G8 Question of the Day

As expected, the Bush administration successfully blocked the G8 nations from setting a firm target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The administration wants to spend the next 18 months coming up with a purely “aspirational” goal. Isn’t that special?

An unnamed reporter asked White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman Jim Connaughton the question of the day:

Can you explain why you guys are calling it leadership from the President to talk about continuing to talk, as opposed to just sitting down with the countries who are here in coming to some form of agreement?

Connaughton, a master of doubletalk, answered:


Well, actually, what we are doing is we are making a commitment to an accelerated process to see if we can get substantial agreement among the major countries

Well, actually, no, unless by “accelerated” he means “decelerated.”

Actually, the transcript of the press conference has better examples of Connaughton’s skill at double talk, as I will discuss in a later post.