"LONDON After a weekend of free rock concerts and celebrity appeals to end Africa’s poverty, politicians and protesters prepared on Monday for the Group of 8 summit meeting this week, with President George W. Bush holding out scant hope of unscripted reversals from the United States.
The leaders of the world’s most industrialized nations are to meet Wednesday through Friday at the luxurious Gleneagles golf estate north of Edinburgh, preoccupied by two main subjects - climate change and relieving Africa’s impoverishment through changes in policies on trade, aid and debt.
In an interview broadcast Monday on British television, Bush seemed to dampen any expectation that he might reward Prime Minister Tony Blair, the conference host, for the British support in the American effort to prevent terrorism.
“I really don’t view our relationship as one of quid pro quo,” Bush said. “Tony Blair made decisions on what he thought was best for keeping the peace and winning the war on terror, as I did. So I go to the G-8 not really trying to make him look bad or good but with an agenda that I think is best for our country.”
Bush is generally seen to be at odds with Britain and most other members of the group on accepting the scientific evidence relating to the causes of global warming and thus the need for immediate steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
The United States is held by other Group of 8 members to be the world’s biggest polluter."
Yes, I know that even if we implemented Kyoto it wouldn’t help the folks who died last year or this year, but I do wonder how the graveside chatter will go.
I doubt it will be friendly to the US
That said, isn’t George fucking Tony raw? Not even a dab of vaseline…
Alaric, there’s an interetsing thing about heatwaves. A heatwave in Oslo might be30oC and it will cause an increase in deaths of about 1%. A normal summer in Melbourne is well above 30oC and a heatwave might be 45oC. Yet the Melbourne heatwave will cause an increase in deaths of about 1%. And yet the life expectancy in Oslo isn’t higher than in Melbourne. Nor is the population genetically any different.
That should tell you osmething. Humans are adaptable creatures. It’s not an increase in temperatures that kills people. It’s simply ‘abnormal’ temperatures. And there’s no evidence that climate change will lead to more abnormal temperatures. If Oslo experiences and average temperature rise of even 10oC, worse than the worst case secario for cclimate change, then it still won’t be as warm as Melbourne. So you won’t get any more or less deaths from heat waves. People will simply learn to adapt. It’s that simple.
I won’t even get into the fact that far more people die from cold than from heat, and that isn’t something that the population learns to cope with.
There are lots of good reasons to be concerned about anthropogenic climate change but deaths from heat waves isn’t one of them.
I was inviting analysis of the geo-political fallout from the perceived indifference at the “highest levels” of our government to anectodal suffering which, although NOT the proximate result of our behavior, will doubless serve to “concentrate the mind” as it were, of those sufferers upon our feckless attitude.
Simply put, when it hits 45 Celcius in Paris, it may not be W’s fault, but I bet they curse him nonetheless. All the industrial powers, save one, seek to address and remediate global warming.
Adding insult to injury, this poltroon (for clarity, GWB) blithely tosses off “kyoto would have wrecked our economy”
Well, surely that ought to silence critics who see our goverment systematically favor coal over renewables, drilling subsidies and SUV’s over higher gas economy standards and $2/gallon gas over intelligent tax policies that would nudge the market, internalize (only partly_) some of the hidden costs of the petroleum based economy, and bring us into line with other industrialized nations who do not seem to have “wrecked their economy”
(God, what a moron Bush is to deliver these lines abroad where he doesn’t have the juice with a supine press that he enjoys here. The schmuck can’t even stick his nose out the door in Denmark for fear of hearing, in detail, what an asshole he is…)
Do we need yet another reason to be universally despised? I offer the caveat that sooner or later, the world will be truly and righteously fed up with us.
Next time we invite the choosing up of sides (with us or against…) it may be even lonelier.
That said, for Bush to rub Blair’s nose in shit
(and may I say, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy)
just so he can posture and strut like he still had on the flight suit with the codpiece installed, is remarkably self-centered and short-sighted.
Umm, how and why could something totally unrelated concentrate the mind on a topic? You might just as well say that the deaths of people from an earthquake in Bolivia last week will serve to “concentrate the mind” of the sufferers upon our feckless attitude.
I can’t for the life of me see why it would, They are totally unrelated.
Maybe they will. They may curse him for the Bolivian earthquake as well.
What you are saying is that the French will curse the Americans even when the Americans aren’t in any way connected to the events. That may be true but it’s also an incredibly childish and ignorant tactic to adopt.
Which one would that be then? I certainly hope you don’t mean the US because the Bush administration has indisputably sought to address and remediate global warming. I can provide endless references to prove that point.
Are you implying he is a poltroon for making that comment? Because many highly respected economists agree with him. Or is he a poltroon for making the comment blithely, on which case I’m going to ask for a reference for where he did so.
What ought to do that? The fact that the French curse Bush even though it’s not his fault? Why would that silence critics? Why would any critic in their right mind even agree with that?
And you seem to be implying that some industrialised countries have complied with Kyoto and haven’t wrecked their economies. Can you name them please?
Not exactly intelligent or thoughtful debate.
The biggest problem is that you’ve already conceded that the French and presumably therefore the Danes are cursing bush even though he is probably not at fault. That hardly makes there POV worth listening to now does it?
Another? Can you name me one reason that the US has ever been universally despised? In fact I;m going to ask you for a reference to support you assertion that the US is in fat universally despised or ever has been.
Or it may not.
I tend to believe that it will be. But then again only a handful of nations joined the “coalition of the willing” anyway and most of the leaders have had elections since and won convincingly. Based on that it appears the citizens of those nations supported the US wholeheartedly and the decision to sign up was an asset to the leaders involved. So there’s a good argument that there will be even more on our side next time.
I meant to cast a somewhat wider net than merely our periodic adventures in lynch justice.
Let me just take off this hat…
there, (damn foil can get hot).
I am trying (apparently with less than indifferent success) to direct attention to two issues:
Ought we not expect/fear that Bush’s publicly declared indifference to climate change will become an increasingly sore point as the world experiences increasing climate change “events”
eg, heat waves, sea rise, more and bigger hurricanes, etc.
In this vein, recognizing (as we all do) that it will be a rank oversimplification for Jacques and Gilles to revile America while they sit suffering on rapidly melting blocks of ice distributed by the Paris City Government in the (vain) hope of substituting for widespread lack of air conditioning, must we not apprehend that their annoyance and discomfort (not to say their occasional demise) will bring into sharper relief our increasing scientific, technological, and diplomatic isolation on this issue.
That said, will it not spill over into other arenas of international discourse.
(I submit to you that there is nothing like a heat wave to make people cranky…)
Second, since I am here framing the problem as one of Public Relations, (not focusing on the rightness or wrongness of the positions themselves) I was moved to raise the somewhat collateral question as between George and Tony, man to man, (so to speak):
If determined to chart his own course unfettered by any sort of communitarian concern for the airconditionless French (a Carrier Corp Airlift would have been rather a nice touch, even if it might have raised the fear that, OH GOD, we are admitting some responsibility), could Bush not have bespoke himself more elegantly than to say :
“Tony and I have no quid pro quo relationship…”
That statement shows a monumental failure to contemplate the price Blair has paid for being Bush’s friend (and from W’s perspective, if not mine, america’s friend) .
It surely invites future interlocutors to get America “on paper” as it were, inasmuch as Blair has gone out on a limb within his party by frequently implying that there WOULD be some kind of reciprocity from Bush.
Quid pro quo, after all, is part of how friends treat each other. W gives the lie to his vaunted personal loyalty in trying to pretend that Britain’s strategic interests alone (without the "special relationship’) would have dictated they saddle up and join the posse, notwithstanding the substantial trepidations attendant thereto as are now be manifested through the successive Downing Street documents.
To be brief
(ed not:too late…)
From the point of view of what is called “public diplomacy”, do we not take an unnecessary hit when Bush’s arrogance is highlighted by ongoing discomfort, not to say catastrophe, flowing from weather events–be those events our “fault” (in whole or part) or not.
The title of the thread, for those who have forgotten, echoes the Daily News headline in 1975, that has become a classic example of clumsy public relations management in the white house, credited by some with helping elect Jimmy Carter.
Science rules, why should W kiss anyone’s ass if he is sure he is right?
Science rules, why doesn’t W get with the program and stop pretending there is no problem
We may produce 25% of greenhouse gasses with 5% of the world’s population, but so the fuck what–we’ll drive what we like; let’em all sweat; we don’t need no stinkin’ friends
We may produce 25% etc, and we’re not going to change, but we’re smart enough to give lip service to scaling back; that should keep them off our back for a while. (this would be opposed to the rousing"up yours" that Bush trotted out this week…)
Britain stood by us-we will stand by them. I:m less convinced than my good friend Tony, but I’m cutting him the benefit of the doubt, and since even STARTING
greenhouse reduction now will leave decades of risk ahead, I’m calling the close ones in his favor, and we will do such and such…)
Further tips available if needed
mind you:I am not here asking for a debate about climate change.
I am asking for a debate about polite (if possibly hypocritical, but that never bothered Bush before) behaviour in view of last year’s multitude of French deaths from the heat wave.
(God, I hope that gets the fuckin’ mods of my back for a change…)
Since this is probably pit bound anyway, my question is…if Kyoto is so great, the last great hope of mankind and all that, why didn’t Clinton impliment it? Or was he blocked from doing so by the Republicans? If memory serves he also didn’t support the protocol…why? And why does GW take all the, er, heat on this if Clinton also didn’t impliment it?
Just a couple of questions tossed out. Could be that Clinton DID support Kyoto and I’m mis-remembering things. If so I’ll gladly withdraw the question and let this thing decend pitward…where it belongs (it IS an alaric thread after all :)).
You may not like, admire, or agree with these benighted Europeans, but you must acknowledge that they and their governments have all decided to put shoulder to wheel, so to speak, in the common fight against Global Warming.
Conspicuously absent, and without peradventure the largest player, we invite them to despise us as selfish and shortsighted.
I repeat my somewhat macabre fantasy:
Grandmaman has perished from the heat whilst her family vacationed blithely at the shore. She had no air conditioning, and failed to hie herself to the Paris heat wave emergency shelter where the same was available.
You and I may think that her 10 and 8 year old grandchildren should be fairminded enough to blame their parents for not taking care of granny, but I will bet 100 euros that the talk around the casket will focus on US, and that the groundswell of Anti American feeling can only be exacerbated, the more so as weather is something that happens every day, giving daily opportunity for resentment.
I believe this increases the stakes, as I said in the OP, riding on adroit public framing of the issue and our attitude towards it.
That said, is there anyone out there who would like to call Bush adroit so far?
Well, it seems that Kyoto IS the crux of the debate from where I’m sitting. Whether the US is right or wrong headed about it, it seems that at least two administrations have felt that it wasn’t in the US’s best interest to sign the thing. So…if the US government doesn’t feel its in our best interest, exactly why SHOULD GW cave in and sign? Because the rest of the world thinks its best?
The US obviously doesn’t agree with the rest of The World™ on this issue (as well as myriad others). Perhaps its that the protocols really will hurt our short term economy (I note that reading a few months ago that even some of the countries in the EU are saying they are behind on some of the provisions), maybe they feel that the science isn’t there yet to justify the sacrifice (i.e. doing all the things in Kyoto may or may not actually have an effect)…or maybe we just are stuborn and stupid and don’t want to acknowledge what is plain to everyone else in the world. Whatever the cause, its pretty plain that the US has staked out its position on this…so I’m unsure exactly why you expect the US to cave on said position just because the rest of the world wants us too.
Let me ask you a question though alaric…if the US did cave in and decided to impliment the protocols, what benifit would the US receive from world wide opinion, in your opinion? What benifit would Bush receive from, say, the left and/or the Democrats in our own country? Any? And what is the list of repurcussions that would effect the US economy from implimenting these protocols exactly? Do you know? Are there any realistic estimates? If it WOULD have an impact, and a negative impact at that…why exactly should GW even consider changing his position on it (assuming for a moment that you answer the above questions along the lines I’m thinking…i.e. there will be minimal realistic benifit to the US relations wise with the rest of The World™, little or no benifit politically for Bush or the Republicans from either the left or the Dems, and a lot of negatives from the impact to our laboring economy).
**Kyoto only went into effect a few months ago. It is not, and will not, wreck anyone’ economy. In fact, those countries that in anticipation of Kyoto introduced carbon emission sparing technologies have seen economic BENEFIT, not detriment
(but let’s not go there, because I don’t want to hijack my own thread…)
***I beg your pardon???!!! Yes,John Howard survives; Blair lost two thirds of his majority. We know how things went in Spain. Japan is leaving . I think there is general disinclination to face an electorate without at least (see Poland, eg) a firm withdrawal date on the table.
who was it who won "handily
Are you really saying that it is good electoral strategy to run for office with George Bush draped over your shoulder?
(you are seducing me into hijacking my own thread again…)
*What part of :Kyoto was negotiated and signed during the Clinton Adminstration was obscure? It was NOT the opinion of the Clinton administration that Kyoto was against our best interests.
**Let’s see what the world says about this, shall we?
With his rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change in 2001, President George W. Bush inadvertently caused an upheaval in international relations. Environmental issues had been long regarded as the poor stepchild of the foreign policy arena. But as recent remarks by Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and the United Nations arms inspector Hans Blix made clear, the global warming issue, and particularly America’s handling of it, has become a central geopolitical concern.
Speaking at a delicate moment in the Iraq crisis, Blair contrasted the current situation with “issues that affect us over time. They are just as devastating in their potential impact” as weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, “some more so, but they require reflection and strategy geared to the long-term, often straddling many years and many governments. Within this category are the issues of global poverty, relations between the Muslim world and the West, environmental degradation, most particularly climate change.”
BBC News | SCI/TECH | Anger at US climate retreat
Anger at US climate retreat. Hurricane Georges in Florida … George Bush is
attempting to tear up the Kyoto protocol in the face of world opinion … news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/ sci/tech/newsid_1248000/1248278.stm - 36k
Well, the part that “the Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol for ratification” springs to mind off the top of my head. If Clinton thought the protocol was that important, why didn’t he even attempt to push it through?
Popularity contest? You didn’t answer any of my questions btw. What exactly would Bush et al be buying by going along? Good will with the world? Would they throw roses at Bush/America’s feet if we caved in on this? Would the Dems suddenly see the light and hail Bush as a great president? If the answer to those questions is ‘no’, and if Bush et al REALLY doesn’t believe the protocols are worth the cost, then exactly why SHOULD they cave in and go along with the rest of The World™. This IS politics after all.
Sez U. You have any proof stuff to back that up? IIRC, as I said earlier, I remember reading a few months ago that several EU countries were saying they were not going to make some of the goals…and the reasons given, again IIRC, were economic impacts. Reguardless, you are saying there would be a BENIFIT…if so, why exactly has the US been more than reluctant to sign? After all, if its a benifit (economic I assume), seems the 'Pubs would be all over it…more profit and all that.
I don’t think its a hijack btw…I think that its the crux of the debate. Why exactly IS the US reluctant? Why does The World™ think its such a great idea? What actual political benifit would implemention give the current administration? What would the economic impacts be (realistically)? Unless you answer those, this is merely a rant directed at the administration, using popular world opinion as a club to beat them over the head with. Sometimes whats popular is wrong…sometimes its right. Nation states though have to do what THEY think is best sometimes, reguardless of a popularity contest.
GWB is quoted as saying that he opposes any Kyoto-like agreement that sets binding targets for emissions reduction, suggesting instead that technological solutions are the correct path to minimizing environmental impact.
This leads me to wonder: without law imposed targets, what precisely will be the motivating factor that drives the development and implementation of such technologies?
You wish to adduce as evidence that Kyoto was flawed, the fact that Bill Clinton didn’t “push it through” a republican congress that almost impeached his fat ass back to Arkansas?
He could barely push his cigar through Monicas tight little a…
ed note:(.oops. Let’s not go there. Not without Wonkette along)
Anyway, that strikes me as pretty lame.
As for the proposition that any policy rejected by Republicans must ipso facto be one that you could never make money on, I invite you to try and trade in a Hummer on a Prius, and let me know how the transaction goes. I also would like to sell you some GM deferred debentures at your earliest convenience. I will accept a substantial discount on the face value. You will want them because the company, I believe, is run by Republicans.
alas, you are wrong on every prediction.
*what do you mean “cave in” we negotiated the treaty and we agreed at the negotiations. What do you think happens when a treaty is negotiated, the representatives go off on some freelance jaunt, Like Homer Simpson and then come home saying, “guess what I did with Lisa’s saxaphone honey,; I sold it and I bought a timeshare from that Eric Estrada guy”
the economic downside of global warming is to be found in the actuarial ouput of the folks whose job it is to monetize risk.
You seem to think that the alternatives are “fuck the world, we keep our money”
or “save the world, we spend our money” There is no:we keep our money, viz:
As a proponent of the free market, you are no doubt outraged that market rate insurance transactions are subjecgt to the substantial dislocation of Federal Flood Insurance, the primary need for which is the inability of our economic system to geerate returns on investment in flood plain real estate sufficient to render its occupation profitable if forced to bear market rate insurance premiums which reflect the acturial reduction to present value of the discounted risk of weather related catastrophe.
For another useful exercise, call a broker in Tampa and ask about wind coverage for your mobile home…
per contra, the technologies that counter carbon emission are those that counter waste (ie, the co 2 that escapes represents wasted carbon) . Just as the prius is economically AND ecologically beneficial, so you would learn to love your solar roof.
You need a roof, don’t you? Why not make it out of photovoltaic panels. After ten years you will have a net cash flow from your roof, as opposed to a maintenance drain as you would with asphalt.
If every roof in the country were photovoltaic, coal would be over.
This is economically bad?
I could go on, but I will resist the Hijack and turn to your points about bush’s standing with dems.
**HE’S NOT RUNNING FOR ANYTHING ANYMORE, WHO CARES?
Isn’t it supposed to be about the legacy, now?
He seems to have forgetten the 22 amendment
Like," watch me now, I’m playin’ to m’base"
base for what? You have an electoral base. But that’s for elections, which he has no more of.
***vis-a-vis the world, any indication of sanity would doulbless be a welcome relief.