U.S. professes bafflement at international ire over climate change

“I’m not sure why we’re considered the ‘bad boys’,” said puzzled U.S. climate negotiator Harlan Watson at this week’s U.N. climate change convention in Buenos Aires. The conference — the last such meeting to take place before the Kyoto Protocol goes into effect in February — has featured sharp criticism of U.S. inaction on global warming, but Watson made no apologies. He said that Kyoto was politically motivated, not “based on science,” that conference participants were focused too much on talk and too little on action, and that European countries, despite their perceived “green halo,” have also failed to take substantial steps to control greenhouse gases. He touted money the Bush administration will be spending on climate-change research (can never have too much research!) and development of new hydrogen and nuclear technologies. “We match or exceed what any other country is doing to address the issue,” he said. Really, he said that.