That pioneering spirit that conquered the West, put a man on the moon and fought the Nazis during World War II is tucked in some secure undisclosed location in Washington, D.C.
As international talks about combating global warming continue in Bonn, Germany, chief U.S. negotiator Harlan Watson is already thinking ahead to July, where he plans to tell the Group of 8, according to Reuters "It's frankly not doable for us."
It, in this case, is meeting near-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 25-40% in the next 12 years. That goal is seen as critical for achieving a reduction of 50% or more by 2050, the worldwide goal for stabilizing the climate with two times the concentration of carbon dioxide as preindustrial times.
True, no one thinks this will be easy. The International Energy Agency estimates that it could cost $45 trillion by 2050 to transform the way the world uses energy in such a way as to stop messing with the climate.
The Bush Administration has written off the possibility of meeting that challenge, apparently. John McCain or Barack Obama may see things differently.
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