The Paris Climate Summit Is a Bush Legacy

Politico has an interesting story that reveals, among other things, why conservatives should work to defeat Jeb Bush: “Who gets credit for climate accord? W, that’s who.”

You read that right. The very same Republican president who doubted global warming science and fought new Environmental Protection Agency climate policies all the way to the Supreme Court merits a spot in the history books for kick-starting the very same negotiations that are about to bear fruit in Paris.

The story never brings up the question of whether we should re-evaluate Bush’s statements. He may have loudly denied the climate change superstition in the short term while quietly supporting it in the long term. We were originally told that Barack Obama didn’t believe in same-sex marriage, but he lied.

In any case, global warming oppression has been the project of the Bush dynasty.

On occasion, a U.N. conference can become something bigger than itself. The treaty that started it all was negotiated at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992; George H.W. Bush, eager to campaign as the “environmentalist president,” traveled to Brazil to sign it.

His son made his contribution by influencing a subsequent deal that I don’t remember hearing about at the time.

[George W.] Bush didn’t relent on climate issues in a substantive way until 2007. By then, Democrats were in control of both chambers of Congress for the first time under the GOP administration, and cap-and-trade advocate John McCain was seen as one of the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.

International pressure on the U.S. from its allies was growing to map out a different path. “When Bush came in and said we’re not going to do Kyoto, the obvious question was: What’s your alternative?” said Harlan Watson, who served as a lead Bush administration climate change negotiator.

In Bali, consecutive all-night talks resulted in an agreement in which rich nations agreed to set up new mechanisms to help poor nations adapt to climate change and build new clean energy infrastructure. It also “really launched the seriousness of this idea of breaking down the firewall” between developed and developing countries, Watson said.

Close observers inside the U.S. were even caught a bit off guard by the change. Doubts were widespread about the seriousness behind the Bush team’s motivations. “The environmentalists and a lot of Democrats just crapped on us,” George David Banks, a former senior Bush White House environmental aide, recalled. “They said we weren’t being ambitious enough. That we’d undermined the U.N. framework. It was a step back from Kyoto. But it was pretty obvious there was just no way. If you were concerned about the climate issue, just because of the math and the increase in emission levels [counting the world’s major economies], you had to do something different.”

That last paragraph tells us that environmentalist complained loudly and probably made many of us think that Bush was acting like a conservative. Now, however, they are admitting the truth.

Even some greens credit Bush’s team with getting the ball rolling and teeing up Paris. “They do deserve credit, coming from a terrible place, undermining the system, to getting things done,” said Kalee Kreider, an environmental group veteran who had been a traveling Gore aide at the Bali talks. “Usually some of these [U.N. conferences] are more about mechanics. And some of them are political tipping points. That was definitely a tipping point moment.

Ultimately, Bush and Gore were on the same side playing “good cop/bad cap” (don’t ask me which is which).

Whose side do you think Jeb is on?