Finally, the Bush administration discovers global warming

Nick Harvey and Nick Harvey

The city of Bowling Green does its part to fight global warming. The four utility-sized wind turbines and plans to install up to 33 more can attest to the city’s commitment of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, when it comes to global warming, the U.S. government seems to be having more commitment issues than the cumulative cast of “Sex and the City.” (Yeah, my girlfriend watches it, so what?) Despite calls from countries around the world, the Bush administration has refused to pass much-needed emissions regulations.

Lately, this has brought the Bush administration into the spotlight.

In response, Bush has invited all the top greenhouse gas producing countries in the world to meetings hosted by the Bush administration in Washington on Sept. 27 and 28. The objective is to talk about making long-term emissions cuts.

Despite the Boy Scout appearance of these meetings, reports that the Bush administration plans to stand by their “opposition to mandatory economy-wide caps.”

That means voluntary emission limits? We should make going the speed limit, jury duty and filing taxes voluntary and see how many people volunteer.

I guess it’s no surprise that Bush is allergic to the thought of mandatory emission reductions. He has been doing his dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge routine around emission limits since the beginning of his presidency.

The U.S. is the best in the world at pumping out metric tons of greenhouse gases and apparently the Bush administration wants to keep it that way.

However, in order to uphold his promise of pursuing a solution to global warming, Bush has been funding global warming research since 2001. Despite the inherent urgency behind a potentially globe-boiling problem, funding seems low. The President’s 2007 budget only forks over $200 million for global warming research. The same amount spent everyday on the Iraq war, according to

Even with weak funding, the institutions that were assigned the task of doing global warming research came through with conclusive results.

In 2001, Tom Karl, director of the NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, reported his findings to the Senate. Karl said, “Some greenhouse gases are increasing in the atmosphere because of human activities and increasingly trapping more heat.”

The Bush administration sat on their hands.

The National Science Foundation said in 2006, “People are taking actions that can change Earth and its climate in significant ways. Carbon dioxide is the main culprit.”

Again, nothing.

Last August, NASA examined weather changes resulting from global warming. Their findings for the central to eastern parts of the U.S. are grim. The report says, “The model suggests that the most violent severe storms and tornadoes may become more common with warming.”

After FEMA’s response to Katrina, it is hard to imagine their response to a swarm of F5 tornadoes.

Still, not enough to make Bush shake in his boots.

These are just a few reports from over the last six years that have been paid for and ignored by the Bush administration. However, lately it has been harder to shove the looming global catastrophe under the rug.

At the G-8 summit this past June, Bush got some heat from other countries to make the dreaded commitment to stop global warming. Despite the peer pressure, Bush was the only one to reject the proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.

The summit also proposed to expand the Kyoto Protocol that all the G-8 countries have signed. Oh yeah, except for the U.S.

But for the Bush administration, global warming is like a bad case of herpes, it keeps coming back. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) plans to release their comprehensive report on global warming in November. Over 2,500 scientific experts from more than 130 countries have compiled six years of work into one report. The IPCC says it will be “the most policy-relevant scientific document on climate change for years to come.”

After years of reliable studies from credible institutions, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could deny global warming is happening. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could think global warming is not propelled by humans.

Then, on Sept. 14 a miracle happens. The BBC reports that John Marburger, scientific adviser to the President, said it is more than 90 percent certain that greenhouse gas emissions from humans are to blame for global warming.

What an epiphany.

Despite this ray of hope for emission restrictions in the Bush administration, it is doubtful there will be any major changes until Bush leaves office, exactly 480 days from today. Until then, passing emissions regulations will continue to be as easy as passing a kidney stone.