Even some conservatives believe that the US President-elect should put the environmental crisis at the top of his presidential to-do list, because addressing that crisis has bipartisan approval. Yet despite an apparent citizen yearning for leadership on green issues, President Bush has neglected the topic during his eight years in the White House.
Salon put together a list of Bush's seven environmental deadly sins. The authors argue that Bush made a mockery of the US's environmental laws and values. Here are the seven pieces of supporting evidence for their indictment:
- Blew hot air on global warming: Bush refused to agree to mandatory greenhouse gas emission reductions, thus erasing any credibility the US had to persuade China and India to cut their emissions and also leading to a rise in CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.
- Failed to regulate greenhouse gases at home: Bush vowed to veto any bill that would limit greenhouse gases. He also refused to regulate CO2 as a pollutant, even though the Supreme Court ruled it was a pollutant and said he could regulate it.
- Failed to develop clean energy sources: While doing nothing to further renewable energy, Bush gave regulatory support to polluting industries like coal, oil, and gas.
- Abandoned endangered species: The only additions to the endangered species list, such as the polar bear, came from private parties who sued the government. The administration also tried to build roads without considering harm to these species.
- Carved up the American West for oil and gas excavation: Bush leased combined public lands bigger than the state of Kentucky for oil and gas onshore drilling, even though already leased lands have not been developed.
- Not seeing the forest or the trees: The Bush administration tried to subject forests to "thinning" aka cutting down tress for logging or in order to build roads.
- Choked clean-air standards: The Bush administration weakened clean-air standards and is currently working to permit more pollution near national parks and allow power plants to increase emissions without adding pollution controls.
To see the rest, read more.
If you check out the entire piece, it offers a mission for Obama for each specific sin. Which problem would you like to see the new president atone first?