Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pot Warming, King Frog Settling

As the extended drought conditions continue to fuel the 200,000-acre burn in Florida and Georgia, self-styled king, George W. Bush, is responding to the Supreme Court's rebuke of his administration's de-clawed EPA.

President Bush responded Monday to the Supreme Court's rebuke of his administration for refusing to regulate greenhouse gases by rehashing a plan from his State of the Union speech to boost ethanol and tinker with fuel efficiency standards.
In essence, though, the Prez is stalling for time and could end up doing nothing through the remaining 18 months of his term.
"In effect, the president asked his agency heads to share ideas and come up with a plan that is due three weeks before he leaves office," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
So the remarkable granite-hard denial at the top of the most well-endowed government in the world continues. For the rest of those 18 months, at least, it appears that we won't have much - if any - leadership in realistic action from the White House.

As to the wildfires in the Southeast, they're another example of how our human settlement patterns fail to accomodate the realities of the natural world and the probable effects of climate change.
Florida in particular has undergone an explosion in population – a growth of about 13 percent between 2000 and 2006. This has meant that more and more people are pushing into rural areas. In dry weather conditions, such regions can be rife with dry, crackling brush – ideal kindling for a wildfire sparked by a bolt of lightning, discarded cigarette butt, or another trigger.

In years past, foresters worked hard to clear this brush with controlled burns. Now, however, with more homes in these areas, the options for intentional burns are more limited.

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