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July 25, 2005

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Sorry, Page, the pictures were too pretty for me to read the whole thing. I'd pay to see GWB say "Kangerdlugssuaq," however!

Steve, I'd pay to see that too.

I just recently finished reading Rise of the Vulcans: A History of Bush's War Cabinet, which covers the careers, ideas of and policies espoused by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Armitage and Rice. It's a great book, a wonderful read, full of plenty of information and insights...and almost completely devoid of any discussion of serious engagement by the foreign and defense policy braintrust on issues such as climate change, risks from disease and pandemic, global migration, non-state actors (prior to 9-11), terrorism (again, until 9-11), or any of the other emerging challenges to American strength and national security. The problem isn't that the author, James Mann, ignores these issues; it's that his subjects ignore those issues. And it's certainly a national security issue to think that the world system could be thrown for such a loop that low-lying areas all around the world could be under water in 30 or 40 years.

The Bush administration and the entire Republican policy establishment is just completely inept at dealing with stuff like this. If it's not something Boeing or Locheed-Martin can build to blow the crap out of things, or if it doesn't involve military swagger, they don't care. And at some point, all of us (or our children) will have to deal with the fruits of their ignorance, greed and incompetence.

DH,

I keep saying. The frame for progressive "foreign relations"--sustainability. Encompasses global warming, economics, stupid wars, and if DemFrom helps me, I'll even work pandemics in there.

Kerry should have been the guy to sell this. Damn, Gore should have been the guy to sell this. We'll end up with Hillary next time who has none of the treehugging credentials the other two had.

Sustainability would certainly sell here in California. I posted some results from a poll in CA on global warming on the stem cell thread over the weekend, but some of it bears repeating:

link


"A strong majority of Californians, rejecting Bush administration assertions that global warming is not yet a proven phenomenon, believe the effects of climate change have already begun and want state legislators to take action to lessen human activities that scientists say are warming the planet, a new poll shows.

"The survey conducted by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California indicates that 86 percent of state residents believe that global warming will affect current or future generations. Of those respondents, 57 percent say the changes are already under way.

Only 9 percent of Californians overall, and 20 percent of California Republicans, say that global warming 'will never happen,' according to the survey."

The fact that 20% of Republicans think global warming will never happen points to Bush's religious core of support here. But 87% of Californians believe it will happen, and over 49% think it is already happening.

Of course we have a strong track record of supporting emission controls, but the fact that

"77 percent of respondents favor a state law requiring automakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new cars beginning in 2009, and 69 percent support a plan to reduce those emissions from cars and industry by more than 80 percent over the next 50 years" is pretty dramatic.

I have always believed that certain industries that stand to lose a lot, such as the insurance industry, will move the GOP ultimately. It is like so many other things--those companies that are willing to do at least some good don't want to be penalized for it, so they will support mandatory regulations in the end. Maybe the food industry will get on board.

There was an interesting article in the Business section of the NYTimes Sunday making the case that Ford (or GM) could become "the green car company" and take market share in the future. If they don't, Toyota will continue to eat their lunch. Here in Beserkely it seems that ewvery other new car is a Prius.

With the midwestern heat wave and the early hurricane season, maybe the time is ripe for some Dem to come forth on the issue. I don't think they'd be seen as a kook this summer.



Regarding climate change, awareness, and action, you may be interested in this project:

www.rideforclimate.com

A former staff member at the Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology, David Kroodsma is riding his bicycle from Palo Alto, California, to the southern tip of South America. He is riding to raise awareness of climate change and how it will affect the Americas. His web site -- updated regularly -- includes considerable information about climate change as well as his conversations about climate with people along the way.

Definitely worth a look.

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Project leader: Mavis Tsai, Ph. D. Shih Hsin University

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Sponsorship:
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