Thursday, January 25, 2007

He's been doing it since parking his arse at the Whitehouse in 2001. He did it again on Wednesday. George Bush's more subdued "state of the nation" address talked of his "new strategy in Iraq" and referred to Iran as having a "regime" rather than a government.

Although Bush still relies on technology fixes for the environment - clean coal being specifically mentioned - there is light. An explicit aim to "reduce gasoline usage in the US by 20% in the next 10 years", advancing of boifuel initiatives, and increasing fuel efficiency. Here's a nice summary page.

So nice in fact that Reuters have asked "Is Bush Going Green?" (video link). Or is it simply that - as Waikato University researchers recently put it - green is the new black?

Businesses want certainty and have asked for it time and time again. That's on the back of consumers taking a stronger stance. Has Bush been genuinely convinced of the need to act for the environment, has he heeded the call of big business, or does he simply want to leave office with the (more liberal) US public having a kinder impression of him?


Baz said...

I think it's a case of appearing to do something while doing as little as possible.
"Like any good PR spin, it looks good on the surface, but once you scratch the refined messaging and nuanced language there's a different story. According to US administration officials, the goal is 20 percent below projected annual gasoline usage, not off today's levels. So a cut of 20% all of a sudden becomes a relative cut. According to the US Energy Information Administration 2007 Annual Energy Outlook, petroleum usage will continue to rise[...]"

Guv said...

You're prob. right on the 20% figure Baz.

It was a little scary to hear him wanting to lift local oil production and double the strategic petroleum reserve.

I'm still heartened though by a push in the direction of renewables. Maybe we'll see more Scion-esque partnerships here in NZ...

Craig Mackintosh said...

>I think it's a case of appearing to do something while doing as little as possible.

I think Baz got it in one. Bush is, unfortunately, about as green as Michael Schumacher. Even Bush's rhetoric is half-hearted!

The democrats have arguably got their best trump card in hand for the next election.

Guv said...

...a couple of other critiquesFYI:
Criticism from Australia, and more scathingly, from the US.