If rumors are true, we could see something dramatic on the issue of global warming coming from the president nicknamed, “The Toxic Texan.”
The Independant is reporting that an “astonishing U-turn” could come as early as January’s State of the Union address. Its “senior Washington sources” suggest that Bush is preparing to propose controls on carbon dioxide emissions and plans to rapidly boost renewable energy sources.
Of course, environmentalists aren’t willing to show much excitement, although I have to agree with the notion that any change in favor of easing global warming by the administration might tend to “liberate” more Republicans to vote yes on similar measures in the future: they’ll no longer be going against “their man” in the White House.
While we’re on the subject of global warming, there was that Patrick’s Place Poll I ran a short time ago. I asked readers to select the statements that best describe their own views on global warming.
I tried to create several different takes on several different positions.
The first one was the “dire hopeless” scenario. One such statement read, “It’s a dire situation and we’ve done so much damage already that we’re powerless to stop it.” Another read, “O’m not going to change anything I do because I know no one else is willing.” And another read, “We shouldn’t worry about global warming, because the planet will wipe us out when we’ve done enough damage and a better species will emerge.” (Happy thought, isn’t it?) A total of 20% of voters took this position through the various statements they chose.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who believe it’s a real crisis requiring immediate action. For them, there were statements like, “I’m already changing my habits because I think that one person can make a difference.” I also include in this side the questions about legislation needed to reduce global warming: one statement called for strict legislation for businesses and consumers, and the other called for business-only restrictions. A total of 42% of voters selected one or more of these statements.
Then there were the fringe statements that were somewhere in between the “global warming crisis” and “global warming problem” mentalities, with statements like, “Global warming is real, but not the only reason that we’ve been having weather extremes the past few years: some of it is normal climate change.” This statement got the highest number of votes, coming in at 28% by itself. (Because voters could choose more than one statement, this concept could have been shared by those on either side.)
The naysayers — those who either refuse to admit the possibility that global warming exists, or those who refuse to take any action because they’re convinced no one else is, total only 12%.
So more people than I might have expected feel that global warming is real, and more people than I expected are willing to change or already have done so. That can’t be bad news for the environment.
The new poll on the sidebar, by the way, will pinpoint your feeling of safety since 9/11.