In an attempt to jumpstart negotiations on what will replace the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations is holding "high level" meetings today on addressing climate change. Over 80 heads of state will be attending. True to form, though, President Bush plans to skip all the meetings, but he will show up for the dinner at the end of the day. How very Bush. Don't contribute to the dialogue, but show up for the free meal. And spin that as participation.
In a further effort to derail real talks and significant steps forward on addressing climate change, the White House is holding competing meetings later this week with representatives from 15 countries. They won't release who is actually attending, though. So that's a good way to start - should be remarkably fruitful. Of course, the White House wants to take an "aspirational" approach - the Hallmark card approach - as opposed to the binding international agreements the U.N. and Kyoto-supporting countries will want.
Truly depressing. The most powerful man in the world refuses to acknowledge what science tells us and refuses to take a leadership position on addressing global climate change. His children, like the rest of the world, will one day condemn his inaction in the face of overwhelming evidence. The efforts of the non-governmental Clinton Global Initiative, which is holding meetings this week as well, will certainly have a more real and positive impact than anything the Bush administration has done on the environment.