Monday, July 03, 2006

Normal Service Will Be Resumed as Soon As Possible, and The Non-Story of A

I stopped posting for a while because I really couldn't think of anything satisfactory to say and I couldn't focus--I have a dozen half-arsed posts that I just couldn't complete and publish.

Now I have some technical problems on my PC and my best bet is to "rebuild" it. With all the software and gizmos I have it will likely take a few days to do a thorough job.

I've also been away from home these last few days, and had an interesting encounter: I happened to meet and chat with a government analyst who had just returned from Iraq.

I'm being obscure in this telling out of courtesy to the individual in question--protecting the source. I'll call this person "A".

"A" was both circumspect and open in answering my questions and responding to my comments regarding "A"s visit and findings. "A" apparently has been doing this sort of thing for quite a while and is very bright and dedicated and experienced and above all professional in the best sense of the word.

"A" had one "small" aspect of the Iraq situation. What "A" told me was not really surprising, but it was still surprising. " A" , actually being there and apprised of the situation had a hard time believing how bad things STILL were and how horribly mismanaged everything was.

I asked about "A"s professional position.
A had been "tempted several times" to disclose what's going on, the ramifications and so forth but hasn't yet. A's job is to report,

I asked for some good news.

"A" responded with a wry laugh. There was some "good news" but precious little and of unfortunately no significance.

"A" has had enough. I didn't press "A" on policy or politics, but "A" was pretty clear: The Iraq adventure was and continues to be horribly mismanaged. There is no progress and "A" cannot be involved with it any more. "A" will not quit government service, but is certainly prtepared to quite this government's policies.

Yeah, I know this sounds and reads badly--it's not real reporting. But it's interesting to hear from such a source, and very sad too.

More Than Inconvenient

In April 2001 shiny new President Bush, still settling into his comfy executive chair, re-iterated one of his election promises by stating “…my administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change. Our approach must be consistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”

In June 2001 Bush then demonstrated his “commitment to leadership” and to his promise by pointing out that “Our country, the United States, (yes, that’s exactly what he said) is the world's largest emitter of man-made greenhouse gases. We account for almost 20 percent of the world's man-made greenhouse emissions. We also account for about one-quarter of the world's economic output. We recognize the responsibility to reduce our emissions…”, but then he went on to say “We also recognize the other part of the story -- that the rest of the world emits 80 percent of all greenhouse gases. And many of those emissions come from developing countries.”

In other words, until nations like Mali, Krygyzstan and Haiti don’t do something about greenhouse gas emissions, well then the US sure as hell won’t either!

It so happens that around 90 countries have since ratified the Kyoto Accord making it a binding agreement requiring their respective governments to mitigate CO2 emissions. And how has the Bush administration responded?

By spending the last five years actively challenging the data and science at every turn not with any equivalent research but by quoting verbatim the economic theories and opinions of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Indeed just the other week Bush said “There's a debate over whether it's manmade or naturally caused” when in fact there is no debate, at least amongst those who actually know what they are talking about.
Bush’s very next sentence was “We ought to get beyond that debate and start implementing the technologies necessary”.

his is utter drivel; if there really were still a debate about the cause of global warming then, given the supposed debate, exactly what technologies would be implemented?
The fact is that Bush has no opinion on this matter, he can’t be bothered or doesn’t have the wit to deal with the actual problem except to consider it only in political terms—his financiers, through the CEI, give him a script to which he adds that something should be done, without actually doing anything, thus maintaining his financial foundation whilst decorating the presidential edifice with a fa├žade of “leadership”.

Asked if he’d go and see “An Inconvenient Truth” he responded “probably not”. Why, given his initial 'concern'?

Because it would be inconvenient for his political and financial survival to do so. For the rest of the planet however his willful and self-serving disinterest is far more than inconvenient, it's a matter of nothing less than life and death in the present and for the foreseeable future.