The president of the United States of America, George W. Bush, is a liar.
But at least Bush is better than that last one, Slick Willie. He was in serious liar denial. Someone asked him a question that was irrelevant while he was under oath - and instead of politely declining to answer, he chose to lie. It plunged our country into 13 months of chaos.
And then he lied about lying, like he lied about inhaling. It was such an embarrassing time to be an American. Our president saying over and over to the entire world that oral sex does not constitute sexual relations. It was doublespeak straight out of an Orwell novel.
But anyway, I really wanted to talk about this new liar/president, Bush, and what his lies will do to our planet.
Back in December 1997, the United States went to this conference in Kyoto, Japan, and made this unrealistic promise we had no intention of keeping to all these other polluting countries. We actually said (get this!) we would reduce our emissions of greenhouse gasses to 7 percent below what they were in 1990.
Now, I know what youre thinking. But dude, how will the pizza delivery guy get to my house? Not to worry. When we said that, we were 10 percent above our 1990 levels, and we were steadily increasing every year. The leadership of our great nation - the oil companies - never had any intention of hitting the brakes on the growth of modern society.
And because then-Vice President Al Gore either feigned or actually possessed some semblance of concern for the environment, on Sept. 29 Bush decided to claim he would impose carbon dioxide emission regulations on American businesses.
But those who understand that money puts people in office also know those who put Bush in office would never accept that - unless you think our cowboy is uninfluenced by the oil industry.
The California energy shortage is just the excuse the administration is looking for to justify the reversal of Bushs only pro-environment campaign promise.
Its a crisis: Californians will go to their air conditioners this summer and find them inoperable because of rolling blackouts. There is not enough power being generated to maintain the 30 million people trying to party in the middle of the desert. And the last thing Bush, our Texas oil man, is going to do is look for alternative sources of power.
Theres still this debate over the origin of the shortage. The industry was deregulated in 1996, which means it was removed from state control and placed at the mercy of the free market of private businesses. These businesses didnt build more power plants, partly because environmental regulations in California made it unprofitable to do so.
But its not as though Californian or American environmental codes are that strict. The United States is responsible for more than one-fifth of the total carbon dioxide produced in the world. Our way of life destroys our earth.
Even the dazzlingly efficient MSU Power Plant was fined for violating regulations last week. It was emitting too much sulfur dioxide into the air and was fined $79,734.
But no one pretends these agents arent constantly polluting our air. Who are we kidding trying to minimize our damage? Society, and the power that keeps it moving, are inherently environmentally destructive. Everyone knows this. The California energy shortage simply represents the beginning of a new conflict in American history.
For the first time, society is expanding faster than we can keep up. Soon, I think were going to have to make a choice between our planet and our way of life.
At this point, current environmental regulations are a joke. They obviously dont stop any companies from killing the earth, so maybe we should do without them. Lets do just as Bush suggests, and let big corporations police themselves. Im sure they have our best interests in mind.
The other alternative, Id guess, is to slow or stop the progress of the American machine. Develop other ways of powering our toys, and try to work with the planet rather than against it.
But perhaps that choice wont be so difficult. Perhaps that choice has already been made.
Our president is George W. Bush.
Andrew Banyai, a political science and pre-law junior, can be reached at email@example.com.