President Bush just delivered his Rose Garden global warming speech:
If we fully implement our strong new laws, adhere to the principles I’ve outlined, and adopt appropriate incentives, we will put America on an ambitious new track for greenhouse gas reductions. The growth in emissions will slow over the next decade, stop by 2025, and begin to reverse thereafter, so long as technology continues to advance.
At the White House press briefing today, James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, heaped praise on Bush’s plan:
I would just observe, Europe as a union has stated a mid-term goal. They are working on how they’re going to implement that in each member state. Canada has stated a mid-term goal. The United States has now stated a mid-term goal.
We are the only three that have done that so far, but we know that all of the other major economies are working on it, and so we’re giving our own signal about how we’re structuring what we’re going to do, and hopefully they’ll reflect off of that and make appropriate decisions for their economies as well.
EUROPECANADAUNITED STATES2020 Target For Greenhouse Emissions20% below 1990 levels1990 levels No target; keep increasing until 2025MechanismMandatory cap-and-trade system, performance standards, international offsetsVoluntary efficiency standardsTax cuts for industry
Vice President Al Gore rightly described Canada’s plan when the Conservative government released it last year as “a complete and total fraud.” Bush’s proposal is sheer lunacy.
Bush’s plan, if the rest of the world followed suit, would push the planet into territory never before seen in the history of human civilization. For his senior environmental adviser to even compare this to Europe’s mandatory and unilateral commitment to aggressive greenhouse reductions is beyond shameful.
UPDATE: Climate Progress and Gristmill have more. The U.S. Climate Action Network links to responses from member organizations, including the Center for American Progress.
UPDATE II: Warming Law notes Bush’s astounding contempt for the Supreme Court.
UPDATE III: Responses from House global warming committee chairman Ed Markey (D-MA), Senate environment committee chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and ranking member James Inhofe (R-OK), Campaign for America’s Future, and Energy Smart.