George W is a global kind of guy – he’s a big promoter of corporate globalization, and, of course, he’s launched his unlimited global war on terrorism. But mention global warming to him, and he turns into a flat-earth parochialist, flailing his arms, getting all red-faced, and sputtering and spewing that global warming is a trick, not really happening, and if it is happening, it’s not the fault of big industry, and if it is their fault, there’s nothing we’re gonna do about it, so go fly a kite, you environmental weenies!
Never mind that the vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is all too real of a threat, and that 72 percent of Americans think we need to take immediate steps to deal with this threat. That’s a lot of weenies, George.
What counts for Bush, however, are not the millions of concerned Americans, but the millions of campaign dollars put in his pockets by the corporate polluters causing the warming – oil companies, electric utilities, automakers, and others. In the last election, he was the number one recipient of their campaign cash and, in turn, he has put dozens of energy executives, lobbyists, and consultants in key positions to oversee energy policy.
How embarrassing, then, that the scientists in George’s own Environmental Protection Agency issued a report concluding that (1) global warming is happening, (2) it’s mostly caused by fossil fuel pollution, and (3) it will have disastrous global consequences if we don’t act promptly to stop it. But rather than act – or even act embarrassed – Bush dismissed the scientific report with a wave of his hand, saying scornfully: “I read the report put out by the bureaucracy.”
But, guess what? He never actually read it. His media flack later admitted this, curtly informing the media that, “Whenever presidents say they read it, you can read that to be he was briefed.”
Oh, thank you. But in George’s case, we know that we can read that to be that he was bought – no briefing necessary.
Jim Hightower is a radio talk-show host and author and a former agricultural commissioner of Texas. For more information, go to www.jimhightower.com