Whatever Happened To The Cheney Doctrine?

March 3rd, 2010at 11:29am Posted by Eli

Peter Daou takes on the climate change deniers – I found this passage particularly compelling:

Another conservative writer goes on about “unsettled science,” as though we were engaging in a hypothetical legal exercise about the merits of reasonable doubt. In fact, this is our only planet. It’s the only place we can survive. We can’t afford to take chances. We can’t afford to do anything less than everything in our power to rectify the problem. We have no choice but to be alarmists — there’s no second chance. We get it wrong and we’ve doomed our children and their children. For what? Because we don’t want to recycle? Because we don’t want to stop polluting? Because we don’t want to bother making sacrifices? Because we don’t want some eager young kid who cares about the earth to dictate to us? Because we don’t like Al Gore? How profoundly selfish can someone be, to deny what they see with their own eyes: car fumes, bus fumes, truck fumes, factory fumes, chemical waste, human waste, toxins coursing through our waterways, in our food, filth we create in immense quantities turning our planet into a garbage dump.

If anything, we should be outdoing one another trying to address the issue, not smugly questioning the need for action under the guise that the science is imperfect. Reversing the damage we’re doing to the earth should be a priority for every citizen. Instead, environmentalism is treated like an annoyance that the media will occasionally poll about and that we bring to the fore once every April.

The right’s willingness to take the hugest of chances that global warming is junk science or some elaborate Al Gore hoax is particularly striking when you consider the Cheney Doctrine that they’re so enamored of:

Cheney defined it: “If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It’s not about our analysis … It’s about our response.” Suskind writes, “So, now spoken, it stood: a standard of action that would frame events and responses from the Administration for years to come.”‘

Why such a heavy bias towards action on an improbable threat, and such a heavy bias against action on a much more probable and truly existential one?  Republicans embrace a 1% Doctrine on terrorism, yet it’s more like 99.9% when the fate of the entire planet is at stake.

If I didn’t know any better, I might almost think that their policy prescriptions aren’t really about protecting us from harm.

Entry Filed under: Cheney,Environment,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism


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