Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I haven't posted anything on the recent G8 summit in Japan, mainly because, from what I could tell, it was just the same old bullshit from the same old bullshitters. With global warming one of the key issues on the table, it's tough to get too excited over the prospect of Bush, Harper, Merkel, Sarkozy, and Berlusconi -- what an astoundingly and abominably appalling list; they and Brown, who is somewhat better then they are on the environment, are the leaders of the world's major democracies? -- actually doing something productive about our most pressing crisis.

I can't even get excited in a negative way: Expectations were very low going in, those expectations were met, and the do-nothingness will go on regardless of what is said publicly. The summit didn't get much attention in the U.S., what with media attention fixated on whatever sensationalism can be distilled from the Obama-McCain race, and perhaps understandably so. The G8 in general is only mildly interested in doing anything about global warming -- Bush not at all -- and the summit was, as usual, little more than a glorified photo-op.

As The Independent is reporting, though, Bush did use the occasion to signal, if only privately, just where he and the U.S. are with respect to our most pressing crisis:

President George Bush signed off with a defiant farewell over his refusal to accept global climate change targets at his last G8 summit.

As he prepared to fly out from Japan, he told his fellow leaders: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."

President Bush made the private joke in the summit's closing session, senior sources said yesterday. His remarks were taken as a two-fingered salute from the President from Texas who is wedded to the oil industry. He had given some ground at the summit by saying he would "seriously consider" a 50 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2050.

Seriously consider, Dick Cheney's ass. It's not happening -- and it's not good enough anyway.

Bush just told us all to fuck off. Thankfully, he'll be fucking off himself soon enough -- no, not soon enough, but soon. Then, perhaps, our expectations can go up, the G8 can be a bit more productive, and it'll be worth paying attention.

But that will take genuine American leadership -- and hence a genuine leader in the White House. For all the hits Obama has been taking recently over FISA, Iraq, abortion, and the like, what is still clear is that he, and only he, is the candidate with what it takes to provide that leadership.

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