Planet Gore

Flash: Bush made “Decisive Commitments” on Climate!

You saw before the original form of “climate” revisionism (“In several posts here on Planet Gore I noted how, once Kyoto can no longer be about George W. Bush, the media will pivot. . . .”) The new version is found among those claiming that Bush did nothing, but who hail the bold strokes and success of those mimicking his approach even if not U.S. emissions performance, or whose performance approximates that of the U.S. 2001-2008.


Here’s today’s entry from Climate Wire:

Until recently, both China and the United States were unwilling to take decisive commitments toward reducing emissions, each country pointing a finger at the other. Together, the United States and China are responsible for almost half the world’s emissions.


But President Obama has vowed U.S. action on climate change and on negotiating an international pact that can replace the Kyoto Protocol. China, meanwhile, has taken significant voluntary steps toward reducing emissions.

So, recently we’ve seen . . . what? Apparently President Obama has made “decisive commitments” in “vow[ing] action” (huh?), I guess in that speech about how we can’t all set the thermostat to “orchid” and drive the same vehicles he always has and expect the world to say that’s OK. Otherwise, I missed it, but look forward to his following through on apparently prioritizing the issue for public debate and transparent action.


China, meanwhile, has arguably (if only rhetorically) matched Bush to some degree even while increasing its emissions at an unprecedented rate. Such is climate leadership: it isn’t about substance, but it is easy so long as your name’s not Bush.


The more instructive point here is to prepare for the howling double standards that you will see emerging next month, at the pre-Copenhagen “subsidiary body” meeting in Bonn — rushed forward from its annual June slot — where the Obama administration is to help draft Kyoto’s successor (or get rolled with stupid baseline tricks and “mechanisms,” like Gore) amid the vast majority of the world continuing its refusal to play ball and the U.N. having switched its tune, and agreeing that the rest of the world must be “involved” . . . just not “covered” (translation: Kyoto must remain being all about the wealth transfers).


Much more was asked of the U.S. in the original Kyoto and I’m confident will continue to be going forward, if possibly to a slightly lesser degree, because this treaty has always been about us. The questions are how egregious the stunts and how reckless the administration will be.


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