In what I think is a bold move, most European leaders under leadership of CDU forewoman Angelika Merkel, agreed on a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by the entire EU by 20% in 2020, measured from the marker year 1990. That is quite a challenge and I believe the means to achieve it are somewhat dubious: France bets heavily on nuclear, the Netherlands on CO2 injection in the depleted gas fields. But at least we are getting somewhere and it seems environmental issues can’t NOT be on any political movement’s agenda anymore.

At the same time, after staring at his belly button on Iraq for 5 years, president Bush is now on a 7 days “charm offensive” in South America. The same South America which has heavily distanced itself in the last decade from the US. And of course he is only visiting the countries that have chosen “the right way” (“right” being allowed to be dual-interpreted here), in an attempt to minimize Chavez influence in the region. Interestingly enough, the “wrong” countries are the ones having oil. And the one country that REALLY matters (Brazil) was praised on their use of ethanol, thank you thank you that we can kindly use your technology, but at the same time, US ethanol import taxes will not be lowered, to protect US corn farmers.

note: Of course there was a Belgian a$$hole minister chartering an army helicopter to bring him to the showing of Al Gore’s movie (2000% more emissions than a car) and Barosso, the EU chairman, drove in his SUV to the conference, showing word and action are easily separated in politicians peoples minds.