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Karl Rove, Global Warming, and Bush’s Legacy

By Joe Romm

"Karl Rove, Global Warming, and Bush’s Legacy"

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karlrove.gifKarl Rove thinks history will be kinder to President Bush than the public and the pundits are today:

I believe history will provide a more clear-eyed verdict on this president’s leadership than the anger of current critics would suggest. President Bush will be viewed as a far-sighted leader who confronted the key test of the 21st century.

Not!

On the path set by Bush’s do-nothing climate policies, future generations — including historians — will be living in a ruined climate for centuries, with brutal summer-long heat waves, endless droughts, unstoppable sea level rise, mass extinction, and on and on. If we do stop catastrophic global warming, it will only be because succeeding presidents completely reject Bush’s approach. Either way, President Bush will be viewed as a short-sighted leader who ignored the key test of the 21st century.

Rove actually has the chutzpah to claim:

On energy, the environment, and climate change, he is developing a new paradigm. Emphasizing technology, increased energy-efficiency partnerships, and resource diversification, his policies are improving energy security and slowing the growth of greenhouse gases without economy-breaking mandates and regulation. The president who won criticism by rejecting the failed approach of Kyoto has implemented policies that enabled the United States to grow its economy by 3.1 percent and reduce the absolute amount of CO2 emissions (by 1.3 percent).

With $80 a barrel oil, a record trade deficit in oil, and years of opposition to higher fuel economy standards, claiming Bush has improved energy security–or even tried to address it–is Orwellian. And cherry-picking one year out of the entire Bush record — where weather and energy prices combined to temporarily reduce emissions – to claim that his nonexistent climate policies have had any postive impact would be laughable if the consequences of Bush non-policies weren’t so tragic.

The world knows Bush has been feverishly working behind the scenes for years to block any new international emissions accord. And, of course, Bush famously reneged on his 2000 campaign pledge to regulate utility greenhouse gas. His climate summit later this month to develop aspirational targets is nothing more than a PR stunt. Only action, not rhetoric, will matter now to historians.

For a longer article on why History Won’t Warm to “W” click here.

‹ I’ll be on Earthbeat Radio this week (today in DC)

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7 Responses to Karl Rove, Global Warming, and Bush’s Legacy

  1. Lou Grinzo says:

    Joe, Joe, Joe. When are going to learn to think like an oil man neocon?

    Bush and Cheney saw one problem (uncertain oil supply) and one solution (take over Iraq on whatever flimsy precedence necessary). When Bush and his pals talk about history judging him to be a visionary and a great leader and all that hogwash, this is what he’s saying: When peak oil sinks its fangs into us, Americans will be happy we spent all that blood and money to secure oil from the Persian Gulf.

    I personally find this mindset revolting, but when I think of how hard it is to get my friends and relatives to make even tiny changes to use less oil or emit less CO2, I think it’s very likely that the neocons have a better handle on the American psyche that I would like to believe.

    And the CO2/GW claims they make are just so much posturing. The real battle for them was always securing a supply of oil, and they found a way to do that, no matter the horrific cost.

  2. Joe says:

    This is certainly the Greenspan argument. But the irony is that 1) Iraq is producing less oil today than it was prewar, 2) the mess in Iraq probably contributes $10 to $20 to the record-setting price of oil, and 3) while the Kurds will no doubt always be happy to sell us oil, the Shiites in the south will probably ally with Iran — especially now that we are seriously arming Sunnies — giving that country even more leverage in the oil export game. Bottom line: Iraqi oil is less secure today than it ever has been, and could ultimately be even less secure.

  3. Shannon says:

    I think the key word here is “Orwellian” – or even maybe “Machiavellian”.

  4. David D says:

    Bush has been a poor president – no doubt. “cherry-picking one year out of the entire Bush record”. Good point. Let’s talk about Global Warming cherry-picking: (1) 2005 hurricane season; (2) the latest IPCC report only considering the last 30 years in it’s pathetic estimates; (3) Global Warming alarmists only consider the last 100+ years of climate change on a planet that has existed for billions of years. Let’s just take into consideration the last 1 million years of weather… 100 / 1,000,000 * 100 = 0.01%. 0.01% is absolutely insignificant (serious cherry-picking); (4) “…unstoppable sea level rise…” Someone is ignoring the sea level rise values given in the IPPC report from last spring (2.5 mm per year: 25.4 mm = 1 inch). 1 inch increase per decade is nothing; (5) reporting hot months/days while ignoring unusually cold months like last April and May or days like this weekend where the temps were in the low 70′s in DC.

    Who’s cherry picking here? I can go on…

    “brutal summer-long heat waves, endless droughts, unstoppable sea level rise, mass extinction, and on and on” – hmmm. more scare tactics…

    I think Bush turned out to be on the same plane as Jimmy Carter – pathetic – but to blame him for everything is getting old. He is not the reason nothing has been done – the “solution” has been in the hands of congress since the late ’90′s. The congress is democrat now. Why aren’t you blaming them? Since Bush is responsible for absolutely everything bad in the world to include global warming, hurricane Kathrina and the recent bridge collapse, why are we paying the goons in congress? We don’t need them. They do nothing. It’s all the president.

  5. Nick says:

    I recommend David D for a policy internship at the White House… he’s got his own facts and he don’t scare easy, no sir!

  6. David D. says:

    “…he’s got his own facts”. This shows that you have done absolutely no research. As can be seen below, my facts come from the IPCC, NOAA and Dr. climate himself, Al Gore.

    1) “2005 hurricane season (hurricane Katrina):” right out of Dr. Gore’s “An Inconvenient truth”

    2) “the latest IPCC report only considering the last 30 years in it’s pathetic estimates.” Go to http://www.ipcc.ch/SPM040507.pdf and read “Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC”. We can also add other links such as http://www.climatecrisis.net/thescience/, “The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.” Of course they do not mention that there is really no change when you review NOAA data on the number of hurricanes that hit the US since the mid 1800′s.

    3) “Global Warming alarmists only consider the last 100+ years of climate change”: This is obvious in virtually every alarmist report that exists, “This is the hottest month in Arizona on record.”. Was it the hottest month in Arizona over the last 1,000 years – or 1,000,000 years? Remember the “Hockey Stick” temperature profile that was shown to be forged and is no longer quoted? Then there is the recent NASA update that 1998 was not the hottest year. I thought the science was settled?

    4) “…unstoppable sea level rise…”: Please see page 7 in IPCC Summary for Policy makers fourth assessment. The report states,”Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003, about 3.1 mm per year… The total 20th century rise is estimated to be 0.17 m” Given that there are 1000 mm in a meter and there are 25.4 mm in an inch. The estimated change in sea level rise over the last 100 years (estimated 35% increase in CO2 over that time) is about 6.5 inches. Everyone sell your beach front property!

    5) “reporting hot months/days while ignoring unusually cold months like last April and May or days like this weekend where the temps were in the low 70’s in DC”: I live in DC. It was cold this past spring. Don’t recall the front pages of the newspapers discussing how cool it was.

    If I did a policy internship at the White House, I would immediately redirect the 5 billion dollars a year for global warming projects to real projects like getting the US off foreign oil; eliminating air and water pollution.

    Nick, yes I don’t scare easily but obviously you do. I’m not gullible. The global warming alarmists want Americans to turn off their brains and march in lock-step with them. Won’t happen.

    Please Nick, show me the facts. Please.

  7. TomEames says:

    I predict George Bush will go down in history with a legacy as managing the turning point for America as the world leader and most likely in the collapse of society as we know it. His unique mix of religious fervor, weak intellect, lack of imagination and “yes man” management circle style has undermined the future of American leadership in science and technology and brought climate change to the brink of inevitable. Bush and his cronies have allowed energy transformation and climate change due to his ‘oil based brain” to move precariously close to many tipping points. Only an idiot would put the world and our children at risk. If any of the major tipping points are reached, the climate change will go out of our control and Bush will go down as the person most responsible for the consequences. Should the Greenland melt, Thermohaline shutdown, Methane Hydrate release, rain forest ecosystem support, Ocean plankton eco support or any of a number of points triggered, there will be no way of recovery. Bush has intentionally delayed appropriate effort for eight years. That was eight years of gambling with the future. That will be his legacy. I’m curious if he might actually believe he has a role in the “book of Revelations” and did his duty. Only time will tell.