President Bush’s global warming summit of 16 of the world’s top polluters has been dismissed by environmental and media critics as nothing more than a “PR exercise” and a “sideshow.” They are too harsh.
Phil Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, blasted Bush’s remarks today at the Meeting of Major Economies on Energy Security and Climate Change.
“This could have been a useful meeting, but the Bush Administration has turned it into the same old exhausted wrangle over multinational treaties and non-binding national plans. This has been going on since the President took office, and the rest of the world has moved on.”
That misses the point. Everybody knows, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” [O’Dwyer’s has been gung-ho on the pet beat of late. See Greg Hazley’s blog on Wiggles, wigs for dogs.]
Nobody expects Bush to become a “greenie.” At least, give him a slap on the back for hosting the confab. There are few better media stages in the world than the White House.
The summit offers a valuable opportunity for the media to chew over the debate over “voluntary” vs. “mandatory” cuts in greenhouse gases. Clapp, himself, got ink only in the context of Bush's sitdown.
The President set the stage, but it is up to Democrats, who control Congress, to get their act together and forge a program to deal with global warming.
If they don’t, they will take the heat from voters on global warming.