Does the President Think Global Warming Will Be Good for the Economy?

Last week at the G8, President Bush restated his favorite global warming canard: that mandatory curbs on fossil fuel pollution will “cripple the U.S. economy.”

WELL, WHAT DOES HE THINK GLOBAL WARMING WILL DO TO THE ECONOMY!?!? I wish there was an even bolder bold on this computer to emphasize how insane this logic is. Non-stop flooding, killer heat waves, energy and food shortages: what will these do to the economy? Will it be good for Wall Street when millions of people are displaced from coastal cities? Come to think of it, isn’t Wall Street about 5 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean? How are all those brokers going to feel about relocating to Wichita?

Munich Re, the worlds largest reinsurer, recently said that the frequency of weather disasters has tripled since the 1960s and insured losses have risen ten-fold. We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars -- soon to be trillions of dollars -- and that’s a bill that gets handed right back to the American people in the form of higher premiums. In other words, we’re already paying the price for global warming.

Bush’s other favorite strategy for evading responsibility on global warming is the popular third-grade schoolyard chant, “I know you are but what am I?” According to Bush, we aren’t going to do anything about greenhouse emissions if China and India don’t do it too.

But we are responsible right now for more global warming pollution than either country. And, by the way, you can’t even sell many American cars in China because they don’t meet that country’s higher fuel standards. That’s right, China demands better mileage from its cars than we do! “I believe it’s our duty to lead the world,” Bush has said many times. As Andy Stern, who is part of the Virtual March To Stop Global Warming, said in a blog here not long ago: “leadership means going first.”

The president should say what he means and mean what he says.