Bush makes gaffes at APEC gathering, forum may set weak voluntary targets
In Sydney, Australia, today at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, U.S. President George Bush referred to APEC as OPEC, then tried to cover up his gaffe by explaining that Australia’s prime minister had invited him to a summit of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries next year. Unfortunately, Australia has never been part of OPEC. Bush also called Australians “Austrians,” mispronounced leaders’ names, walked the wrong way off the stage, and, when asked whether there had been any new message in his speech, bristled, “Haven’t you been listening to my past speeches?” Which is all far more interesting than the climate-change statement the 21-country forum’s leaders are expected to sign this weekend, which may tout non-binding “aspirational targets” to reduce “energy intensity” 25 percent by 2030. And that’s a best-case scenario; leaders still have the opportunity to make edits.