A slight awakening | VailDaily.com

A slight awakening

“The United States takes this issue seriously.”

That’s what our president said the other day about climate change, and if that makes you wonder if he was misquoted, well, just remember there’s that alternate reality Bush lives in. It’s a place where things are going well in Iraq, creationism is a viable theory to be taught in schools and cutting taxes on the rich is good for everyone.

But with the end in sight (596 days, if you’re counting), maybe W. is starting to think about that thing called his “legacy.” That’s the measurement that determines how much you can command in speaker fees once you leave the White House, what kind of advance you get on your memoir and how much money you raise for your presidential library.

Having perhaps noticed that his legacy won’t include many kudos for his wild success in Iraq, legacy manager Karl Rove has no doubt whispered in the royal ear that, hey, this climate change thing seems to be popular. If you can do something on that before we get out of here, maybe some good will come of it.

Of course, Bush likes to play his own game, which is why he continues to ignore international efforts at carbon reduction and now suggests some of his own vague goals. It may be better than nothing, but it’s hard to look at that quote up top and take Bush seriously. He’s done this before, thrown out big-sounding ideas (remember the mission to Mars?) in the hopes, it seems, of changing the subject from Iraq. Then, the royal focus shifts, things are forgotten and, in this case, he’ll be out of office before anything meaningful happens.

But we can give him some credit for at least moving away from doubting the human causes of global warming in the first place. Too bad, though, that his credibility with the right has slipped so much that all the other climate-change deniers out there likely won’t be along for the ride.

” Alex Miller for the Editorial Board

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