BookBrowse Review BookBrowse To see that global warming is effecting our weather patterns, look no further than the insurance industry. This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today. And he has, in any case, performed a great service by writing an informative book on a difficult but crucial subject. Publishers Weekly Gelbspan writes clearly But at times, he adopts an apocalyptic tone--the first sentence of his first chapter contains the words, "global climate change is threatening to spiral out of control" - and that may limit this work to true believers.
|Published (Last):||18 January 2007|
|PDF File Size:||18.59 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||15.26 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
This excerpt traces what Gelbspan describes as a corrupt relationship between the Bush administration and the fossil-fuel industry. Under the administration of George W. Bush, the White House has become the East Coast branch office of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, and climate change has become the preeminent case study of the contamination of our political system by money.
With its heavy bankrolling of the Bush campaign in the presidential election, the fossil-fuel industry won a victory beyond its wildest dreams. In short order, President Bush reneged on his campaign promise to cap emissions from coal-burning power plants, unveiled the fossil fuel-friendly Cheney energy plan a fast track to climate chaos , and withdrew the U.
Then, in a truly Orwellian stroke, the White House altered a U. EPA report, removing all references to the dangerous impacts of climate change on the United States. Apologists for the administration have justified its climate policies by citing politically conservative principles — the withdrawal of onerous regulations, a belief in unencumbered free markets, and the appeal of corporate voluntarism.
In fact, the Bush climate policies have nothing to do with political conservatism. Rather, they represent corruption disguised as conservatism.
Cheney and Bush. Photo: White House. Philip Cooney, chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was formerly head of the climate unit of the American Petroleum Institute, the main lobbying arm of the oil industry, and a group that is among the most rabid critics of climate science.
His presidential win can in large measure be traced to his victory in West Virginia, a state no other Republican presidential candidate had ever won. Now you are already seeing in his actions the payback … for what we did. On May 17, , when the Cheney task force unveiled its new energy plan, it not only called for an expanded role for nuclear power and the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration, but for the construction of between 1, and 1, new power plants, most of them powered by coal.
Robert Watson. Photo: IISD. The memo cited a quote from Robert Watson, chair of the U. A country like China has done more, in my opinion, than a country like the United States to move forward in economic development while remaining environmentally sensitive.
But, apparently fearing a major backlash, it decided not to back such vocal contrarians as Christy and Lindzen. Harlan Watson. ExxonMobil achieved an even greater success in directing Bush administration climate change diplomacy. Urged on by the company, the White House hired Harlan Watson no relation to Robert as its chief climate negotiator. In May , Watson announced that the U. Two months later, in his State of the Union address, Bush revealed his own petroleum-based hydrogen initiative.
ExxonMobil and the Bush administration have also united in sowing climate change disinformation and deception among U. By , that share shrank to 22 percent — despite the advent of far more conclusive science, documenting human-caused global warming. The usefulness of bogus science was not lost on the Luntz Group, a private consulting firm advising Bush on climate policy presentation.
Both perceptions will work in your favor if properly cultivated. A study by lead authors Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and published in an obscure journal, Climate Research, concluded that the 20th century is neither the warmest century, nor the century with the most extreme weather, of the past 1, years.
Both researchers had previously contended that the recent warming was due, almost entirely, to solar variations — a finding long since disproved by peer-reviewed scientific studies. As it turns out, the report by Baliunas and Soon was funded in part by the American Petroleum Institute. James Inhofe. Photo: U. Predictably, the study was seized upon by Sen. James Inhofe R-Okla. Inhofe received double the campaign contributions from energy companies during the election than from any other business sector.
In short order, 13 leading climate scientists from the U. Most telling, perhaps, was another piece of fallout from the Soon-Baliunas controversy that received little news coverage. The National Assessment details a range of anticipated, mostly harmful, impacts across U.
When previous Bush administration efforts failed to discount and discard the document, the politically conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is partly funded by ExxonMobil, sued the White House Council on Environmental Quality to remove the National Assessment from circulation. Then, in August , the attorneys general of Maine and Connecticut made an extraordinary discovery.
Through a Freedom of Information Act request, they unearthed emails indicating that the White House had secretly urged the private, right-wing CEI to sue it — the White House — in order to have the National Assessment withdrawn.
Survival of the …? Stepping back, it becomes clear that the climate crisis represents a titanic clash of interests. It pits the survival, as we know it, of the biggest commercial enterprise in history — big coal and oil — against the survival of the planet and its people. It also pits the fossil fuel industry-dominated Bush administration against the rest of the world.
As of this month, countries have ratified or acceded to the Kyoto Protocol. Several industrial nations have also committed themselves to carbon cuts greater than those mandated by the protocol. Moreover, a substantial number of developing countries that are not required to cut their emissions in the first round of the protocol have begun to do so anyway.
Clearly these governments would not be undertaking such massive and wrenching changes if they had any doubt about the climate crisis. When Bush withdrew the U. In the early s, when the science was still uncertain, denial and resistance by the fossil-fuel lobby could be excused as a predictable, business-as-usual response.
But with the science now so robust, and negative impacts so visible, this behavior is inexcusable. If temperatures climb as projected, then the corrupt policies embraced by U. The industry-driven campaign goes far beyond traditional public relations spin.
It has led to the capture of the White House, to gross distortions of science and truth, and to the corporate dictation of public policy. Not that such corruption of the political process by powerful special interests is new to our republic.
But the magnitude of the potential consequences is unprecedented. Our fossil fuels have brought us to a level of abundance and prosperity that was unimaginable a century ago. Today they are propelling us forward into a century of disintegration.
Sign up for our newsletter! The way that humanity tackles this pandemic parallels how it might fight climate change.
This time is necessary for searching and sorting links. May need free signup required to download or reading online book. He covered the U. As special projects editor of The Boston Globe, he conceived, directed and edited a series of articles that won a Pulitzer Prize in The climate continues to change with increasing acceleration: hurricanes devastated Florida; rainfall patterns left two million people starving in Kenya; was the fourth hottest year on record. At the same time, the coal industry was planning to sabotage an effort in the Senate to begin to regulate carbon dioxide. Officials of Switzerland, France, and Canada said last year that, when the Kyoto Protocol takes effect, they intend to take the United States to court under the World Trade Organization, reasoning that the U.