To be honest, we were as surprised as you (probably) are to hear President Bush proclaim the U.S. to be "in the lead" in the fight against climate change. See, it turns out we got that whole Bali climate talk debacle all wrong; when the U.S. delegation refused to back a modest emissions cut proposal - in the process, almost causing the talks to collapse - it didn't mean to suggest it wasn't committed to the plan (apparently, the officials just had "problems with defining the numbers up front"). Neither was the president's move 6 months earlier to block a statement by G8 leaders committing to halving total emissions by 2050 meant to suggest a lack of resolve on his part. No, as the good people at Think Progress were quick to point out, the president, speaking at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC), is, in fact, committed to the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol and confident of the U.S.'s "leadership" in moving the world community toward achieving those lofty goals:
"You know, there's a lot of politicians who just talk. I hope when history is written of this administration, we not only talked, we actually did positive things and constructive things
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I will repeat something I've been saying a lot here in America: The United States is serious about confronting climate change, and the strategies I just laid out for you are an integral part of dealing with climate change. Should there be an international agreement? Yes, there should be, and we support it. (Applause.) But I would remind you, an agreement will be effective -- and that's what we want, we want an effective agreement. I think we ought to be results oriented people, not process people. It's one thing to have a nice conference, but out of those conferences we should expect results. We want a strategy that works, not sounds good.
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Now, look, I understand stereotypes are hard to defeat. People get an image planted in their head, and sometimes it causes them not to listen to the facts. But America is in the lead when it comes to energy independence; we’re in the lead when it comes to new technologies; we’re in the lead when it comes to global climate change — and we’ll stay that way."
See? And to think we were starting to doubt this administration's resolve... Since everything is better in video format, we recommend you check out TP's clip and their extensive coverage of this story. Glad to hear we're in safe hands!