Bush gets the watered-down G8 climate statement he wanted
President Bush got exactly what he wanted on climate change during last week’s G8 meeting of industrialized nations: The appearance of compromise without any shift in his administration’s position. Just when it seemed that U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair — buoyed by London’s winning bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games — was succeeding in putting real international pressure on Bush to budge on the issue, a series of terror attacks struck Britain’s capital city, distracting the world’s attention, muting protests, and casting a pall over the G8 agenda. One day later, a joint statement on climate change was released, and the results of U.S. efforts to water it down were clear: It promised a “new dialogue” on the subject — just what’s needed! — and acknowledged that anthropogenic climate change is, um, real, but conspicuously lacked language about specific targets or deadlines for reducing carbon-dioxide emissions. Even language calling global warming an “urgent” threat was removed at the U.S.’s request. What remained was largely happy talk about new technology. Maybe next year …
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