The Wall Street Journal wonders why President Bush bothers to battle the “global warming theocracy” in their editorial on the G8 today.
On the other hand, his Administration’s supposed “cowboy diplomacy” is succeeding in changing the way the world addresses climate change. Which is to say, he has forced the world to pay at least some attention to reality.
That was the larger meaning of the Group of Eight summit in Japan this week, even if it didn’t make the papers. The headline was that the nations pledged to cut global greenhouse emissions by half by 2050. Yet for the first time, the G-8 also agreed that any meaningful climate program would have to involve industrializing nations like China and India. For the first time, too, the G-8 agreed that real progress will depend on technological advancements. And it agreed that the putative benefits had to justify any brakes on economic growth.
In other words, the G-8 signed on to what has been the White House approach since 2002. The U.S. has relied on the arc of domestic energy programs now in place, like fuel-economy standards and efficiency regulations, along with billions in subsidies for low-carbon technology. Europe threw in with the central planning of the Kyoto Protocol — and the contrast is instructive. Between 2000 and 2006, U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions fell 3%. Of the 17 largest world-wide emitters, only France reduced by more.
So despite environmentalist sanctimony about the urgent need for President Bush and the U.S. to “take the lead” on global warming, his program has done better than most everybody else’s. That won’t make the evening news. But the fact is that the new G-8 document is best understood as a second look at the “leadership” of . . . you know who.
Many thanks to the Journal for making the points Chris Horner doubtless would were he not in Spain, where he is currently nursing his wounds after his run through Pamplone (uh, maybe).