While I’m on this topic….
One of the best cabinet picks in recent memory takes his job today (see Top 5 reasons Chu is a great energy pick — #1: “It’s not guaranteed we have a solution for coal”).
As E&E News PM (subs req’d) reports:
The Senate unanimously confirmed seven of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet picks today, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, but postponed debate on his nominees to lead the State Department, U.S. EPA and White House Council on Environmental Quality.
In a post-inauguration session, the Senate quickly approved Chu, Salazar, Vilsack, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag.
A few nominations have hitches:
President Obama’s call to action on energy and climate: “Each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.”
Considering that this was an inaugural address, a speech whose aims are primarily rhetorical and visionary, our 44th president devoted more of his remarks to clean energy and global warming than anyone could have expected.
Yet it may be these muscular and optimistic lines that offer the greatest encouragement to the nation and the world:
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
Obama believes the simple yet poweful words, “Make no small plans.”
We can preserve a livable climate, but it will require the biggest of plans. It will require a memory of what we have accomplished in the past, most especially during World War II, the only true model for the scale and speed of effort required.
Let’s look at what he said specifically related to energy and climate, starting with the fourth paragraph:
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this day.
The excitement here in D.C. is palpable. We have friends in town who brought their five-year-old and are walking down to the national Mall. My wife got an invitation to watch the whole thing from an office that overlooks the Capitol.
I’m an indoor type [Duh!] — especially on a cold day with a wind chill that could only warm the hearts of anti-scientific global warming deniers. And someone needs to stay home with my 21-month-old daughter and blog.
She is so excited. She keeps saying “Where is Barack Obama?” and “Is Joe Biden here?” [Note: If you ask her who ran against Barack Obama, she'll answer "Grumpy old man." Go figure!]
So what is the great challenge for Obama?
George W. Bush is, by far, the greatest mistake ever made by the American people — or was that by Gore for running such an inadequate campaign or by Ralph Nader for running at all or at least by one idiot in South Florida who designed the butterfly ballot or the Supreme Court [Note to self: let it go, let it go, let it go, on this day of all days].
It is amusing to read the delusionary op-eds of conservatives who think Bush’s legacy will be determined by Iraq, and that therefore Bush will be vindicated and rehabilitated by history. Not!
Even if we could forget Katrina, torture, Guant¡namo, Abu Ghraib, and the worst economy since the great depression, his legacy with a near-absolute certainty will be set by his policy of wanton climate destruction (see “the Worst President in American History“) — unless, of course, Barack Obama can somehow put us on a truly sustainable path, but that rejection of everything Bush stood for will hardly rehabilitate W. Quite the reverse.
Anyway, the real point of this final post on Bush — final at least until the media or the Obama team uncover yet another unbelievable environmentally destructive thing he did that we are as yet unaware of — is to share a list of 8 environmental Bushisms I just found to make my list of the top 25 Bushisms of all time complete: