Monday, January 29, 2007

Bush, global warming, and energy

In an interview on public radio today, Juan Williams asked President Bush:
Now, also in the State of the Union, you talked about the – quote here – "the serious challenge of global climate change." Were you talking about global warming there?

Bush responded that
...we're meeting certain standards that I set for the country.
without specifying what those standards might be. He's got some big ideas, however, about how to promote interest in global warming and climate change--the government will promote new technologies:
And what kind of technologies? Well, if you're really interested in global warming and climate change, then it seems like to me that we ought to promote technologies to advance the development of safe nuclear power. It's a renewable source of energy, and at the same time has no emissions to it. But also, we're advancing clean-coal technologies. The goal is to have a zero-emission coal-fired plant.
Hmmm...I doubt he really means breeder reactors, but what other kind of nuclear power is renewable? And does he really think a coal-fired plant can be zero-emission? Perhaps he has in mind some re-defining of terms. Or maybe he thinks he can build these plants next to a brass mine. It's clear he hasn't really thought much about these matters, and can't say any more about them than could a typical high school student. His record of denying the results of scientific research over the years, his statement about favoring teaching intelligent design creationism in schools, and his inability to discuss in depth realistic responses to the challenges of energy and the environment suggest he isn't serious about initiatives to address these problems.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A few questions ... any answers?

This speech by former senator and presidential candidate George McGovern has been reported by a number of blogs, but I thought it deserves another mention. McGovern asks a lot of questions of President Bush about the fiasco in Iraq. He is against this war but, as he points out, he, unlike Bush and Cheney, did serve in combat (in WW II, as a bomber pilot) and so cannot be considered as someone simply anti-war in all circumstances. Of all the questions put forth, the most important, I think, is:
Finally, Mr. President, I ask have you kept your oath of office to uphold the Constitution when you use what you call the war on terrorism to undermine the Bill of Rights? On what constitutional theory do you seize and imprison suspects without charge, sometimes torturing them in foreign jails? On what constitutional or legal basis have you tapped the phones of Americans without approval of the courts as required by law? Are you above the Constitution, above the law, and above the Geneva accords? If we are fighting for freedom in Iraq as you say, why are you so indifferent to protecting liberty here in America?