IN OTHER WORDS : Incredible

President Bush moved quickly after the 2000 election to fill many of the important environmental jobs with corporate lobbyists. The result has been an erosion of the regulatory framework protecting the country’s environment, combined with a chronic unwillingness by the administration to address difficult environmental issues. Anyone needing evidence of industry’s influence need look no further than Andrew C Revkin’s article in Wednesday’s Times involving the handiwork of one Philip Cooney, chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Cooney spent his immediate pre-White House years as a lawyer at the American Petroleum Institute, where he helped organise the oil industry’s fight against limits on greenhouse gas emissions from factories and automobiles. Revkin reported that Cooney had been fighting the same fight in his new job by sanitising government reports in an effort to cast doubt on the link between climate change and the emissions caused by burning fossil fuels. Creating uncertainty about that connection, of course, reduces the chances that anything meaningful will be done to clamp down on those emissions and thus to discomfit Bush’s corporate allies. It’s sad to think of a White House run by people who believe that a problem can be edited out of existence. — The New York Times