Bush's bumbling last press conference
March 30, 2001 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Bush's bumbling last press conference You'll have to scroll down, but when asked by "Major" (I don't know who he reports for) what the president's thoughts were on the division within Bush's own party about oil exploration and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Bush rambled around with his typical ignorance and "just-so" explanations. Also head on over to Cspan and watch it for yourself (The portion starts about 16:50). Thing that got me was his skirting of actually calling it The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, instead choosing numerous times to call it the benign and popularly meaningless "ANWR".
posted by crasspastor (25 comments total)
Bush also said this about "ANWR":

And I would urge you all to travel up there and take a look at it, and you can make --

For what reason would he invite us all up there to "take a look at it"? To be swept away with it's pristine beauty? Or how ludicrously exploitable it all is?
posted by crasspastor at 2:20 PM on March 30, 2001

Old Dubya is definately a nelf.
posted by OneBallJay at 2:28 PM on March 30, 2001

Dubya's a dumbass, but actually he may just have been following the lead of the reporter, who said,

"I have talked to the people who have made that decision and they said ... that you could not, nor could they, create the majorities in either the House or the Senate to bring about drilling in ANWR...."
posted by Zangezi at 2:33 PM on March 30, 2001

When my eyes glaze over along with Aaron's, I know it's time for an early drink.
posted by luke at 2:55 PM on March 30, 2001

You know, guys, I used to work in the oil-fields in East Texas. Our ranch has dozens of wells on it (not that we own the mineral rights, mind you). The land is not made uninhabitable because of the fields.

Roads are built to the sites, a one to one and a half acre site is cleared and prepared and a well is drilled. There are occasional pipeline leaks which are quickly fixed (losing money) and then they're cleaned up (buy burial - that's what my dad used to do - oilfield construction/repair).

Animals still live there. Just because you open the place up for drilling doesn't mean it automatically becomes a desolate wasteland where nothing can live.
posted by CRS at 3:01 PM on March 30, 2001

I think you miss the general point CRS, it's not so much that the drilling might kill animals, it's simply the act of building massive roads, gravel pads, hauling in machinery, dealing with the inevitable spills/accidents, constructin pipelines, etc. All those operations have significant impact - all the more so because this land has never seen human development before and because it was set aside as a refuge.

I just don't get the idea of setting aside an area as protected then going in and doing "managed" exploitation... It's like the judicial system handing down "Life Sentences" that are really about 15-20 years. If the term "protected" doesn't mean "protected", then we shouldn't use it.
posted by kokogiak at 3:28 PM on March 30, 2001

I think that what is done shouldn't be undone. The land has been set aside as a refuge. What's next golf courses and condos at our national parks?
posted by a3matrix at 3:40 PM on March 30, 2001

I especially enjoy how Dubya cracks up the crowd by saying "no" when one reporter asks him if he can ask a follow-up question. And then, since it worked the first time, he does it again!
posted by argybarg at 3:43 PM on March 30, 2001

Bush, I suspect, has been told to make fun of his shortcomings in order to undercut people like us who try to make fun of him. Example: Yogi Berra writes my speeches.
I don't worry very much about his shortcomings as a speaker or as a thinker. I do worry about his actions, his advisors--this is whre the damage is taking place, unless of course you believe that what he is doing is a good thing.
posted by Postroad at 3:51 PM on March 30, 2001

Argybag: JFK used the well-timed "no" answer more often than was probably needed in his press conferences, which are still considered by many to be legendary pieces of political theater. I think they have a "you had to be there" and "the early '60s were a foreign nation," quality, but . . .
posted by raysmj at 4:46 PM on March 30, 2001

Jokey, chatty, I'm-your-presidential-pal stuff works well in the honeymoon period, undoubtedly, while the press corps are playing touch football. But when the first crisis comes, the hacks will get serious, so let's see if the boss can. Our Glorious Tony can switch between his "I'm... y'know, one of the lads" and his Dead Diana at a split-second. Which makes him open to accusations of populist expediency, but then again, since when was that a bad quality for pols?
posted by holgate at 7:21 PM on March 30, 2001

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the pristine environment, wonderful endangered animals, are a long way away and I'm sure I'll never see them. I'm also sure I'll never miss them even if the plan goes thru and results in the demise of all those things (which it likely won't as CRS pointed out). What I do miss on a daily basis in a very real way is the money spent on gas. Drill away.
posted by greyscale at 7:43 PM on March 30, 2001

What I do miss on a daily basis in a very real way is the money spent on gas. Drill away.

I'm not going to fault you on your opinion, but comments like this are a case in point of what separates progressives from conservatives. Is it any wonder why people get worked up when bombastic ignorance is passed as a virtue simply because one (wrongly) assumes what happens far away on the same planetary closed environment won't affect you? I guess I kinda did fault you.
posted by crasspastor at 8:24 PM on March 30, 2001

Note: this is ot a right wing post. I really am not right wing. But try this....
Maybe Dubya will be a good thing in the long run. Not right now but in four years. Because he is the face of corporate owned America. he is just a patsy for the corps and everyone knows it. So let him fuck up. All he'll do is make everyone hugely anti corporate.
posted by davidgentle at 9:27 PM on March 30, 2001

with bush in power, i'm quite thankful i'm not an american.

but that brings me to my question: does america own the arctic region? true, my geography is terrible, but i thought it would be a little out of range of america's possession.
posted by titboy at 10:10 PM on March 30, 2001

Part of Alaska, which is an American state, is in the Arctic circle.
posted by kindall at 10:12 PM on March 30, 2001

The land in question is firmly in Alaska; the USA, unless Russia changes its mind.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:19 PM on March 30, 2001

What I do miss on a daily basis in a very real way is the money spent on gas.

If it pains you so much to pay a buck fifty (higher than recent prices, but still a really low price, both compared to other countries and compared to the past) for a gallon of gas, either get a more fuel-efficient car, take the bus, walk, or ride a bike. Higher energy prices are annoying, but as much energy as we waste/overuse on a daily basis, I think it's relatively easy to find places to cut back.
posted by daveadams at 10:58 AM on March 31, 2001

interesting reaction to my comment. too bad your responses are all so subjective and presume there's pretty much no-such-thing as resource management. is preservation the only option in life? I don't presuppose that it is, but you guys have obviously bought into that idea. good luck with it. sorry you consider my ideas and I so worthless. I find that typical with your camp whenever you get an opposing view.
posted by greyscale at 12:11 PM on March 31, 2001

greyscale: okay then: how exactly are you effected by the extra money you spend on petrol? are you starving in the street? If you really are that poor then I'd find it hard to begrudge you the little extra cash, but otherwise how real an effect does it have to preserve things?
posted by davidgentle at 1:18 PM on March 31, 2001

it's worth mentioning that the arctic preserve will provide about one year's worth of energy. and that's after several years of drilling, etc.

IMHO too little, too late, and not worth the disruption to the environment.

posted by rebeccablood at 1:22 PM on March 31, 2001

kokogiak; It seems I recall that Clinton created ANWR by presidential fiat. What that says to me is that is one man's opinion as to how this place should be used.

But even if you are worried about the long-term impact on the place, consider that if even a cursory clean-up is done after the exploitation of the resources, you'll be hard pressed to find any signs of the drilling in 50 years.

Come on down here to Texas and I'll show you some old drilling sites that weren't cleaned up and make an informed decision. As it is, I'll bet that few if any of you guys have ever been to a drilling field. Let me know if I'm wrong.
posted by CRS at 1:54 PM on March 31, 2001

david et al: you've already presupposed that when humans interact with nature the outcome is destructive. so what's the point in talking about it? there is no common ground for us to consider. your position is: don't touch the refuge or you're a moron. That's all it is and you've clearly stated that in your previous comments. It wouldn't matter if you see what CRS or I are talking about because you already believe in preservation. You believe in it just like people believe in Jesus Christ, God, reincarnation, UFO's, whatever. It's your religion. I'm really not interested in proving that my idea is better than yours and would really work. What I'm interested in is exposing your real agenda which is to spread and force your presuppositions on all of us via the government or whatever means are available to you.
posted by greyscale at 3:10 PM on March 31, 2001

[greyscale] is preservation the only option in life?

On the other hand, is exploitation the only option? Of course not. There has to be a balance to everything. I think the point here is that drilling in the ANWR isn't going to really help us (as in all Americans or even all people of the world). The most "help" it will provide is to road-building companies and oil-drilling companies. Considering the vast size of the ANWR and the interesting and valuable wildlife that occupies that area, why shouldn't we just leave it alone?

[greyscale] I'm really not interested in proving that my idea is better than yours and would really work.

Why not?

[greyscale] What I'm interested in is exposing your real agenda which is to spread and force your presuppositions on all of us via the government

That's awfully presumptive of you.How in the world (I'd really like to know) do you know what the motivations are behind your opponents in this argument? It sure is an easy way out of having to justify your point of view to dismiss the opposing view as hard-line, no-compromise, and quasi-religious. I wish you would try harder.

I think the argument here is over opportunity cost. Are the costs of building roads and drilling in the ANWR and the resulting disruption to what is now a pristine natural environment worth the short-term, presumably cheaper energy prices? You obviously think so, based on your justification that since this land is far away and that you wouldn't personally miss it, you see no value in keeping it pristine.

So, davidgentle, rebeccablood, myself, et al. are arguing that maybe it isn't worth it. Maybe keeping this one nearly human-free spot in its natural condition is worth more than the small amount of energy we'd be able to extract from it. This isn't an argument about whether the government should control your life or not, it's an argument about whether allowing drilling in this specific area is worth the consequences.

By the way here's an anti-drilling reference site and here's a (much prettier) pro-development site. Also of interest is the official site.
posted by daveadams at 4:19 PM on March 31, 2001

It seems I recall that Clinton created ANWR by presidential fiat. What that says to me is that is one man's opinion as to how this place should be used.

Actually, it was Dwight Eisenhower in 1960, followed by congress 1980. Check out the history of ANWR sometime, if you want a picture of just how new the oil drilling controversy in Alaska isn't. (Also, FWIW, the scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Service are against drilling in ANWR. And the president did say in this press conference that the government was making decisions based on science. ;) )
posted by iceberg273 at 5:39 PM on April 1, 2001

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