Kind of a good news, bad news story:

President George W. Bush has invited the European Union, the United Nations and 11 other countries to the September 27-28 meeting in Washington to work toward setting a long-term goal by 2008 to cut emissions.

Yet it turns out just to be a meeting full of sound and fury, signifying nothing: “But a senior U.S. official said the administration stood by its opposition to mandatory economy-wide caps.”

A meeting aimed at (1) developing voluntary or aspirational targets, (2) for the long-term, (3) by 2008 [i.e. Bush’s last year in office]. Three strikes and you are out.

Bush’s last chance to be a small part of the solution rather than a large part of the problem came and went at the G-8 meeting, where Bush nixed an effort to set realistic and binding long-term targets.

The only interesting question that will be answered by this meeting is whether the media will be suckered into giving the President the one outcome he truly wants — positive press coverage on climate change, an area of such catastrophic failure by this administration that it will probably ensure (even more than Iraq) that history judges Bush a failure.

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.