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August 30, 2005
Adding Insult To Death

Leave it to the current German government and their knee-jerk anti-Americanism to try to score political points off of the natural catastrophe occuring in New Orleans. As many of the blogosphere have already pointed out, German environmental minister Juergen Tritten blamed George Bush for Hurricane Katrina and the deadly devestation it inflicted on New Orleans and Gulfport this week. Der Spiegel also reports that Tritten is hardly alone among Germans in believing that George Bush controls the weather:

The toughest commentary of the day comes from Germany's Environmental Minister, Jrgen Trittin, a Green Party member, who takes space in the Frankfurter Rundschau, a paper owned by the Social Democrats, to bash US President George W. Bush's environmental laxity. He begins by likening the photos and videos of the hurricane stricken areas to scenes from a Roland Emmerich sci-fi film and insists that global warming and climate change are making it ever more likely that storms and floods will plague America and Europe. ...

Trittin also calls for a reworking of the Kyoto Protocol -- dubbing it the uncreative title of "Kyoto 2" -- and insisting that the US be included.

The Germans, especially on the Left, have plenty to say about their newfound belief in George Bush's deity. Die Tageszeitung also urges politicians to draw a lesson from Katrina, apparently believing that one data point demonstrates causality. Handelsblatt follows suit, arguing that Katrina shows that hurricanes have gotten more intense. Financial Times Deutschland argues that the effects of global warming on hurricanes will make oil exploration and pumping more difficult, apparently unaware of the irony that its preferred solution -- a Kyoto-like cap on emissions -- would have the same effect.

Does anyone see any similarities between this reaction and the so-called outpouring of sympathy we received after 9/11? Oh, it's a shame about the poor Americans in New York/Orleans, they say. But you know they brought it on themselves, warming the planet like that. Why, don't they know that their arrogant and unilateral policies anger al-Qaeda/Gaia? Tritten even trotted out the statistics on energy consumption as rescue workers had only just started rafting past the dead bodies floating in the Big Easy to try to find survivors.

Let's forget that the science behind global warming so far has a long way to go before being at all convincing. (Twenty-five years ago, scientists warned us about the coming Ice Age.) The Kyoto treaty wouldn't have solved anything, as everyone knows. It let China and India off the hook entirely, remarkable especially in the former case as its energy production uses remarkably inefficient means, spewing greenhouses gases in far greater proportion than in the US. All Kyoto meant to do was to kneecap the US economically so that the EU could compete on equal footing with the American economy.

And given the track record of countries like France, Germany, and Russia in keeping their word on other accords -- say, sanctions on Saddam Hussein or the budgetary constraints of the EU -- I'd say we could be pardoned for our healthy dose of skepticism on their intention of handicapping their own economies with Kyoto limitations.

And as far as Tritten's statistics go, they may well be correct. However, it fails to take into account that Europe has abdicated almost any role in peacekeeping or maintaining strength against global threats, preferring to spend its money on nanny-state social services instead of military capabilities. We use more energy because we produce far more goods and services, and we use the money to defend nations that no longer have the ability nor the will to defend themselves. They couldn't even handle the Balkans on their own, requiring American help just to ferry the paltry forces they could rustle up to serve as peacekeepers.

It took less than twenty-four hours for the Germans to decide to exploit the dead in New Orleans and Mississippi to wallow in their hate-America philosophy. Instead of simply offering assistance or prayers, they show their ignorance of the long history of devastating Gulf storms (the destruction of Galveston a century ago comes to mind) and decide to stoke even more Bush-hatred and anti-Americanism. These words and actions do not reflect friendship, and they will not be forgotten.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 30, 2005 9:27 PM

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» Thanks, World from CrosSwords
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