Poor George W. Bush, he is so busy with Iraq and Social Security that he just doesn’t have time to worry about the planet we all live on. Global Warming, the loss of biodiversity, and pollution are probably somewhere on his to-do list, just way down at the bottom. But let’s excuse Bush for the moment and take a look at his critics, from the Democrats to the Europeans to Michael Moore.
These Bushwhackers constantly attack the president for playing politics in the political arena, for being a rich guy who looks out for rich guys, for bringing violence to a violent region, and for inflaming hatred among people who already hated everyone who isn’t like them. I suspect that history will not judge him as harshly on these issues as his detractors imagine. I sometimes wonder what planet these Bush haters are living on, because here on Earth there are serious problems that dwarf those issues that dominate the public’s attention. In the 2004 US election, for example, the envi-ronment wasn’t even a key issue. Kerry mostly ignored it because polls indicated that voters didn’t care. Do these peo-ple who were polled eat food that grows out of soil? Do they drink water? Do they breathe air? It is puzzling how nature can be viewed as a non-factor to people who rely on it to live.
It is important to understand that the global warming issue is not about saving some bird species to keep the ornitholo-gists happy, nor is it about preserving scenic views for the rich. This is about more poor people in Africa starving because of climate change. It’s about more children in Asia dying from malaria because global warming means more mosquitoes. This is about human suffering.
Who cares if Bush makes a mess of Iraq or gives too many concessions to America’s millionaires? Iraqis, millionaires and everyone else live on the same small planet. All of our grandchildren will share in the consequences of Bush’s choices.
President Bush’s greatest blunder, the one that will be prominent in the history books one day, is his strong anti-environment stance and his lack of action in the face of global warming’s threat. If America’s leading scientists are to be believed, Bush has a downright medieval approach to science. He just doesn’t seem to believe in considering scientific input when deciding on policy. This week, members of the American Association of the Advancement of Science publicly announced that scientists in important US government agencies are being ignored and even pressured to lie by the White House in order to avoid conflict with Bush’s policies. This is not the best way to run a world.
Only a few years ago Bush was one of those pathetic global warming deniers. He quietly reversed his position in 2004 and now admits it is real. But he still doesn’t want to do anything about it. History will not be kind to him for this inac-tion. In fairness, Clinton was no better. He too could have done something significant about global warming when he was in office. Smart people back then knew what was happening and what needed to be done. Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, had even written a book on the subject. In it, Gore compared inaction on global warming to passively watching the Holocaust unfold in front of you. But, still, the Clinton administration betrayed the world, just like Bush is doing now.
It is amazing that so many people get worked up over every little thing Bush does but do not show similar passion about his lack of concern for the planet’s slide into disaster. This makes no sense, because Bush’s greatest policy failure-the environment-easily overshadows all others, now and well into the future.