An excellent PBS documentary, "What's Up With The Weather," interviewed a spokesman for Western Fuels Association. He said: "I understand that people get uneasy over the concept of more CO2 going into the air, but you can't live your life based on speculation. And we know today that using fossil fuels is a good thing. It leads to economic growth. It allows more people to live longer on Earth. These are- there are positive goods that come from using fossil fuels. There's a speculative `bad' that people are holding out there, saying, `Therefore, let's stop using fossil fuels.' And I think that's an imprudent approach."
The Deniers in Chief are the oil executives in the White House. Bush comes from a state in the grip of the oil industry and the biggest open coalmines in the US are in Wyoming.
For a long time the administration denied the existence of global climate change. Its motto: " If you don't like the weather, hire Frank Luntz, bafflegab expert." He told the Bushies not to refer to global warming because it was too scary and to keep people's minds off the present and focused on a rosier future.
Someone in the administration announced that global climate change really did exist, and before the election in an interview Bush was asked about that. He had not heard the news.
Meanwhile, the US has continued to pump out more greenhouse gases than any other nation. China, even with all its smoky coal-fired plants supplying the electricity that makes our cheap WalMart goods, remains a distant second.
Now a climate expert who the Bush people chose with the assumption that he would be a sock puppet has stood on his own two feet and broken ranks.
by Geoffrey Lean
Global warning has already hit the danger point that international attempts to curb it are designed to avoid, according to the world's top climate watchdog.
Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the official Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told an international conference attended by 114 governments in Mauritius this month that he personally believes that the world has "already reached the level of dangerous concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere" and called for immediate and "very deep" cuts in the pollution if humanity is to "survive".
His comments rocked the Bush administration - which immediately tried to slap him down - not least because it put him in his post after Exxon, the major oil company most opposed to international action on global warming, complained that his predecessor was too "aggressive" on the issue.
A memorandum from Exxon to the White House in early 2001 specifically asked it to get the previous chairman, Dr Robert Watson, the chief scientist of the World Bank, "replaced at the request of the US". The Bush administration then lobbied other countries in favor of Dr Pachauri - whom the former vice-president Al Gore called the "let's drag our feet" candidate, and got him elected to replace Dr Watson, a British-born naturalized American, who had repeatedly called for urgent action.
But this month, at a conference of Small Island Developing States on the Indian Ocean island, the new chairman, a former head of India's Tata Energy Research Institute, himself issued what top United Nations officials described as a "very courageous" challenge.
What are you in the reality-based community doing about this crisis? We may have different ideologies, but what about scientific fact?
Where do you get the electricity from that enables you to operate your computer and go online and light up your home?