Thursday, February 05, 2004
Bush and the environment: The axiom is: Every Republican since Teddy Roosevelt has done everything in their power to turn the environment into some post-apocalyptic wasteland. Everything every Democrat does is sure to improve the enviornment, making it more like a modern-day Eden every day.
That being said, The New Republic's Gregg Easterbrook points out that scientists have actually determined that President Bush isn't actually the Toxic Polluting Demon from Hell.
This new study from the National Research Council, a division of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that while air pollution is declining, the reduction could be accelerated by a "multi-state, multi-pollutant" approach that sets broad overall reduction targets, then allows industrial facilities to trade reduction permits with each other. (Current Clean Air Act rules generally require cumbersome site-by-site, pollutant-by-pollutant litigation.) It's, um, a scientific study, and so perhaps The New York Times might have been forgiven for reporting it in a short article on page A11, while The Washington Post might have been forgiven for according the study but three grafs under "Washington in Brief." Here's what was missing from the coverage. The "multi-state, multi-pollutant" approach just endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences is exactly what the Bush administration has proposed to adopt under its Clear Skies initiative.
What? How is this possible? What's next? Dogs and cats living together?
Perhaps the most amazing thing is that the New York Times actually lauds the report. Now, the Times editorial doesn't mention "Clear Skies" at all -- is it possible that the Times doesn't realize that it's endorsing a Bush environmental plan derided by environmental groups?