WHAT PLANET DO THEY LIVE ON?

I headed over to the press conference on Bush's Major Economies meeting yesterday, but was waiting to hear what the man himself would say in his address this morning to post on it. An excerpt:

Our guiding principle is clear: We must lead the world to produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and we must do it in a way that does not undermine economic growth or prevent nations from delivering greater prosperity for their people. We know this can be done. Last year America grew our economy while also reducing greenhouse gases. Several other nations have made similar strides.

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Our guiding principle is clear: We must lead the world to produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and we must do it in a way that does not undermine economic growth or prevent nations from delivering greater prosperity for their people. We know this can be done. Last year America grew our economy while also reducing greenhouse gases. Several other nations have made similar strides.

There were some other particularly laughable moments from the press conference yesterday evening, including when Karen Harbert, assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the Department of Energy, told the gathered reporters about how great our environmental policies have been under the Bush administration, and the example we've been to the rest of the world: "We’re living proof that we can actually begin to address climate change, sustain economic growth, and do it in an environment where we are addressing energy security." And when James L. Connaughton, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, assured a European reporter that the United States is "just several months" behind them on creating emissions goals, and that it's a good thing we've been dragging our feet all this time making sure the science was in. Oh, and this gem: "We’re doing more than anybody else. We actually have, you know, a zero-emission coal fire power plant moving through the process. We hope to get it done by 2012."

Which is exactly what this whole alternative climate summit is about: fanciful promises, denial of what needs to be done to tackle climate change, and subversion of the efforts of everyone who actually gets it.

--Kate Sheppard

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