INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Monday, June 03, 2002

Catch Those Alpine Meadows While You Can

Time to bestow another one of my "Huh? Lemme See If I Got That Straight" Awards. This time the award goes to George W. Bush and his entire environmental team. They quietly issued a report today--"U.S. Climate Action Report 2002"-- admitting, after years of denial, that, yes, global warming is actually happening and, yes, it presents a serious threat to the quality of the environment.

Oh, and the responsible party, according to the report? Human beings. How about that? Thought it might have been those pesky dolphins.

If you're tempted to say, "Way to go, W! Glad to see you got it right this time," consider the Administration's recommendation for responding to the threat. I'll quote from the New York Times so that you won't think that I'm making this up:

”It recommends adapting to inevitable changes. It does not recommend making rapid reductions in greenhouse gases to limit warming, the approach favored by many environmental groups and countries that have accepted the Kyoto Protocol, a climate treaty written in the Clinton administration that was rejected by Mr. Bush.

And what are the changes which the report predicts and asks us to "adapt to?"

"the United States will be substantially changed in the next few decades β€” 'very likely' seeing the disruption of snow-fed water supplies, more stifling heat waves and the permanent disappearance of Rocky Mountain meadows and coastal marshes, for example β€” (yet) it does not propose any major shift in the administration's policy on greenhouse gases."

The Bushies are trying to have it both ways. They will try to say to the environmentally-conscious swing voters that they've cleaned up their environmental act, while at the same time doing nothing to offend the Big Energy Crowd to whom they're beholden.

You'd like to think that they won't get away with it. I wouldn't count on it. First of all, the candy-ass, pussyfooting Democrats have shrunk from developing any authentic voice to effectively question and counter-attack this mean-spirited, dangerous mindlessness to which we are being subjected.

Secondly, according to political observers, suburban Moms are no longer the swing vote that counts. Suburban Dads have deftly been identified by the Repubs as the new swing vote treasure. This group, by and large, loves the beat of the war drums, and they're too exhausted from all those hours in their office cubicles to give a shit about Alpine Meadows.

Well, I've managed to break my self-imposed rule against ranting. I couldn't help it this time. Sometimes those shithead Boys-Currently-In-Charge just cause me to lose it.


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