It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.
Hyperbolic? Well, maybe. But consider Bush’s latest master stroke: the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. The pact includes the U.S., Japan, Australia, China, India and South Korea; these six countries account for most of the world’s carbon emissions. The treaty is, in essence, a technology transfer agreement. The U.S., Japan and Australia will share advanced pollution control technology, and the pact’s members will contribute to a fund that will help implement the technologies. The details are still sketchy and more countries may be admitted to the group later on. The pact’s stated goal is to cut production of “greenhouse gases” in half by the end of the century.
What distinguishes this plan from the Kyoto protocol is that it will actually lead to a major reduction in carbon emissions! This substitution of practical impact for well-crafted verbiage stunned and infuriated European observers.
I doubt that the pact will make any difference to the earth’s climate, which will be determined, as always, by variations in the energy emitted by the sun. But when the real cause of a phenomenon is inaccessible, it makes people feel better to tinker with something that they can control. Unlike Kyoto, this agreement won’t devastate the U.S. economy, and, also unlike Kyoto, the agreement will reduce carbon emissions in the countries where they are now rising most rapidly, India and China. Brilliant.
But I don’t suppose President Bush is holding his breath, waiting for the crowd to start applauding.
UPDATE: Of all the thousands of posts we have done over the years, this one seems to most outrage the Left, I suppose because it is so at odds with liberals’ cherished illusions about President Bush. The tone of the post is obviously tongue in cheek, but liberals never seem to notice. They are, to put it charitably, not big on nuance. More important, I’ve never seen a liberal respond to, let alone rebut, the point of the post: that President Bush’s proposal to share pollution control technology with the countries where carbon emissions are rising most rapidly made far more sense than the Kyoto approach, which combined ineffectiveness with economic disaster. That, too, is a sign of the intellectual vacuity of modern liberalism.