How It's Done

Peter Baker at the Post may have totally dropped the ball in his coverage of the fake Bush fake climate change fake conference (it's fake, you see), but The New York Times's John Broder knows how to add value for his readers:

The president’s calls for each country to decide for itself how to rein in pollution, and his refusal to embrace mandatory measures, have set the United States apart from other countries, and this morning’s appearance at the State Department conference probably did not do much to change that situation.

“Smart technology does not just materialize by itself,” John Ashton, a special adviser on climate change to the British foreign secretary, said afterward. Mr. Ashton, who has said that voluntary measures are ineffective, said “smart technology” requires government commitment and investment, and he noted that Mr. Bush did not state a specific goal for reducing carbon emissions.

He also quotes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "Every country will make its own decisions reflecting its own needs and interests." The trouble, of course, is that we're facing a common problem here. It'd be nice for each country to be able to make an individualized determination of its view of the growth-warming tradeoff and then we all see how it plays out, but that's not the nature of the atmosphere or the climate. Any sensible approach needs to be sensitive to the different needs and circumstances of different countries, but unless it's driven by a common purpose and a common commitment it won't accomplish anything. Which, of course, is the point. As Kate Sheppard says the point of the summit isn't to bolster Bush's legacy, instead, it's all 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."