Britain’s Queen Elizabeth speaks out on global warming

In a rare public intervention into politics, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II met with Prime Minister Tony Blair and either — depending which news reports you believe — strongly expressed her concern about global warming, or smacked him upside the head for not pushing the U.S. to join Kyoto. While the queen regularly visits Downing Street to discuss politics, it is almost unheard of for the substance of those conversations to become public. It’s a leak few believe could be accidental, particularly with the U.S. election fast approaching. The queen will also take the unusual step of opening a high-profile conference on climate change this week in Berlin. The queen’s interest in global warming — which allegedly emerged from her observations of the impact of climate shifts on her country estates — is not entirely out of character. The royal family has long been a champion of environmental causes, and even Buckingham Palace has been retrofitted to be more energy efficient.