Friday, January 23, 2004

Bush Has Stopped Pretending He Cares About the Environment

Timothy Noah, neatly summing up The State of the Union speech this week, vis-a-vis the environment, in Slate magazine:

"In a famous memo to Republican politicians about how to talk about the environment, pollster Frank Luntz warned against using the phrases 'risk assessment' and 'cost-benefit analysis,' and urged them to instead use the words, 'safer,' 'cleaner,' and 'healthier.' But in President Bush's State of the Union address, the words 'cleaner' and 'healthier' were never uttered, and the word 'safer' was spoken only in the context of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Here are some other words and phrases that did not appear in the speech: 'environment,' 'pollution,' 'natural resources,' 'global warming,' 'clean air,' 'clean water,' and 'Clear Skies,' which is what Bush calls his main [bogus] initiative on air pollution. The word 'conservation' appeared once in a plea to pass the energy bill, which takes various steps to encourage more oil drilling. This in a speech where Bush found time to call for an end to steroid abuse in professional sports, an issue completely outside the realm of government at the federal, state, or local level. Apparently Karl Rove has decided that the environment isn't even worth paying lip service to anymore...."

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