Surprise, shock and consternation.
March 13, 2001 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Surprise, shock and consternation. Bush decides that, despite his earlier campaign pledge (and overwhelming scientific evidence), he will not regulate carbon dioxide emissions. I know - gee whiz, a politician lied. But I do enjoy the doublespeak of "backing off a campaign promise." Soon, we'll all have that good ol' Texan air - no matter where we are!
posted by solistrato (19 comments total)
Slick Willy? Now Slick Bush. But tv reports he had a lot of pressure from industry to lay off. First things first.
posted by Postroad at 4:18 PM on March 13, 2001

I was under the impression that Shrub believed CO2 levels were not a problem and stated so during the debates...

"I think there's been some — some of the scientists, I believe, Mr. Vice President, haven't they been changing their opinion a little bit on global warming? A profound scientist recently made an — made a... [...] But science — there's a lot of — there's differing opinions."
posted by rmannion at 4:46 PM on March 13, 2001

So well spoken. I love this guy.
posted by jragon at 4:54 PM on March 13, 2001

Maybe some other countries are run by the dollars of big business, but not this one. Nope, nosiree bob.
posted by OneBallJay at 5:23 PM on March 13, 2001

After being prodded by Jesse Helms, tobacco whoreboy of North Carolina. Feel the irony. Breathe the smoke.
posted by holgate at 5:54 PM on March 13, 2001

Slick Bush

I think we decided to call him Dubya-D-40.
posted by daveadams at 5:56 PM on March 13, 2001

I'm so glad you picked my nick from all the applicants. I'll start accepting royalties tomorrow through paypal.

It's nice how the article implied that soda is a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions. Better hold off on that Mr. Pibb, or there's going to be trouble down the road.
posted by OneBallJay at 6:11 PM on March 13, 2001

Oil Slick?
posted by thirteen at 8:30 PM on March 13, 2001

The energy crisis in the west is caused by lack of power plants which is caused by super-strict regulations caused by a strong environmental lobby in the west. Then CA privatized using a broken system mandated by the govt forceing the power companies stuck between inability to build new plants and riseing demand to diversify into multiple companies to protect investors thus creating a situation where the non-investor company is going bankrupt and has to be bailed out by the govt.

In short: govt intervention both by environmentalists and non-environmentalists is at the heart of the problem. Philosophically, using the govt to solve these problems just created further problems. As the core Republican philosophy, govt should not regulate when at all possible. Thus "President Bush told Congress Tuesday he will not regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants."

posted by stbalbach at 9:12 PM on March 13, 2001

Well, no, St. Bee. The energy crisis is caused by people using more and more power, which has certain deleterious effects when it is created and used inefficiently. Government intervened because the public agreed that stopping those bad effects were more important, and perversely later chose a situation based on supposed market principles which led to a natural decline in price elasticity as supply remained stable and demand skyrocketed. In a fully libertarian world, these higher prices would lead to increased efficiency by the end-users. Instead they are trying to legislate BOTH environmental and health protections AND low prices, which anybody can see is going to cause a collision of values.

My preference would be for these higher prices to lead to greater energy conservation, e.g. electric cars, increased public transit, energy-efficient heating, lighting, and architecture, and perhaps, yes, a decline in population movement to an already crowded region. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
posted by dhartung at 9:51 PM on March 13, 2001

I love American logic.
posted by lagado at 9:53 PM on March 13, 2001

Actually, people in CA haven't been using all that much power.
posted by feckless at 10:02 PM on March 13, 2001

Seems to me like Bush is simply agreeing with the increasing number of scientists who have gone out against the IPCC lately -- and with the increasing evidence coming out from SOHO and those danish space scientists (names, anyone?) on the influence of solar activity on climate change, I'd say Bush did real good here. Kudos!
posted by frednorman at 11:09 PM on March 13, 2001

Yeah, he did good by his SUV-driving constituency. While the specifics of climate change aren't well understood, scientists by and large agree that human beings have a significant effect on the environment. Controversy over carbon dioxide emissions shouldn't be taken as an argument against energy conservation or environmental protection.
posted by Loudmax at 12:21 AM on March 14, 2001

Good to see the President has chosen to align himself with the vast minority of scientific opinion here. Thabo Mbeki would be proud.
posted by lagado at 2:52 AM on March 14, 2001

By arguing that CO2 isn't a pollutant, Bush is simply trying to justify the amount of hot air politicians produce.
posted by holgate at 6:15 AM on March 14, 2001

Regulations over car emissions (carbon monoxide, even more important) are a good thing and Bush shouldn't be backing away from implementing them.

The good thing about regulations on car emissions is that it is that it's scientifically possible. Cars in Europe are now producing FAR less gasses and pollutants than they were in the 80s. It's possible folks.

Ultra low sulphur fuel is also making an appearance in the UK whereas you still seem to use 'regular' gasoline in the US. The worst quality you can get in the UK is 'Premium'!

Cars and clean air can live together.. but not until the regulations are in place. Improve the fuel (another 5-10 cents per gallon is not going to hurt your pocket I assure you).. improve the fuel economy of cars (most smaller cars in Europe are getting 40mpg easily now), and improve the public attitude.

If this doesn't happen the 'anti-car' groups will have a strong case in several years, and that would be a bad bad thing.
posted by wackybrit at 7:10 AM on March 14, 2001

The good thing about regulations on car emissions is that it is that it's scientifically possible. Cars in Europe are now producing FAR less gasses and pollutants than they were in the 80s. It's possible folks.

Unless your citizens start demanding and buying larger, less-efficient vehicles that aren't as strictly regulated as "cars," since they're classified as "light trucks." The increased demand for SUVs plus the exponential increase in automobile passenger miles in the past decade or two has led to increased overall auto emissions in the United States, despite stricter regulations.

Cars and clean air can live together....

True, but cars cause problems beyond just air quality. Besides, zero-emission cars will require power generated elsewhere. Trading one emission for another isn't necessarily a big improvement. (Not that such a trade is the only option. There are cleaner alternatives than oil or coal power, but they aren't being actively pursued.)

If this doesn't happen the 'anti-car' groups will have a strong case in several years, and that would be a bad bad thing.

What's wrong with "anti-car" groups? In urban environments, individual automobiles are rarely the most efficient way to get around, nor is the best use of public infrastructure money supporting mostly that method of urban transportation. Obviously, in suburban and rural environments, the automobile is much more useful and efficient.
posted by daveadams at 11:44 AM on March 14, 2001

Some excellent points Dave. I agree that cars are pointless in downtown environments. Cities like London and New York could rest mostly on their subway and bus networks. The main problem is integrating cars into it.

I'd park in the suburbs of London and get the subway in if it were easy. It is not. There are not many large cheap car parks near subway stations even in the suburbs.

About the cars.. there is still a lot more America can do. Get rid of regular gasoline for a start and do as the Europeans do.. buy either Premium or Super. It doesn't cost much more. Then, put gasoline prices up and use the funds to pay for clean air ordinances.

In Europe large vehicles are not particularly fashionable or popular because they cost so much to run and they pay more 'road tax'. With gasoline at least $5 a gallon, we are encouraged to drive economically. While $5 a gallon is impractical for the US, higher gas prices will encourage people to have more economical cars.

On the carbon dioxide emissions from power stations point, is America actively persuing new methods of electricity generation? France has been developing a lot of wind farms. Britain is focusing on hydro-electric. France is predominantly powered by nuclear power stations which reduce on fossil fuel emissions too.
posted by wackybrit at 10:29 AM on March 15, 2001

« Older Dig the Wig:   |   Cut back on patrols over Iraq. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments