Washington -- Well, President George W. Bush has once again shown his contempt for the future. Finally coming forward with a global warming policy, he managed to simultaneously ignore the science and the politics. He defended America's failure to act, calling for a new "intermedate" goal: "to stop the growth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025." This goal bears no relationship to what science says is needed, which is a 20-25% reduction, measured against 1990 emissions levels, by 2025. The President's plan bears no relationship to what the U.S. committed itself to by treaty in Rio -- stabilizing our emissions at the 1990 levels. It bears no relationship to what Council on Environmental Quality Chair Jim Connaughton told the world was necessary in Bali.
The primary purpose of his statement seemed to be to provide additional support for the Administration's continued evasion of its legal responsibilities and its moral duties. The Administration has failed to follow the Supreme Court order to regulate CO2, and failed to grant California and other states the right to pursue their own clean air standards for motor vehicles. The Administration continues to utterly ignore America's obligation as a signatory of the Rio Treaty.
We won't get nearly as angry about this as we should, because President Bush has successfully created a tolerance of zero expectations. The Administration doesn't expect anyone to take its statement seriously -- it just intends to continue its elaborate game of make-believe.