President George W. Bush took his unambitious views and goals on climate and stuck them into one mediocre speech Wednesday. Bush called for U.S. emissions to “slow over the next decade, stop by 2025, and begin to reverse thereafter,” an aim far short of what other developed countries are suggesting and what experts think is needed. He relied, as ever, on “accelerating the development and deployment of new technologies.” He gave a bear hug to nuclear power and coal. He decried raising taxes. He expressed concern about a patchwork of regulation, without initiating any overarching regulation. If Bush had hopes of convincing other countries that he’s working to attack climate change, it was dissuaded at a Paris major economies meeting Thursday, where Germany said the speech was a step backward, South Africa declared the Bush administration “isolated,” and an unnamed European official told Reuters, “This is disappointing. But Bush will be leaving office soon. What he says doesn’t matter so much any more.”

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