When is a block not a block? When it’s a Bush (with built-in ‘design your own climate memory’ capabilities)

December 29, 2007 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Climate awareness, Climate change, Climate policies, US | 2 Comments

If global warming turns out to be a defining issue of this generation, advisers said, Bush does not want to be remembered as a roadblock.

“As you draw toward the end of an eight-year term, it’s human nature to try to look forward and then backward — look into the future and then back at the past and think about how it looks,” said a former Bush adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “You could conclude, as this administration has, that you want to be seen ultimately as having evolved and opened some doors and maybe started a glide path to the next administration.”

The full tale, including how Bush has ‘evolved’ (!), is here in:

THE IMPERILED PRESIDENCY: A Change on Climate
In Bush’s Final Year, The Agenda Gets Greener

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 29, 2007; Page A01

and to get an inkling how mixed up U.S. administration staff could be on this topic, if any of the following is representative of the truth, we are told this:

As this month’s U.N. meeting in Bali was approaching, a fierce debate broke out over who would lead the U.S. delegation. The White House wanted Connaughton, Bush’s environmental adviser, to co-head it, but the State Department took umbrage at what it deemed a breach of protocol.

After a late night at Camp David planning the Middle East conference in Annapolis, sources said, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Bolten at the White House. Bolten left the decision to a deputy national security adviser. The dispute dragged on for days until the White House agreed that Undersecretary of State Paula J. Dobriansky would lead the delegation while Connaughton would “join in leading” some sessions.

The spat over place cards underscored a broader tension over what to do next. Connaughton wanted to go to Bali and emphasize the U.S.-led process as the route to a post-Kyoto agreement, in effect snubbing the United Nations, the sources said. Dobriansky “thinks this is frankly nuts,” said an associate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. She insisted that the U.S. process had to be cast as part of the U.N. negotiations, not as separate.

Dobriansky wanted to use Bali to signal willingness to go beyond voluntary measures. “It just got shot down vociferously,” the associate said shortly afterward. “She’s very frustrated, very angry.” In the end, though, Dobriansky was allowed to tell Bali delegates that all options are on the table, presumably including mandatory limits.

Once in Bali, the U.S. delegation fought efforts to name explicit emissions targets, calling such a move premature at the start of a two-year negotiation. That triggered an angry torrent of grievances, and Dobriansky was booed and hissed. Eventually, the delegates agreed to call on both developed and developing nations to make measurable but unspecified cuts in greenhouse gases.

For the sake of our children and grandchildren, this administration’s petty attitude to climate change has been a sad state of affairs, all told. It is even worse that the history books will be written, no doubt, in such a way as to proclaim Bush a true hero in dealing with climate change.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Hi inel,

    http://environmentdebate.wordpress.com/2007/12/30/the-coffee-house-happy-new-year-all-for-2008/

    Have moved back to our warm & cosy ole Coffee House … don’t ask! It’s just better!
    :)

  2. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of us around to tell the true story.


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