Bush announces climate plan, world squirms uncomfortably

The world gave George W. Bush lemons, and he made some dee-licious lemonade. Yesterday, Bush said the U.S. would take the lead on the climate issue, convening a series of meetings of the world’s top 10 to 15 polluting nations and setting long-term goals for cutting emissions. Coming amid criticism that the U.S. is blocking potential climate progress at next week’s G8 summit in Germany, the news seemed sweet. But those who sipped his lemony concoction got all puckery. “The declaration by President Bush basically restates the U.S. classic line on climate change: no mandatory reductions, no carbon trading, and vaguely expressed objectives,” said E.U. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. Tony Juniper, head of Friends of the Earth U.K., called it a “delaying tactic” that would push the climate issue onto Bush’s successor. Making her own lemonade, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “What is positive is that we can see from the speech … that nobody can ignore the question of climate change.”