President Bush was asked this morning whether he will watch Al Gore’s new movie on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. “Doubt it,” the president answered. He went on to argue that we need to “set aside whether or not greenhouse gases have been caused by mankind or because of natural effects.”
Two important points need to be made:
1. Bush casts his answer in terms of a debate that exists on whether greenhouse gases are caused by human activity. In fact, as ThinkProgress has repeatedly documented, there is no scientific debate on this issue. Not a single peer-reviewed study conducted between 1993 and 2003 challenged the consensus that the earth’s temperature is rising due to human activity.
2. Bush cannot solve the problem of global warming if he does not understand its root cause. By “setting aside” the issue of why the globe is warming, Bush wants to also sidestep the need for his administration to begin efforts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, as he once pledged to do.
Full transcript below:
QUESTION: Will you see Al Gore’s new movie?
BUSH: Doubt it.
But I will say this about the environmental debate: that my answer to the energy question also is an answer to how you deal with, you know, the greenhouse gas issue. And that is new technologies will change how we live and how we drive our cars, which all will have the beneficial effect of improving the environment.
And in my judgment, we need to set aside whether or not greenhouse gases have been caused by mankind or because of natural effects, and focus on the technologies that will enable us to live better lives and, at the same time, protect the environment.