Environment

Will Bush Flip-Flop on GHG Emissions?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJan 19, 2007 12:26 PM

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Matt Nisbet has the most intriguing speculation I've yet seen as to why the rumors about a global warming policy shift, which I have heretofore discounted, might actually be true. At least one thing seems clear: There will be global warming content in the January 23rd State of the Union address. Question for some enterprising blog reader: Has Bush ever voluntarily discussed global warming, or even mentioned that phrase (or "climate change"), in a previous SOTU address? I am skeptical that it has happened before. If I'm right about that then anything that Bush says will, in some sense, be a landmark. If Bush is truly planning an actual flip-flop, meanwhile, that would certainly represent a wise strategy in a political sense. Within a few weeks, the next report of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be coming out, and it will spark tons of media attention, virtually all of which will reflect negatively on Bush--unless he can figure out some way to get out ahead of the issue. Something dramatic. Like, say, announcing support for mandatory caps on emissions....I'm not saying Bush is actually this clever, but you can see the logic. In any event, until the SOTU I guess we'll all just have to keep reading tea leaves. Meanwhile, I wouldn't concoct any SOTU drinking games based upon how many times the president says "global warming." You might wind up painfully sober at the end of the speech.

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