The chickens may be returning to the roost, but where does that leave us now?
This has not been one of those sultry "Porgy and Bess" summers when nothing happens as the fish jump and the cotton grows high. It’s a summer when most everything has gone wrong – from creationists flogging – seemingly successfully – their latest bid for supremacy-of-the-blind through the teach-the-intelligent-design-canard which will dumb down US high school science education even further to hurricane Katrina destroying much of the colorful city of New Orleans thanks to rising temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico. Yet since the canny Cajuns apparently built the oldest part of this low-lying city on higher ground than those who came later, the Old French Quartier, at least, might still be there – or at least salvageable. Does anyone know?
Meanwhile, the Bush Administration has told us that global warming doesn’t exist. So why should the U.S. sign the Kyoto Protocol? This international agreement is only a first, timid step on the way to help slow climate change and thereby retard submersion of coastal cities throughout the world - including our own. Maybe Bush’s EPA should rethink its head-in-the sand policies? Sometimes hard science and the scientific method do offer something of practical value. I’m not saying Kyoto would have saved New Orleans, the treaty is foremost a symbol of intent, but more real and immediate attention to the deleterious effects of global warming might make a difference for Venice or even Charleston’s “Catfish Row” in the future.
Then there’s Plamegate –or Rovegate depending on your perspective and the imbroglio in Iraq becoming – well – an ever bigger imbroglio. The new U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilizad now says that the infant Iraqi constitution can still be changed before it is submitted to the voters in October despite the painful drafting process with its multiplicity of missed U.S. imposed deadlines. Regardless, W has just spent five oblivious weeks of this long, hot summer cycling away in Texas – assiduously toning and tanning, I suppose, his brawn – but certainly not his brain.