Since Bush/Cheney was elected, the party line coming from the administration on the topic of global warming was that the "science was bad."  Yesterday, the EPA (part of the Bush/Cheney government, remember) released a report on the topic of global warming.  The conclusions drawn by the EPA from data in this report:  global warming is real; climate change is happening; get used to it.  What sorts of climate change can we expect over the next few years? > For example, changes in temperature and precipitation of the magnitude being projected are likely to cause shifts in the areas occupied by dominant vegetation types relative to their current distribution. Some ecosystems that are already constrained by climate, such as alpine meadows in the Rocky Mountains, are likely to face extreme stress and disappear entirely in some places. Other more widespread ecosystems are also likely to be sensitive to climate change. For example, both climate model scenarios suggest that the southwestern United States will become moister, allowing more vegetation to grow. Such a change is likely to transform desert landscapes into grasslands or shrublands, altering both their potential use and the likelihood of fire. In the northeastern United States, both climate scenarios suggest changes mainly in the species composition of the forests, including the northward displacement of sugar maples, which could lead to loss in some areas. However, the studies also indicate that conditions in this region will remain conducive to maintaining a forested landscape, mainly oak and hickory. In the southeastern United States, however, there was less agreement among the models: the hot-dry climate scenario was projected to lead to conditions that would be conducive to the potential breakup of the forest landscape into a mosaic of forests, savannas, and grasslands; in contrast, the warm- moist scenario was projected to lead to a northward expansion of thesoutheastern mixed forest cover. (See additional discussion in the Forest subsection.)

Basically, changes in land cover were projected to occur, at least to some degree, in all locations, and these changes cannot generally be prevented if the climate changes and vegetation responds as much as projected.
> Even in such regions as the Southwest, where vegetation is expected to increase as a result of increased rainfall and enhanced plant growth due to the rising CO2 concentration, an important potential consequence is likely to be a heightened frequency and intensity of fires during the prolonged summer season. Increased fire frequency would likely be a threat not only to the natural land cover, but also to the many residential st ructures being built in vulnerable suburban and rural areas, and later would increase vulnerability to mudslides as a result of denuded hills. Considering the full range of available results, it is plausible that climate change-induced alterations to natural ecosystems could affect the availability of some ecosystem goods and services. > Climate changes that affect the land surface and terrestrial vegetation will also have implications for fresh-water and coastal marine ecosystems that depend on the temperature of runoff water, on the amount of erosion, and on other factors dependent on the land cover. For example, in aquatic ecosystems, many fish can breed only in water that falls within a narrow range of temperatures. As a result, species of fish that are adapted to cool waters can quickly become unable to breed successfully if water temperatures rise. As another example, because washed-off soil and nutrients can benefit wetland species (within limits) and harm estuarine ecosystems, changes in the frequency or intensity of runoff events caused by changes in land cover can be important. What does the Bush/Cheney administration want us to do to protect the US from these changes (which should occur by the end of the 21st century)?  Nothing.  That's right, nothing.  The deserts of the SouthWest will disappear and we will do nothing about it.  Entire species in the ocean and on land will become extinct and we sit around doing nothing.  Why?  Because doing nothing is an easy bureaucratic way out of any mess.  Nobody can impugn you for doing nothing.  If Bush actually acted to try and counteract climate change, he'd annoy his campaign donors/brain surrogates (read: oil, gas, automobile, logging, and other big industrial interests).  Instead we're all supposed to fiddle while the Earth slowly warms, entire ecosystems disappear, and many industries and ways of life are forever changed.