Friday, August 27, 2004

Let me check with Rover, and I'll get back to you...

Has Bush finally seen the light on global warming? We’re not sure.

The New York Times
and The Washington Post are both reporting that the Bush administration has shifted its position on global warming.

From the Times: “In a striking shift in the way the Bush administration has portrayed the science of climate change, a new report to Congress focuses on federal research indicating that emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are the only likely explanation for global warming over the last three decades.”

From the Post: “A Bush administration report suggests that evidence of global warming has begun to affect animal and plant populations in visible ways, and that rising temperatures in North America are due in part to human activity.”

President Bush, of course, was typically clueless when asked to explain the discrepancy between this latest report and his administration’s past positions. Here is an excerpt from a NYTimes interview with Bush the other day:

Ms. Bumiller: Mr. President, why did your administration change its position on what causes global warming?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't think we did.

Ms. Bumiller: According to —

THE PRESIDENT: I don't think so, Elisabeth.

Ms. Bumiller: You said that it's almost certainly carbon monoxide — which you hadn't said in the past, carbon dioxide.

THE PRESIDENT: I think that was my position during the campaign, if I'm not mistaken.

Ms. Bumiller: It changed —

MR. McCLELLAN: You're talking about the National Academy of Science report?

Ms. Bumiller: Yes, yes.

MR. McCLELLAN: We've always talked about how that would - we'd be guided by their science on the issue, and that's why the President has done a lot in terms of climate change, advancing the science of climate change, and also doing more research —

THE PRESIDENT: Let me get back with you on that, because I think you might — I don't know why you said what you just said.

Ms. Bumiller: Well, we had a story in the paper this morning saying that you issued a report saying —

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, okay, well, that's got to be true.

Press Flack Scott McClellan tried to jump in and bail Bush out with a bunch of mumbo gumbo, but it was too late.

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