What if there is a party and no one shows up? Impossible you say, yet that is exactly what happened in the running of several vital components of the federal government during the Bush tenure. Take the EPA for example;. this agency is empowered by statute to regulate greenhouse gases in the United States. In the eight years of the Bush presidency the EPA did exactly nothing to perform this function despite the near-universal recognition that greenhouse gases are a major component in global warming, the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation.
Global surface temperature increased during the 100 years ending in 2005. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most of the temperature increase is "very likely" due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. This basic conclusion haa been endorsed by at least 30 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries. While individual scientists have voiced disagreement with these findings,[the overwhelming majority of scientists working on climate change agree with the IPCC's main conclusions.
Climate model projections indicate that global surface temperature will likely rise further and will cause sea levels to rise. Rising temparatures will also change the amount and pattern of precipitation, likely including an expanse of the subtropical desert regions. Other likely effects include increases in the intensity of extreme weather events, changes in agricultural yields, modifications of trade routes, glacier retreat, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors.
Most national governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, one of the first acts of the Bush administration was to withdraw its support of this project despite the fact that the United States is the largest contributor to the greenhouse effect.
Wait, it is worse than that. In 2007 the EPA chief issued a ruling that prevented California from taking action on its own greenhouse gas plan to limit emissions from autos and trucks. Not only has the U.S. missed the party, it has planned actively to hurt those who would benefit from attending. As an example, people suffering from asthma have their conditions chronically aggravated by the presence of noxious fumes.
On this Christmas morning, I submit that the American public and the world have received the greatest gift of all in the soon-to-be replacement of the Neanderthals in the current administration by morally responsible persons who are serious about changing things for the better. The damage done by the EPA is a good place to start. Merry Christmas.