Thursday, June 21, 2007

'Six Years of Deceit' On Global Warming

"Six Years of Deceit" is essential reading in the latest issue of Rolling Stone. Tim Dickinson lays out how the Bush administration set out to ease environmental regulations, despite rhetoric to the contrary that they were interested in protecting the environment or increasing the nation's response to global warming.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the magazine was able to obtain thousands of pages of internal documents that show the administration led an effort to mislead the public on the issues and create doubts about generally-accepted scientific conclusions. All of which, they believe, justify their inaction in the face of the changes that most credible scientists say are happening and will only get worse - in some cases, exponentially worse.

The article quotes Rick Plitz, who once worked in the Bush administration, who said the real issue was "a political clientele that does not want to be regulated." Meanwhile, the president went out and proclaimed that "We must and we will conserve more in the United States," but yet saw to it that federal efficiency programs had their funding cut by about one-third. All of the administration's proposals involve voluntary participation, leaving it up to industries that have business interests to the contrary to do what is in the best interests of the nation and the world. The president calls this approach "flexible," but it is really just naive.

Like the war in Iraq, this administration's position on global warming and efforts to correct it seem set in stone. They're simply not going to change any of their policies in the next 19 months, and the harmful effects of their inaction will be the responsibility of the next administration, making it all the more essential that a different kind of leader be chosen to succeed George Bush.

["Six Years Of Deceit" can be read online here. The article can also be found in the June 28, 2007, issue of Rolling Stone.]