Just call him George W. Bush, star international diplomat. Don’t snicker, don’t spit out your coffee. Instead, read over the final document on climate change released yesterday by the Group of Eight.
Yes, it’s a major shift in how the world will address the supposed threat of global warming. It’s also largely the vision put forth years ago by none other than George W. Bush–that international cowboy–even if few European politicians will admit it.
Don’t expect anyone to admit it. When Mr. Bush unveiled his new climate framework last week, calling on the world’s powers to reduce greenhouse emissions, it was portrayed as a capitulation. He’d removed the last “obstacle” to world unity on this issue, and seen the error of his ways. At this week’s Democratic presidential debate, every candidate vowed to fix the damage Mr. Bush had done to America’s international reputation, his Kyoto failure the obvious example.
There’s been a capitulation on global warming, but it hasn’t happened in the Oval Office. The Kyoto cheerleaders at the United Nations and the European Union are realizing their government-run experiment in climate control is a mess, one that’s incidentally failed to reduce carbon emissions. They’ve also understood that if they want the biggest players on board–the U.S., China, India–they need an approach that balances economic growth with feel-good environmentalism. Yesterday’s G-8 agreement acknowledged those realities and tolled Kyoto’s death knell. Mr. Bush, 1; sanctimonious greens, 0.