Bush fiddles while the earth burns...
Turns out the main obstacle to a US agreement on climate change was the fact that Bill Clinton was giving a speech at the conference!
Officials in the Bush administration privately threatened the organizers of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal, saying that any chance there might have been for the United States to sign the Kyoto Protocol would be lost if Bill Clinton spoke Friday at the meeting.Clinton went ahead and spoke anyway (wingnut talking point: it was Clinton's fault!).
The threat was received within minutes of the Associated Press running a story on Clinton being added to the program. "It's just astounding." said one organizer. "It came through loud and clear from the Bush people - they wouldn't sign the deal if Clinton were allowed to speak."
In a separate incident, Dick Cheney allegedly directed the U.S. envoy to walk out Thursday, in response to comments by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. The US delegates claimed that they walked out because the wording of a draft was not to their liking, yet they later signed up to a draft with changes that were called "trivial".
There is so much ugly politicking at these sort of events that it's impossible to ascertain any pure truths, but one thing is obvious: Bush's USA has once again been sidelined after another embarrassing attempt to deny the bloody obvious.
In the end, the USA would only agree to informal talks that will not "open to any discussion leading to new commitments."
The earth has warmed by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century. Most scientists agree that carbon dioxide and other gases that accumulate in the atmosphere as byproducts of fossil fuel burned by automobile engines, power plants and industry accounted for part of the temperature increase. The warming has melted glaciers, heated oceans and shrunk the Arctic ice cap...For shame.
One hundred fifty-seven countries, including every major developed nation except the United States and Australia, have agreed under the Kyoto Protocol to cut their 1990 greenhouse gas levels by an average of 5 percent over the next seven years.