The latest science suggests that preventing runaway climate change means total decarbonisation.
His backers – among them the nastiest pollutocrats in America – are calling in their favours. But this last binge of vandalism is also the Bush presidency reduced to its essentials. Destruction is not an accidental product of its ideology. Destruction is the ideology. Neoconservatism is power expressed by showing that you can reduce any part of the world to rubble.
If it is now too late to prevent runaway climate change, the Bush team must carry much of the blame. His wilful trashing of the Middle Climate – the interlude of benign temperatures which allowed human civilisation to flourish – makes the mass murder he engineered in Iraq only the second of his crimes against humanity. Bush has waged his war on science with the same obtuse determination with which he has waged his war on terror.
Is it too late? To say so is to make it true. To suggest that there is nothing that can now be done is to ensure that nothing is done. But even a resolute optimist like me finds hope ever harder to summon. A new summary of the science published since last year’s Intergovernmental Panel report suggests that – almost a century ahead of schedule – the critical climate processes might have begun…
What George Bush is trying to do by changing environmental rules, on his way out the door, must be stopped.
Will last-gasp “refinements” to the Clean Air Act let power plants locate near national parks next year? Will a new federal rule allow coal-mining debris to be dumped closer to streams? Will factory farms soon get a pass on reporting hazardous chemical releases?
So goes the worry list of environmentalists awaiting what they suspect may be an avalanche of last-minute “midnight rules” by the Bush administration that favor industrial polluters by relaxing or undermining environmental standards.
It is like George W. Bush no longer gives a damn. Not that he ever did…