Now that the first two UN reports on the causes and magnitude of the threats posed by global warming have come out--albeit in watered down form, thanks in part to the administration’s continuing efforts to downplay the crisis--and now that independent scientific research is suggesting that the disaster facing life on earth, and human life and civilization in particular is of catastrophic proportions, it seems that perhaps we should turn things around.
At this point, arguably, Bush’s greatest crime is not the Iraq War, terrible as that has been. Nor is it his revocation of habeas corpus or his authorization of torture. It is not the usurpation of the legislative power of the Congress. It is not the felonious violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or his obstruction of the investigation into the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
His biggest crime is a deliberate campaign of inaction and active obstruction in the face of a clear need for the United States to act decisively to stop or slow catastrophic climate change.
All of this has meant that for six critical years, when the U.S.--the source of 28 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions--could have been taking decisive action to start reducing the CO2 that the U.S. is spewing into the already carbon-soaked global atmosphere, America has done nothing. In fact, America’s contribution of carbon emissions to the global atmosphere has been rising, not falling, as average miles per gallon figures for American autos have worsened, as more dirty power plants have gone on line, and as overall energy use in the US has gone up.
Stupidity, pig-headedness and yahooism are not impeachable offenses. The Founding Fathers pointedly rejected a proposal by George Washington that maladministration be included as grounds for impeachment. Rather, they stuck with "high crimes and misdemeanors," which they took to mean acts that threatened Constitutional government, or endangered the people or the nation.
As the coastal waters rise, as other cities join New Orleans in suffering disastrous flooding, as the Midwestern grain belt and California’s salad bowl become dust bowls, as forests burn and already threatened species of animals and plants go vanish forever, and as the throngs of refugees of climate change in Mexico and other harder hit lands surge across America’s borders seeking relief, this president will be remembered best, like Nero and his fiddle, for the two terms during which he dithered, interfered and actively obstructed efforts to stop this predictable disaster from happening.
For that crime against our nation and our descendants, and indeed against the entire human race, Bush must be impeached.