Climate Progress Person(s) of the Year

bush-dumb.jpgUntil the election, this long-beloved annual traditional of Climate Progress was a lock for one person — last year’s winner. After all, like Time magazine, our Person of the Year is awarded to the person or group whofor better or for worse … has done the most to influence the events of the yearin the climate arena.

Now the judges are split. On the one hand, no person on the entire planet, heck no semi-sentient lifeform in the entire solar system, has week-after-week worked so tirelessly, given 110% evey day, to high-impact misleadership on the issue of the century than George W. Bush.

Indeed, even after the election, when you think he is not just a lame duck, but a duck in need of a hip replacement, electroshock therapy, and CPR, his EPA administrator undoes perhaps the only recent glimmer of hope to come out of the one tiny enlightened corner of the entire executive branch that Darth Dick Cheney had apparently not cowered into conscienceless, self-destructive, obedience — when the EPA Environmental Appeals Board voted to stop new coal plants cold. But as the NYT reported Friday, “Officials weighing federal applications by utilities to build new coal-fired power plants cannot consider their greenhouse gas output, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ruled late Thursday.”

Of course not. Sure the Supreme Court ruled against the Bush Administration, decided carbon dioxide was a pollutant, and ordered EPA to start regulating it under the Clean Air Act. But they didn’t reckon on George Bush ruling against them.

On the other hand, Bush and Cheney never counted on the American people ruling against them. And now the country will be lead by the greenest, most scientifically informed, radical pragmatists in the history of the Republic:

So the Climate Progress Person(s) of the Year is … not Obama nor his Cabinet. They haven’t done anything influential this year on climate.

No, the Climate Progress Persons of the Year are the American People. They proved that “Drill baby, drill” is not an energy policy, that voting against every effort to boost clean energy while giving a speech in front of wind turbine factory still makes you an old-fashioned (albeit erratic) pro-polluter conservative, that you can’t just put green lipstick on a global warming denier and put her a heart-beat away from the President. In short, as the man once said, you can’t you can’t fool all the people all the time.

They used their constitutionally given power to give the nation and the world a chance — a slim chance for sure, but a chance nonetheless — to avoid bringing unmitigated misery on the next 50 generations to walk the planet.

5 Responses to Climate Progress Person(s) of the Year

  1. paulm says:

    Lunacy clouds climate change policy
    British politicians have failed to heed expert advice on greenhouse gases, but maybe Barack Obama will be different
    In these circumstances, for our government to continue with policies which will inevitably increase greenhouse gas emissions from crucial sectors of the economy is nothing short of criminal.

    This crap should needs to stop. The activity of Bush and many Governments will be shown to be criminal. Whether they pay for this malicious intention is another matter.

  2. Rick says:

    this could be a reasonable pick if the American people voted on the issue of climate. Did they really?

    No. Bush was unpopular but it had nothing to do with his climate policy. It was mostly about the war and the fact that the economy is in trouble. People were also just tired of the Republican brand. McCain was uninspiring and offered no compelling reason for anyone to vote for him other than fear of Obama and the democrats.

    Voters were comfortable enough with Obama to give him a try. Republican attack ads didn’t make the hoped for difference.

    No, the American people were not trying to save the environment or solve any climate problems with this vote.

    They wanted someone new and in some cases were just exited about a black President. Climate concerns never entered very far into voter consciousness.

    [JR: So you say. Lots of people voted on the clean energy and climate issue. But it is true that Bush and the GOP had so screwed things up that it was not the top issue. But, in any case, the award goes to the person or group who has had the most influence on events — not to the person or persons who thought most about the issue. After all, Bush was clearly the person last year who have the most influence on climate events — but I doubt he thinks about global warming ever or even understands the issue at all. He just lets Cheney and the other hard-core deniers run the show.]

  3. Matt says:

    Does anyone else see a problem when the executive is just running around doing whatever it wants, in spite of the other branches of government? The end of this nightmare administration cannot come quickly enough.

  4. If the next generation does not do better than the leaders of my “Not So GREAT GREED GRAB Generation” of elders has done to protect Earth from reckless environmental degradation and resource dissipation, then I cannot even imagine what the future will look like for those who are alive 40 years from now. The “pale blue dot” may not be so beautiful a sight in 2050, I fear.

    Our children will do better; but first they will need to understand that the patently unsustainable overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities which their elders so adamantly and relentlessly advocate will have to be forsaken….soon. Accepting human limits and Earth’s limitations, and behaving accordingly, could be a goal worth achieving.