US President Bush has sent a letter to 15 governments plus the EU and the United Nations inviting them to meet on 27-28 September in Washington to discuss future climate change and global energy policies. More on this in the Telegraph and New York Times.
The obvious cynical reaction of anyone worried about climate change and energy is, of course, to doubt whether the US President, who killed Kyoto and for years questioned the human factor behind climate change, has become a real converted believer (a Gore-an?). Moreover, I am very sceptical about the global climate change circus and believe that real progress is more likely to come from enlightened big cities and regions.
This being said, I see one interesting and positive point in Bush’s invitation letter: the fact that the meeting will go beyond pure climate change issues. As the title on the letter suggests, this will be a meeting on “energy security and climate change”. I think even the order of the two issues in the title has a significance. I would dare to go as far as to state that Bush’s conversion has more to do with the growing awareness of the world’s and the US empire’s energy predicament(the supply-demand crunch or for others, “peak oil”) than with climate change as such.
If the September meeting can succeed in adding that particular “energy descent” dimension to the current political fever on climate change, Mr Bush will have left a remarkable “green” legacy indeed.Author : Willy De Backer