Reflections on the G8 breakthrough

By Clive Crook

Even by the dismal standards of these events, this year's G8 summit in Japan was a wearisome spectacle. I cannot think that what was achieved--nothing--justified the meeting's doubtless impressive carbon footprint. I think I will remember it mainly for the quotation from IPCC head, R.K. Pachauri, who told reporters (according to the BBC) that the developed countries "should get off the backs of China and India" (and Pachauri wasn't even at the summit; he was speaking in Delhi). Yes, I understand that he wants the rich countries to move first--but is it wrong to expect anything of the countries which before long will be the world's biggest GHG emitters? I mean, isn't the planet in peril, or something?

Aside from that, all you need to read is the all-purpose report on pointless international meetings by the FT's Alan Beattie, which I saw on Gideon Rachman's blog, and which deserves the widest possible circulation.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/07/reflections-on-the-g8-breakthrough/8567/