Bush’s legacy on global warming

Those rabble-rousers at Greenpeace have done it again:


I had nothing to do with this! Here is the press release:


Bush Plan Portrayed as a Disaster on Eve of U.S-Led Climate Change Meeting

WASHINGTON– Responding to the Bush administration’s continued obstruction of international efforts to address global warming, Greenpeace activists turned one of the nation’s most iconic symbols into a memorial to Bush’s failed legacy on climate change. Greenpeace projected on the Washington Monument the message: U.S. Global Warming Plan: Hell and High Water accompanied by an image depicting rising sea levels at the base, a predicted consequence of global warming.

“President Bush’s policies on global warming are a disaster,” said John Coequyt, energy policy analyst at Greenpeace USA. “His international meeting on climate change in Hawaii slated to begin tomorrow is a rogue process to deflect attention from the administration’s insistence to maintain America’s dependence on dirty and dangerous energy sources while failing to address the growing climate crisis. As the Washington monument has long outlived the president it was built to honor, so too will Bush’s legacy on climate change stand as a memorial to his neglect, obstruction and destruction.”

Greenpeace’s projection served to call attention to Bush’s global warming policies a day after his State of the Union address and on the eve of Bush’s international meeting of the world’s largest emitters of global warming pollution, called the “Major Economies Meeting,” which takes place in Hawaii on Wednesday and Thursday.

After being roundly rebuked in December in Bali at the UN’s International Conference on Climate Change, the Bush administration continues to push its alternative Major Economies process that seeks to replace the Kyoto Protocol’s legally binding emissions reduction targets with a completely inadequate voluntary approach. “If the President were serious about leading on climate change, he would stop obstructing the U.N.’s process and endorse a cap on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions,” Coequyt said. The United States stands completely isolated as the only industrialized country on the planet not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

“The Bush administration continues to push a climate-destroying agenda and to obstruct all meaningful efforts to address global warming by the international community,” said Daniel Mittler of Greenpeace International. “Its role was so negative at the global negotiations on climate change in Bali last month that the U.S. delegates were literally booed by other participants. It was a stunning and well-deserved rebuke. This meeting is a charade and has no legitimacy at all.”

Greenpeace is calling on the countries attending the meeting to maintain their commitments to substantive action under the Kyoto Protocol. Participating countries include: Japan, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, China, Canada, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, and South Africa, as well as the United Nations, the EU Presidency and the EU Commission.

10 Responses to Bush’s legacy on global warming

  1. Daniel Bell says:

    This is hilarious!

    Here’s a previous thought I had on Bush’s meeting and the statement released calling for eventual cuts in growth of emissions:

    Bush’s text here is so weak as to be useless. And no one believes Bush’s intentions here have anything to do with achieving meaningful cuts or addressing the reality of climate change.

    So this begs the question: Why does he do this at all?

    He has shown he will refuse to address reality whenever it is convenient for him. (Iraq anyone?) So what advantage does he gain by pretending to have gotten religion on climate change? His approval ratings aren’t going to go up. It won’t help any domestic programs or legislation. If this is to appease the international community, why? What the hell does he care about other countries?

    Is it to try to make Republicans less susceptible on the issue in 2008? The party has steadfastly refused reality on the whole, too.

    So, what’s the point?

  2. Paul K says:

    In 2006, unlike just about every other country in the world, the U.S. actually reduced CO2 emissions by 1.3%. Since this is a positive development, there is no possible way that anything done by the Bush administration contributed to it. 2008 CO2 emissions are as yet unreported.

  3. Ronald says:

    Listen to your attorneys. Keep you mouth shut. Nobody’s is going to believe you had nothing to do with it.

  4. jcwinnie says:

    Sure, sure. Step over here and empty your pockets.

  5. Earl Killian says:

    Paul K mentions the U.S. reduction in GHG in 2006. That’s true. It also happened in 2001 and 1991. Those occasional negatives haven’t stopped the U.S. from growing its GHG emissions by 1% per year for a total of 15.1% since 1990.

    The EIA wrote about the drop:
    * The important factors that contributed to a drop in carbon dioxide emissions in 2006 (see Figure 5 on right) included: total energy consumption in 2006 that was 0.5 percent below the 2005 total—due in part to favorable weather conditions (both heating and cooling degree-days were below 2005 levels) and in part to higher energy prices that helped to dampen energy demand.
    * A decline in the carbon intensity of electric power generation that resulted from increased use of natural gas, the least carbon-intensive fossil fuel, and greater reliance on non-fossil energy sources also contributed to the decrease.
    * Relatively small increases in emissions from other sources of carbon dioxide, such as industrial processes, and from the U.S. Territories, which in total represent only a minor share of U.S. emissions, were not enough to offset the declines from major energy sources.

  6. Paul K says:

    Earl Killian,
    Good info. The factors in the 2006 decrease seem still at play in 2007. Do you know when 2007 totals will be available?

  7. Tony Welsh says:

    Someone mentioned the 1.3% reduction in CO2 in the US in 2006, but implies it is better than most oter countries. That I doubt. For example, in 2003 the UK emissions are down 13.4% compared not to the previous year but to 1990!

    US emissions are down largely because they have exported so much manufacturing to CHina. They blame China for the emissions but these are largely the result of manufacture of products for Americans, bought of course with money borrowed from the Chinese.

    I have blogged on this myself at

  8. john says:


    You raise an important point, although it is more of a long term effect and probably didn’t contribute to the slight downturn in ’06.

    Nevertheless, when the energy and GHG embedded in our imports are factored into US emissions, we have an even larger GHG emissions per capita than our bloated numbers suggest – we go from glutonous to obscene.

  9. hippie with a pistol says:

    Electricity generation from natural gas had the greatest rate of ncrease in co2 emissions from 2004-05 (latest data from EPA Emissions ) at 7.5% compared to other fuel types. Trends show industrial emissions from the use of coal to be decreasing by greater than 3%. Change rates in emissions from petroleum fuel in the transportation sector have reduced by half. US GDP since 1990 has increased by around 55%, the co2 emission rate has increased less than 17%. Annual US emissions rates have never increased as much as they did per 2000 data when the rate of increase was greater than 3%.

    And remember more than 90% of US cumulative co2 emissions occured in the 90’s. We are still dealing with the Clinton legacy…

  10. Kelli B. says:

    Bush has failed to lead on stopping global warming, but let us not forget that Congress has been dragging its feet also. Congressmen such as John Dingell have been favoring the energy and auto industries and not creating real climate legislation as they should. I love that Bush’s huge neglect was highlighted in this way. But if we already know he will not do anything about global warming, why don’t we focus our attention on those who may be able to make a change?