Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Will anyone get Lei'd? (ouch)

by Larry Geller

Ah, January in Hawaii. Who can resist? Yes, Bush is coming at the end of the month for his big climate change meeting. Of course, he doesn't want anything to happen that will hurt his oil buddies, so the best outcome for him is if it fails, of course. Or if it looks like a success but does nothing. You get my point. I would like to hope that something might be accomplished here, but I'm not expecting Bush to have an epiphany during his stay .

When people speak of the 1997 Kyoto meeting, it's generally with praise. The US is now isolated, everyone else has signed on to the Kyoto Protocol who matters (174 parties). Kyoto is associated with this highly regarded landmark in the effort to avert the effects of global warming. Kyoto shines all the more because we (the bad guys) won't go along with it.

So will Hawaii be associated with a failure? Will people remember the meeting held here? At best, maybe they'll forget it quickly.

Oh, that meeting.

Hawaii has nothing to do with it, except that some caterers will probably make a buck, there will be plenty of pomp, and maybe DBEDT will claim that Hawaii is now the center of something or other. The meeting will be closed to the public. You and I cannot attend. They're just using Hawaii as a convenient meeting place.

Oh, we taxpayers will probably be footing the bill for the extra security needed to hold the meeting here.

In fact, much of the world is already laughing. Here's an article deriving from an Agence France-Presse wire story:

Will Anyone Get Lei'd?

White House talks up its Hawaii climate-change meeting

16 Jan 2008

The White House has released a statement regarding its very own climate-change meeting for the world's biggest economies, to be held Jan. 30-31 in Hawaii. "The two-day meeting will further the shared objectives of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, increasing energy security and efficiency, and sustaining economic growth, and will help to advance the negotiations under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change," the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced, fooling no one. Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the United Nations are invited to send delegates. The gathering will be a follow-up to a rendezvous held back in September, at which nothing happened. The same is to be expected in Hawaii.

So that's Europe's take on this secret meeting. In Australia, there have been a few articles. My favorite was one about Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's wife, Theresa, insisting he cut off his sideburns so he wouldn't look like Elvis in Hawaii.

After attending to his hair the Prime Minister yesterday called on the US to join his government and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, ahead of a second round of climate change talks between major world economies.

That was from an article today. Any chance that Bush will ratify Kyoto? Australia is clearly laughing also. The Prime Minister, by taking preemptive action, is clearly trying to avoid any Elvis in Hawaii jokes that might result from his trip here.

The best thing Hawaii might do is distance itself from the meeting. Of course we won't do that. Look for Lingle-Bush photo ops, Ted Liu-Bush photo ops, etc.

Hawaii could end up the center of derision if we claim we were somehow part of something that the world might be laughing at.


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