Posted tagged ‘Carbon Pollution’

Program Notes: Frontline catches … (wait for it) …

April 28, 2008

George W. Bush in a lie about climate change.

So — I am in the middle of an ever-growing post to respond to Steven Postrel’s comments on this post, and I just can’t get it done before red wine and rib steak have their way with me tonight. Tomorrow — I almsot promise.

But I can’t leave the blog to grow yet more lonely, so to keep the climate change thread going, let me draw your attention to this truly depressing report from PBS’s invaluable series, Frontline.

What struck me about the program when I caught it on broadcast was the reminder that in 2000, George Bush ran to the left of Al Gore on controlling carbon emissions, promising a hard cap on emissions to respond to the imminent danger of global warming.

It took just months, as Frontline documents with a devastating interview with the EPA commissioner of the time, former New Jersey Gov., Christine Todd Whitman, for Bush, ably prodded by Dick Cheney, to reverse course and abandon any pretense of caring about climate change for what has turned out to be two terms as the worst president in American history.

The significance of this report lies beyond its worth as a depressing exercise in recent/contemporary history. John McCain has garnered support, or at least praise, for his seeming commitment to the reality of climate change and the need for action to control the human-produced carbon pollution that is broadly understood as the prime engine of global warming.

But people inclined to buy the rather thin gruel that McCain has offered so far (at least on his website) should have heard a warning shot when McCain called for a gas tax holiday, as I blogged here. There is no way to reconcile a measure that provides incentives to drive with a genuine commitment to controlling carbon emissions.

And then I saw the Frontline report (titled “Hot Politics” by the way), and I realized that I had been baited and switched before, by the man who has designated McCain as his political heir. Trust this man on climate science at your own (and your children’s, and everyone else’s) risk.

Usually, I illustrate this blog with fine art. But there is really only one possible artistic commentary here.