Dick Cheney, enemy of reality

Contributed by
Jul 10, 2008

The liberal blogosphere is starting to burn up with news that Dick Cheney's office worked to suppress some testimony to Congress about the effects of climate change (see for example, oh, here and here).

Now, I don't want to downplay the importance of this. The villainy of the Vice President's Office is legendary at this point, and it's easy to say ho-hum to Yet Another White House Attempt to Destroy ScienceTM.

But the thing is, we already knew about this. The White House has been trying to downplay global warming effects for years. I wrote about this extensively last October, for example. The offices at the White House redacted major portions of a speech to be given to the Senate by the head of the Centers for Disease Control, sections that outlined how global warming will increase the spread and rate of diseases.

So it's no surprise that Cheney would continue this criminal activity.

What does surprise me is that no one is asking why. I simply don't get this. This Administration, as evil as it is, has been consistent in its championing of corporation over citizen. But in this case it doesn't make sense. If global warming is real -- and it is -- then this is an opportunity for corporations to make scads of money! There will be all sorts of new industries cropping up to deal with the changes in our environment, and to deal with perhaps trying to slow those changes. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that many billions of dollars can be made this way.

Yet time and again we see the Bush Administration suppressing reality, and telling people to move along, there's nothing to see here. Even Big Oil should be able to see that eventually they'll have to turn to new industries to make money. I guess having record profits -- and not having to worry about oil-spill induced ecological disasters -- is enough of an incentive to turn a blind eye to anything more than a few months down the road.

Maybe it's just that once you've stepped of the road of reality, anything is possible and nothing makes sense, so internal logic is optional. But whether you're liberal or conservative, hippie or neocon, and whether or not you support this Administration, it seems that their actions are counter-intuitive to their own interests.

We stepped through the looking glass years ago, but every now and again it pays to turn around and see just how far we've gone.

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