: tell them everything's rosy.

It tells them how global warming has not been proved, air quality is 'getting better', the world's forests are 'spreading, not deadening', oil reserves are 'increasing, not decreasing', and the 'world's water is cleaner and reaching more people'.
Thanks to Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly for the heads-up on this. Kevin points out that
The global warming stuff is just the usual Bushian head-in-the-sand stuff, of course, but the part of his environmental message that I really love is the piece about how air is getting better, water is getting cleaner, etc. etc.

This is basically true, of course, but it's largely thanks to environmental regulations passed over the past 40 years. Bush likes to act as if it just sort of magically happened and we should thank the Lord for our good luck. Oh, and let's gut all those pesky regulations while we're at it since the free market is evidently so good at getting industrial polluters to mend their ways.