I was skeptical when I saw the headline at the L.A. Times: Bush urges goals on emissions. Bush and his administration have been, by and large, hardcore deniers of global warming and its causes. So I wasn't expecting to be pleased. But I have to admit, I was encouraged by what I read. While there's still more foot dragging - the first step in his plan is meetings in the fall - he does talk about meaningfully reducing carbon emissions, and getting both China and India involved as well. That's good, too. He's also opposed to cap and trade programs. While I wouldn't say I'm opposed to them, I think you have to attack every source of pollution at its source and eliminate it. But's that's probably not why Bush is against them - there has to be a more cynical reason. Ultimately, though, there's no room for carbon credits. So cap and trade is better than nothing, but we'll have to move beyond that. Soon.
Then I read a story in the Guardian about the same topic - Bush's announcement before the G8 meeting. Lots of Blair quotes, and he, of course, genuflects in front of the president for his supposed conversion. But there's a quote at the end, from Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth. It's fairly cynical, but probably very accurate. This is the Bush administration we're talking about:
This is a deliberate and carefully crafted attempt to derail any prospect of a climate change agreement (at the G8 summit) in Germany next week. [Mr Bush] is trying to destroy the prospect of that getting anywhere by announcing his own parallel process with very vaguely expressed objectives ... Basically we should see this as a delaying tactic to keep the climate change issue off his back in terms of any real decisions until he leaves office (in early 2009).
I'll say it again: 2009 can't come fast enough.