Center for American Progress

President Bush: Last Fireman to the Global Warming Blaze
Press Statement

President Bush: Last Fireman to the Global Warming Blaze

Statement of Daniel J. Weiss

After squandering seven years, President Bush still refuses to respond to alarm bells. His strategy announced today is like trying to douse a 10-alarm fire with a garden hose —it is completely inadequate. 

President Bush’s speech ignores Pope Benedict XVI’s recent warnings about the moral responsibility to act now to slow global warming. The Pope said “Before it’s too late we need to make courageous choices that will re-create a strong alliance between man and Earth. We need a…strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible.”
In September 2000, the President pledged to cap carbon dioxide emissions from power plants—a promise he broke in March 2001. Today’s proposal would lead to far less greenhouse gas reduction than his broken pledge. This feeble approach ignores the mountains of scientific evidence that global warming is already underway, and that deep emissions cuts are essential.
Over the past seven years of federal inaction on global warming, annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased by 210 million metric tons, the equivalent of putting 30 million new cars on the road. Yet President Bush continues to oppose viable solutions to global warming. He opposes the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act now before Congress, as well as and the elimination of some oil tax breaks to pay for incentives to spur investment in wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy. And he wants to ignore the Supreme Court and the Clean Air Act signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
Today’s meager approach is far too little and far too late to extinguish the global warming threat. This makes it all the more critical for the next president to rescue the planet by taking vigorous action to reverse course after eight wasted years.