Friday, December 19, 2008

promising news on climate policy?

Rumor has it that two prominent proponents of serious and quick action on climate are in line for senior jobs in the Obama Administration. Harvard physicist John Holdren is expected to be names as the president's science advisor, and Jane Lubchenco, a marine biologist at Oregon State, is in line to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Like Steve Chu, the Secretary of Energy nominee, "Holdren and Lubchenco have argued repeatedly for a mandatory limit on greenhouse gas emissions to avert catastrophic climate change."

Good news if true. Fingers crossed. Lubchenco said recently she thought public attitudes on climate are beginning to shift. I hope so.

Meanwhile, John Marburger, the science adviser to de facto President George W. Bush, is fighting a rearguard action against the perception that the Bush Administration has been anti-science. Marburger said, "There are stupid and foolish things that have been perpetrated by employees of the federal government in the executive branch, but it doesn't mean that the president is anti-science. The president is getting blamed for every little thing that happens that people don't like in the administration."

Hey, this is really not exactly the Harry Truman presidency, is it? The buck stops ANYWHERE but at the desk of George W. Bush. Torture? An aberration by a bunch of reservist MPs from West Virginia. (Since proven false.) Katrina? Nobody saw it coming. (Except lots of people DID see it coming, including the New Orleans Times-Picayune.) Science bashing? It was the President's minions.

Shades of Imperial Russia, where all the peasants assumed that the mistreatment they suffered at the hands of the Russian nobility and bureaucracy only happened because the Tsar didn't know about it.

Sorry, serfs - the Tsar knew and approved. And Bush knew and approved of all this stuff, too. And now he's trying to rehabilitate himself in his last 30-something days in office.

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