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As 2008 GOP Convention Begins, Bush Rejects Climate Agreement
August 14, 2003
Satire by David Albrecht

Charlotte, 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.

Limbaugh Supportive

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 Cleveland Clinic.

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 halted implementation.

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."

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