In the State of the Union, Bush promised to cut gas consumption, and acknowledged climate change for the first time. So far, so good. If he were serious about it, I’d even partly cut him some slack for promoting new federal subsidies of ethanol.
However, he’s against stricter emissions regulations, will only raise gas taxes if someone kidnaps one of his daughters, and is still against the Kyoto Protocol. Thus Bush-style conservatism went from “The world isn’t warming” to “the world is warming but it’s because of sunspots” to “the world is warming and it may or may not be anthropogenic” to “the world is warming but it will be good” to “the world is warming but market-based solutions are the best” to “the world is warming and government regulations are needed but Kyoto is bad.”
The President, who has been facing ever-increasing domestic and international pressure on the environmental issues, also clarified that he had no plans to move back from his decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto agreement was designed to cut greenhouse gases that lead to an overall increase in temperatures around the world. But President Bush pulled out of Kyoto in 2001, contending it would damage the U.S. economy and that would give poorer countries obligations as well.
On climate change as well as on health care, Bush realized that there was a serious problem, so he promptly declared an ill-considered solution that conflicts with reality-based politics.