I confess I haven’t had the intestinal fortitude to closely follow the negotiations at the G8, but it looks like they’ve come up with something being billed as a "breakthrough." This phrasing in the Washington Post story is curious:

The goal is to agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, Merkel said, hailing the decision as a “huge success.”

"The goal is to agree"? Does that mean they’ve agreed to agree, or that they agreed to try to agree? Tell us more!

But the declaration falls short of an ironclad commitment, saying only that the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters should “seriously consider” following the European Union, Canada and Japan in seeking to halve their output by 2050.

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They’re going to seriously consider agreeing to set a goal to agree. Victory!

“No one can escape this political declaration. It is an enormous step forward,” [Merkel] told reporters.

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Asked if there was “wiggle room” in the declaration, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said there will be no agreement “until there’s an agreement that has America and China in it.

“However, there is now a process to lead to that agreement and at its heart is a commitment to a substantial cut. What does substantial mean? That serious consideration is given to the halving of emissions by 2050,” he said.

A process to lead to an agreement to seriously consider a commitment!

Still, Blair called the deal “a major, major step forward.”

If you say so.