Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on April 28, 2008
After seven years and four months, President George W. Bush has finally announced his climate change strategy: end the growth of U.S. greenhouse emissions by 2025. U.S. emissions are rising about 1% per year, and we continue to be the world’s largest polluter with 40% or our greenhouse emissions coming from burning coal.
Is it earth shattering that Bush is on board with climate change? Only in the fact that he’s finally admitting that greenhouse emissions might be a problem. He continued his bad-mouthing of Kyoto as an economy killer and wants to hold China and India responsible before the U.S. will agree to any curbing of CO2. True leadership would see Kyoto as an economy creator; the next generation of manufacturing will be making renewable energy products like solar panels.
Dubya’s strategy offers solutions that are neither new nor kind to the earth. Developing oxymoronic “clean coal,” monocropping corn and switchgrass for biofuels, new nukes, and increased fuel emission standards (remember, 30 mpg average by 2020) are among his brilliant ideas.
Bush then further compromised these not-so-innovative ideas with a statement that any new technology should not cost consumers and should not require lifestyle changes. Not even a little? Well, no one asked — but with his track record, he would have us all doing less while consuming more.
How about the simple suggestion of slowing down on the highways? Dropping from 70 mph to 60 mph will save about 3% in fuel consumption. Spread that across 100 million automobiles and you have a simple solution. Or how about ending subsidies to oil and coal and putting that money into renewable energy? Maybe reducing the work week to 35 hours with Fridays off? How much energy would that save?
Bush is merely paying lip service at the end of a long and lousy oil-focused regime, trying to sway moderate Republicans back to the party.