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A Typical Bush Policy March 4, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Uncategorized.
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According to an internal Administration report the Bush policies on greenhouse gases are apparently going to be as effective as their Iraq strategy. According to BusinessWeek (as well as many other outlets) this report estimates that following current policies will result in a 19% increase in the emission of greenhouse gases.

The report claims that the decision to do anything more to slow emissions will be decided on “as the science justifies”. This is more than a bit disingenuous, as anyone who’s paid attention to the policies of this Administration realizes. They ignore science completely whenever it conflicts with their ideology. Expect that to continue to be their real policy.

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1. double-soup tuesday - March 5, 2007

I don’t think that they are truly anti-science. Their outlook is such that they want the marketplace to set science research priorities.

For example, I believe that they attribute cheapness of computers, plasma/lcd TVs, automobiles, plastic stuff that fills our houses (paint, varnishes, corian counter tops, lighting, etc to science.

They just don’t want to set policy based on science theory that does not have a clear market component. When, and if, the marketplace develops a mature model for backyard windfarms, and solar comes down in price, they’ll say, see — I told you so. And I think this has to do with the relationship between scientists, public policy advocates, and the marketplace. Very seldom, has public policy been decided based on science and academics by themselves.

Realistically, do you not think that in 13 years (by 2020), we’ll have made significant progress to offset some of the greenhouse effects? I fully expect that solar, wind and hybrid technology will get more efficient in the next decade, particularly with the impetus of climate change driving it.

It is competing market interests that we should fear. Established power utilities will not want to lose customers, or allow for credits, allowances or grants so that individual citizens can become their own utility providers. And they influence both the Republican and the Democrat parties.

2. Jim Satterfield - March 5, 2007

Actually they are anti-science whenever science does not fit within their ideology. This is not the same thing as allowing the market to set priorities. The market will never succeed in fulfilling a societal need so long as people in positions of responsibility consider it their duty to muddy the waters by presenting an incredibly tiny minority of scientists as being just as credible as the IPCC, the American Geophysical Union and the overwhelming majority of climatologists.

The problem with letting markets set the timing of an issue like this one is that markets are a feedback mechanism. If a product already exists at a reasonable cost they can function. But in fact more research needs to be done in multiple areas like safer nuclear fission plants, safe nuclear waste disposal, nuclear fusion and more efficient solar and wind systems. These kinds of research take enough time so that the feedback delay of the markets would cause a delay of decades. Why decades? For the same reason I know that we will not have made any significant progress offsetting greenhouse gases, the delay in rolling out any given technology. Given that one of the greatest sources of greenhouse gases is our huge numbers of automobiles. It takes 10 years to turn over the cars in this country. That would be 10 years after nothing but cleaner cars would be the ones sold here before their production would even be slowed up. Everything has a roll out time. Power plants that were produced before there were any pollution controls still run. The power companies fight hard to keep it that way and to expand them. While the politicians of both parties help we must be honest and admit that the Republicans are the ones with the ideology that makes them more sympathetic to doing nothing if that is the will of the businessmen they want to listen to as opposed to those others who recognize the importance to our world and therefore to them that this problem be tackled head on with massive resources.

3. double-soup tuesday - March 7, 2007

I see your point, but I’m wondering if you can give me a list of examples where the government took science recommendations from the academic levels and implemented them with minimal market or political/moral acceptance.

I don’t mean to give you an assignment, just wondering if I missed any obvious examples.

4. Ya Sure - March 20, 2007

Bit Hypocritical to be against personal Conservation yet expect others to do so isn’t it

5. Jim Satterfield - March 20, 2007

Who’s against personal conservation?

6. Useful information about best pheromones - November 17, 2007

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