Global Warmin' Is Fer Idjuts Exxon writes America's energy policy, BushCo chops up emissions reports. Is there any hope at all?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, June 10, 2005
Like anyone is the slightest bit shocked.
Like anyone is the slightest bit appalled anymore by the breathtaking litany of utter BS oozing forth from the White House these days, this time about how one of BushCo's top oil-lovin' henchmen has been hacking away at countless scientific reports for over two years, editing them at will, all to downplay the effects of emissions on global warming.
His name is Philip Cooney, and he has zero scientific training whatsoever and was formerly the "climate-team leader" (read: top flying monkey) and a lobbyist at the American Petroleum Institute, the largest trade group representing the oil industry. He is now chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the group that helps devise and set the nation's environmental agenda; Cooney's cuts and edits of scientific emissions and global warming reports often made it into final White House policy.
Isn't that just the cutest thing? Aren't you just, like, yawning with ennui at the bitter repetition of it all? At how savagely and biliously common these stories have become?
Or how about that other story about how Bush's decision not to sign the Kyoto Treaty, the landmark environmental policy signed by 122 other nations to reduce greenhouse emissions, was influenced not at all by sound science or serious concern for the planet, but by pressure put on him by his pals at ExxonMobil and other major oil corporations? Did you read that one?
Thus proving what everyone already knows: Bush cares about as much for the health of the planet and for air quality and for the future of your miserable stupid emphysemic kids as a snake cares for lip balm.
Or rather, in more plain terms, it means this: The environmental policies of the most powerful and gluttonous nation on the planet are being written by the world's most powerful oil company. Which is, of course, a bit like our national dietary guidelines being written by Burger King, or our national health care guidelines being written by Merck, or our national school curricula being written by lost born-again Neanderthal creationists. Oh wait.
This, as we all now know, is the BushCo way. They lie about environmental devastation, going so far as to hire known skeptics of global warming to testify in court against piles of data compiled by thousands of world-class scientists the world over that prove the obvious direness of the threat.
They lie about abortion and breast cancer. They lie about unemployment data and corporate layoffs. They lie about prison-inmate torture, about intentionally desecrating the Koran and smearing menstrual blood on prisoners and violating the Geneva Convention the way a lonely farmer violates a sheep.
They lie about why a gay male model and former prostitute who ran gay porn Web sites was allowed to pose as a partisan hack reporter in White House press briefings for over two years, allowed to ask softball questions of the president and the press secretary and allowed to sleep overnight in the White House and shall we venture a guess who might've been waiting down in the dungeon all those nights, all sweaty and adipose, waiting for hunky Jeff Gannon to come and spank him but good?
And of course, most impressively, BushCo lied about WMDs, about why we're at war, about why we're dumping $5 billion along with dozens of dead U.S. soldiers and thousands of wounded per month into the Iraq quagmire (total cost: over $175 billion, and counting -- fast) when our own economy is gutted and the dollar is at a desperate low and the deficit is at an all-time high and our education and health care systems are crumbling and we are, as a nation, essentially running on fumes.
Yes, I know. This isn't even news anymore. Doesn't even raise an eyebrow. And how sad is that?
So these latest salvos, these latest disgusting proofs of misprision and environmental abuse, they're just par for the BushCo course, standard operating procedure for a callous and domineering administration that, if it can't find the data it needs to support its agenda, simply creates it, edits it, forces it into existence and crams it down your throat and calls it sound government policy.
There are, however, glimmers of hope. There are forces of change at work, despite BushCo's laziness and resistance and despite his administration's whorelike devotion to Big Oil and Big Coal and despite his outright ignorance of all things environmental and desperate and imminent.
Look over here. There stand 132 U.S. mayors from all over the nation, including many Republicans and including some from Texas and including Bloomberg from New York, who have bucked the general vicious BushCo idiocy regarding global warming and have agreed to carry out the Kyoto Protocol rules in their own cities, on their own. Seattle, for one, is poised to become, by the end of this year, the only city in the nation whose municipal energy utility produces zero net emissions of greenhouse gases.
And over here are the national scientific academies of all G8 nations, plus those of the three developing countries that consume the most oil on the planet -- China, India and Brazil -- making an unprecedented political gesture by signing a common letter declaring that a plan to address global warming must be put into action immediately, if not sooner.
And they've aimed the letter straight at the mumbling, bumbling BushCo, whose only decision on greenhouse emissions to date has been to let the major polluters of the nation self-regulate until 2012, when he's a faint, painful, cancerous memory and the global warming problem is far worse and even more dire and is shoved onto the plate of the next guy. Aww, thanks Dubya.
Even some of BushCo's more rabid followers, even some hardcore evangelical Christians, those intelligent few not wrapped up in the nutball Rapture Index and who therefore don't believe it's our God-given duty to ravage the planet and burn through all the resources as fast as possible so as to hasten the arrival of a really pissed-off, homophobic Christ, even some powerful evangelicals are urging Bush to get on the global warming issue ASAP, as, according to the Bible, we are supposed to be good stewards of the Earth, not its destroyers.
And you know the global warming issue has become dire when even staunch, lifelong environmental activists like Stewart Brand are beginning to look anew at the old demon of nuclear power to help ease the energy strain on the nation. It's not because nuclear reactors have become so beautiful and safe and desirable. It's because the global warming threat has become just that ominous. Going back to nuclear is simply the lesser of two evils. We have little choice.
So there you go. For the next 3.5 years, these alternatives appear to be the only path, the only means toward change. Via grassroots movements, regional lawmaking, commonsense ideas, collectives of like-minded people banding together despite their differences to thwart the idiocy and abuse and general autocracy of one of the most heartless and corporatized and least accountable administrations in American history. Think it'll work? Think we'll make it? Stock up on water, keep your fingers crossed and keep handy plenty of SPF 1000