By all appearance, President Bush will not be attending the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the end of the month — much to the delight of his conservative allies. “We applaud your decision not to attend the summit,” read a letter signed by more than 30 conservative activists and sent to the president this week. The letter went on to warn that, “Your presence would only help to publicize and make more credible [attendees’] various anti-freedom, anti-people, anti-globalization, and anti-Western agendas.” The signers of the letter also called for the president to resist signing new international environmental treaties or creating global environmental organizations at the summit. Ten years ago, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the first President Bush agreed to tackle problems in forestry, biodiversity, and climate change, moves conservatives view as terrible mistakes his son is wise to avoid.
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