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Washington Watch

President Bush Finally Admits that Global Warming Exists!

And That Humans Are Responsible!

Except for Him

While hosting a conference on climate change last week, President George W. Bush made an announcement that environmentalists are dismissing, but which could not have made his conservative supporters very happy either.

After years of resistance, all but a few conservatives (i.e. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity) are admitting that global warming is occurring. The new dividing line has been over whether warming was "man made".

Conservatives such as George Will argued that while warming was happening, it had happened many times in the past and that it could easily be followed by a period of cooling. Given this history, the argument that this warming period was caused by man's increasing use of carbon was suspect.

But last week, President Bush not only admitted the existence of global warming, he actually rejected the conservative explanation. Bush still refused to take any meaningful steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, of course. He again said that goals should merely be "aspirational". (Click here for more on Bush's "aspirations")

It's nice to dream, but real market mechanisms are going to be needed before the use of carbon is reduced: a tax on carbon, a cap-and-trade system. Something. Apparently, this is one more issue awaiting January 20, 2009, to be taken seriously.

But at least the next time a Hannity or Limbaugh says that man isn't causing global warming, you can refute him by citing...George W. Bush.