The Intersection

God, the SOTU, and Climate Change

i-7f29b3128f8b23ede41c5201918203b9-BUSH SOTU.jpg

Well, I have done some quick research, in anticipation of the State of the Union address tonight. I think you folks will get a kick out of this:

2002 SOTU: Mentions of “God”: 2. Mentions of “global warming” or “climate change”: 0.

2003 SOTU: Mentions of “God”: 4. Mentions of “global warming” or “climate change”: 0.

2004 SOTU: Mentions of “God”: 3. Mentions of “global warming” or “climate change”: 0.

2005 SOTU: Mentions of “God”: 1. Mentions of “global warming” or “climate change”: 0.

2006 SOTU: Mentions of “God”: 2. Mentions of “global warming” or “climate change”: 0.

Total mentions of God: 12. Total mentions of “global warming” or “climate change”: 0.

The mentions of God were actually a lot fewer than I expected, perhaps in part because Bush uses synonyms. The mentions of “global warming” and “climate change” are exactly what I expected.

So don’t get too excited if Bush actually does use one of these phrases tonight. Keep it in context.


  1. #1 Kate
    January 23, 2007

    what would be additionally interesting – and perhaps more representative of the systemic problem at hand – is to count how many times he uses the words “science” or “technology”. while climate change may have never reached status as a hot-button issue, i.e. that he’s had to address publically due to external pressures, there are plenty of other scientific issues that have received some level of political excitement over the past couple of years (e.g. stem cell research). a paucity on a more global level would probably be more indicative of ignorance and/or neglect of the entire scientific community, no?

    unfortunately, even mentions of the latter haven’t resulted in much forward movement in the field. but, maybe by putting one more thing on the plate of this administration during the SOTU will force a national awareness that will carry over into the next, more effective (??) administration

  2. #2 anonymous
    January 23, 2007

    what are the synonyms for God? doesn’t that count?

  3. #3 J-Dog
    January 23, 2007

    Whoa! Chris, you got to warn people, I almost threw up when I clicked on the link and that picture came up! What about putting: NSFUS (Not Safe For United States)? I am afraid to even think what they might be smiling about, but I don’t think I’ll like it…

  4. #4 Ian Hart
    January 23, 2007

    Check out Salon for a discussion with Frank Luntz on tonight’s SotU. They touch on climate change at the very end of the interview.

  5. #5 df
    January 23, 2007

    An industrious person created tag clouds from hundreds of presidential speeches, including most (if not all) of the SOTUs.

  6. #6 chezjake
    January 23, 2007

    Going by that tag cloud (Neat idea!) link, none of GWB’s SOTUs have included even the word “environment.”

  7. #7 llewelly
    January 23, 2007

    hm, the words ‘iraq’ and ‘terrorist’ are largest and brightest… though ‘economy’ is almost as big.

  8. #8 Baratos
    January 23, 2007

    Bush uses synonyms!? I guess he finally figured out how to use a thesaurus.

  9. #9 Dark Tent
    January 23, 2007

    I don’t know what he will say tonight, but I can guess what he might be thinking right now:

    “God, I hate giving this stupid address, ‘specially if I have to say them danged communist scientist conspiracy words that start with ‘g’ and ‘w’ — ‘ceptin my name, of course. I just lovvvvve saying that GW Bush. GW Bush. GW Bush…..GW Bush…”

  10. #10 richCares
    January 23, 2007

    he said “…help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change. ”

    the far right hoax people can say he didn’t say global warming

    he had a good speech writer

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