WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Bush, long skeptical about the existence of global warming, today announced a radical change in position. The busy President addressed reporters from a coal-burning energy plant in Michigan. Full text of his speech follows.
"Global warming is real. There is a clear link between man-made pollutants and increases in the earth's surface temperature. Computer models suggest that temperatures will rise between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees by the end of this century. This is quite possibly the greatest achievement in the history of mankind.
"The emission of greenhouse gases has already had a measureable effect on our climate, but we must do more. To achieve my ambitious goal of doubling emissions every ten years, we must find new ways to burn coal and oil, to release their precious carbon dioxide. To begin, I have reversed a campaign promise to limit CO2 emissions from power plants. I don't know what I was thinking with that one. Deregulation to encourage global warming is just good policy.
"I'm a warm weather person. That's just me. I can't think of how many times I've said, "Gee, I wish it was about 10 degrees hotter today." With global warming, no one will need to say that anymore. Cold winters will be shorter and more bearable, and summer will last from March to November.
"Global warming will be good for our families. New climates create new industries. New industries create more jobs, and that's a good thing. The prospect of growing coconuts in Nebraska is just plain exciting. If we each do our part, by driving large, inefficient cars and SUVs, and using lots of electrical power from coal, oil, and gas-burning power plants, our children can have a warmer, more pleasant Earth than we ever dreamed of.
"We have already made significant progress in removing the ozone layer, which blocks the sun's natural ultra-violet rays. No longer will we need to lay out by the pool for hours to get that suntan. A few years from now, just a few minutes in the sun will give you a deep, healthy glow.
"Melting polar ice caps and rising ocean levels also offer great promise. Low tide will be like high tide, and high tide will be even higher. This means you won't have to walk as far to the water. In addition, the extra water can be used to help fight the rampant forest fires that are predicted.
"In an effort to head off forest fires before they start, I am challenging the logging industry to clean up our national parks. Trees absorb the carbon dioxide needed for global warming. Trees also obstruct the view of man's great creations, like skyscrapers and factories. I intend to have all trees removed from our federal lands by 2010.
"In closing, I want to emphasize that the real hero here is you, the poor, middle-class working stiff, driving your gas-guzzling car by yourself. Sure, there's no realistic, affordable alternative, thanks to the energy lobbyists. But it's you who make that final decision to pump pollution into the atmosphere. And, without a real economic incentive, you always will. Thank you all and God bless."