Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bush's Final SOTU: One Last Blast of Hot Air on Global Warming

Today I'm going to try for the rare pre-work, pre-coffee blog post. Short and likely not sweet. Buckle up.

So this guy gave this big speech down the street last night:
Together we should take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. (Applause.) Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. (Applause.) Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. (Applause.) Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. (Applause.)
After that last line, a couple of friends at the Arlington Young Democrats State of the Union watching party turned around and gave me the Fonzie. Bush said he supported an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions, right? Awesome!

Unfortunately with Bush you have to pay attention not just to what he says, but the loopholes he leaves himself. An agreement that has the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions (no mandatory caps). And then it got worse:
This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride. (Applause.) The United States is committed to strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change. And the best way to meet these goals is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of cleaner and more energy-efficient technology. (Applause.)
Every economy. So if Turkey won't act, neither will we. And isn't the White House helpful to point out when people applauded? It's like the State of the Union with a laugh track.

How far have we come on regulating our greenhouse gas emissions since Bush's last State of the Union address? Since then, as ThinkProgress via Gristmill points out, Bush has blocked progress on many of the very topics he mentioned last night.

OK. Coffee's ready. And this thing isn't worth any more of our time.
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