George Bush Fiddles While The Ice Caps Melt

Polar bears' extinction threatened by global warming ?
photo credit: Associated Press / Johnathan Hayward

Apparently, protecting our planet takes a back seat to protecting Big Oil’s profits, as far as George Bush is concerned. No big surprise there, as Bush was an oil man long before he was running the country and it’s economy into the ground. Perhaps Mr. Bush is not concerned about global warming because the White House is air conditioned.

On Friday, President Bush rejected imposing government regulations that would aim to control the United States’ production of greenhouse gases, which are blamed by scientists for global warming. He claims that doing so would hurt the economy and cause too many job losses.

Well, it’s kinda nice that he is concerned about the economy and about American workers, but what do you think that shipping nearly all of America’s manufacturing jobs to China has done? Perhaps you haven’t noticed, Mr. Bush, but the U.S. economy is in shambles. Barack Obama is smart enough to acknowledge that.

As far as protecting jobs, it’s great that Mr. Bush has finally gotten religion about the plight of the American worker, but if you want to protect Americans, preventing a global environmental catastrophe might produce a better return on investment. It will also protect American’s lives as well as their jobs and the economy.

Just how much damage are we doing to the environment from the burning of fossil fuels?

As of 2006, the world was consuming 86 million barrels of oil every day. With 42 gallons of oil in each “barrel”, that equals a mind-boggling 3.6 BILLION GALLONS of oil per day ! That’s more than 2.5 million gallons of oil every minute. We find it incredible that the world’s oil wells can pull that much crude oil out of the Earth. It’s truly hard to believe.

How much money is at stake for the nations, corporations and individuals that profit from oil ? Well, (pun intended) at the current price for crude oil, it’s more than $12 billion a day. That kind of money gives a lot of people a very strong incentive to maintain the status quo, ice caps and planet be damned.

At that rate of consumption, it seems unlikely that anything we try to do to reduce the production of greenhouse gases can have a significant effect, but we must do something.

If global warming is indeed occuring because of our consumption of fossil fuels (which includes oil), then it really does seem to be an intractable problem unless we can drastically reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. To put it in medical terms, if you have a hemorrhaging patient, all the blood in the world won’t save them unless you can stem their bleeding.

The world’s industrialized nations are so dependent on oil that there is no simple answer. Technologies such as solar, wind, or wave power are not currently capable of lessening the world’s dependence on oil to any great extent. Even if every gasoline and diesel powered vehicle on the planet could be replaced by electric vehicles, it wouldn’t eliminate most of the greenhouse gasses being produced. That’s because most of the electricity generated in the world is produced by burning oil, coal and natural gas.

Yet with the enormity of the problem clear to almost everyone, and more evidence of global warming becoming available every day, President Bush has chosen to do nothing.

Foreign leaders who attended the just-concluded G-8 summit in Tokyo must think there are two George Bushes (actually, there are, but that’s another story). At the G-8 summit, the United States joined other nations in supporting policies that will effect a 50 percent reduction in global greenhouse gases by 2050. If Mr. Bush is serious about reducing greenhouse emissions, you’d be hard pressed to find any proof of that.

We propose a summit of a different kind. How about putting President Bush on a melting iceberg, along with a group of eight polar bears (the G-8), where they could engage in a constructive dialog about what global warming means to them. In that environment, free of political pressure from Big Oil and forced to confront the issue, Mr. Bush might decide to act in a more immediate way to limit greenhouse gasses. Come to think of it, you might want to have that iceberg summit take place in Prince William Sound, Alaska, where the local wildlife has some firsthand experience with Big Oil, courtesy of the Exxon Valdez.

– Routing By Rumor

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Filed under Business, Cars, China, Employment, Energy, Energy Conservation, Environment, Health, Jobs, Life, Money, News, Politics, Routing by Rumor, Technology, The Economy, The Planet

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