Environment

The Times Gets Crichton

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyFeb 19, 2006 12:56 PM

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Finally, the major media pick up the story I've been flogging all week. The Times piece is relatively bare-bones, but it does contain something revealing. You see, the paper asked the White House to comment on the Bush-meets-Crichton story. And not only was the Crichton meeting confirmed; Bush was dug into a deeper hole by one of his spokespeople:

Not so, according to the White House, which said Mr. Barnes's book left a false impression of Mr. Bush's views on global warming.

Michele St. Martin, a spokeswoman for the Council on Environmental Quality, a White House advisory agency, pointed to several speeches in which Mr. Bush had acknowledged the impact of global warming and the need to confront it, even if he questioned the degree to which humans contribute to it. How does the Barnes book give a "false impression"? Barnes called Bush a "dissenter" on global warming, and here we find the White House confirming precisely that. If Bush questions "the degree to which humans contribute" to global warming, he is definitely a dissenter/contrarian. And not just that: If he questions the degree to which GW is human caused, that almost certainly means he thinks what we're seeing is natural variability--which, in turn, means that he thinks what we're seeing is no big deal.

Most importantly: In the past, including surrounding the G8, Bush sang a very different tune on this topic. Now it would appear that in pretending to take global warming seriously, he was just putting on an act. That's the biggest outrage.

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