There’s a good interview with Christie Whitman over on Environmental Science & Technology. I go back and forth about Whitman, but she definitely puts her best — and by "best," of course I mean, "most sympathetic to my own views" — foot forward in this interview.

I found this a bit bizarre though. When asked about climate change, she says:

In fairness, I think we can do more. I think we can get a cap on carbon that would give utilities time to reach it without so dislocating the industry that it will drive the costs of energy out of sight. And I think, ultimately, we will have a cap on carbon. But you also have the studies, I think two years ago, from NASA showing the impacts of land change.

So there are still scientific differences on where to focus the dollars. The president has acknowledged that climate change is occurring. But then Michael Crichton, who is enormously popular, writes a book [State of Fear] saying that it’s not happening. And that sets you back. So it is not as widely accepted as it should be.

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Michael Crichton: single-handedly thwarting the social consensus on climate change that President Bush so desperately wants.

And then later:

It’s not just a partisan issue. I haven’t read the book, but Michael Crichton cites studies that show climate change is natural and that we are not in immediate danger. Then you have that movie, The Day After Tomorrow, where the world is coming to an end immediately if we don’t do something tomorrow. When you have those two images in the popular media, it’s hard for the people to figure out what’s right. That’s one of the reasons the administration hasn’t been that engaged, and why they haven’t felt any pressure.

Hm … what do they call it when an administration champions an issue of great import that isn’t receiving enough public attention … oh, right!

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