2008 GOP Convention Begins, Bush Rejects Climate Agreement
Satire by David Albrecht
NC, 28 August 2008 - As his valedictory appearance
as president approached on this second night of the Republican
National Convention, George W. Bush again rejected an international
climate agreement, and spoke strongly in support of Republican
nominee, Sen. Tom DeLay (R-TX).
"I've said it before, and I'll said it again - any treaty
that will harm the economic of the United States is a treaty
I can't support," the president said. The president was responding
to an EU plan to lower CO2 emissions by 50% by 2020. Some
70 nations have stated they will sign by year-end. Prime Minister
Morgan, in the provisional capital of Edinburgh, said that
the "last-chance" emergency measure would reach Commons next
week. In Berlin, the Bundestag has announced a similar schedule.
Denies Warming Link
The president seemed irked by suggestions that chaos at
the convention, originally scheduled for Miami, was distracting
voters from the GOP's message. He also dismissed a scientific
report that Hurricane Isabella, which flattened the bulk of
metropolitan Miami on 8 October last year, was directly linked
to climate change. "I know what I believe, and this theory,
among the things I believe, isn't among the things I do believe,"
Mr. Bush stated.
His remarks came one day after NOAA released an exhaustive
scientific analysis of Isabella, the strongest hurricane ever
seen. The storm's barometric pressure of 809 millibars was
the lowest ever recorded, and was a phenomenon meteorologists
once considered impossible. But NOAA's work, supported by
the Royal Meteorological Society and the Japan Meteorological
Agency, argues that a rapidly warming Atlantic supercharged
Isabella to sustained winds of 190 mph, enabling it to claim
roughly 6,800 lives and caused some $200 billion in damage.
But Bush maintained his position that events like these do
not constitute definitive proof of climate change.
Many delegates endorsed the president's statement. He was
also enthusiastically endorsed by ABC news anchor Rush Limbaugh,
who stated that "the greatest country on earth is not going
to be dictated to by some self-styled scientific elite." The
comments also marked Limbaugh's return to the airwaves after
specialized experimental heart surgery at the world-renowned
President Bush was quick to point out his support for what
he termed "common-sense" environmental protection. "Got a
good example of that. We had a bill I signed last year, the
Petroleum Independence Act. Tom DeLay worked hard with me
on that good bill. He's a good man who knows the environment's
important." The bill the president referred to was the 2007
law raising CAFE standards from 20.7 to 22.3 mpg for SUVs
and light trucks. But this summer's collapse of the Alaska
pipeline because of permafrost melting produced high gas prices
and poor auto sales. In response, the president temporarily
Nothing Could Be Finer?
In another weather-related twist, the convention opened
less than a mile from the headquarters of Citigroup/Wachovia,
now on the edge of collapse. The company's extensive exposure
in Florida guaranteed a shattering hit from Isabella. Wall
Street jitters about the potential insolvency of an institution
considered "too big to fail" pushed the Dow down yesterday
by 432.89 points to 3913.98. The weakness comes in spite of
some $28 billion in government support over the last six months.
The RNC hurriedly changed venues to Charlotte at the urging
of former Citigroup CEO and major Republican donor Bud Baker,
hoping to bring some much needed business to the region. But
competing conventions of Southern Baptists and the NRA and
the resulting hotel squeeze have produced major headaches.
In addition, last week's flash flooding on the Sugar, Little
Sugar and Coffey Rivers took out bridges and closed some major
roads, throwing drivers for a loop. As a result, some delegates
have reported commutes of three hours from distant hotels,
and the Alabama delegation was so snarled in traffic that
they caught only the last four minutes of Vice President Cheney's
speech. Finally, massive forest fires in and around Great
Smoky National Park have not only crushed the North Carolina
tourist industry, but have shrouded the city in eye-stinging
haze during a heat wave with temperatures as high as 111F.
But the nominee remains confident. Senator DeLay will visit
Bob Jones University tonight on his way to the convention.
He is expected to make explicit his "no exceptions" anti-abortion
stance. He will also explain his plans for permanent repeal
of the corporate income tax, the capital gains tax, the "gas-guzzler"
tax and the estate tax. Speaking earlier today on environmental
issues, DeLay decried calls for limiting logging in the National
Parks, noting that "If we'd had a logging plan in place in
the Great Smokies, if we'd been able to harvest trees now
going to waste, we wouldn't be facing poor air quality. Air
quality that's particularly hard on low-income Americans who
can't afford respirators and inhalers." Although his crowds
appear to be thinning as the convention approaches, aides
attribute this to hot weather and high gasoline prices.
Meanwhile, President Bush prepares for the passing of the
Republican torch and for what is a bittersweet moment, even
for a two-term president. "Doing a job with integrity, with
vision - tough. It's been tough, but I think I've done a good
job. I've had good people to help bring freedom to more of
the world. Tom DeLay and I are going to keep it going."