We're #53! We're #53!
Sweden, Britain and Denmark are doing the most to protect against climate change, according to a report released Monday by environmental groups.
The United States ranked #53, with only China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia doing worse.
"We don't have any winners, we only have countries that are better compared to others," said Matthias Duwe of the Climate Action Network-Europe, which released the data at the U.N. climate conference. "We don't have big shining stars."
The index ranks 56 countries that were part of a 1992 climate treaty or that contribute at least 1 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. The calculations took into account emissions levels, emissions trends and climate policy.
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was quick to offer official spin.
“The president has made dealing with climate change a priority for this administration (and) will continue to,'' he said. Two weeks ago, Snow said that “contrary to stereotype,” President Bush has been “actively engaged in trying to fight climate change.”
Remember, we're ranked #53. Can anyone seriously believe that climate change is an administration priority? Can anyone seriously believe Bush is "actively engaged" on the subject?
Since empty conservative spin hasn't helped, here are two ideas that may help raise the ranking: Bush should (albeit belatedly) fulfill his promise to cap carbon emissions, and he should stop offering the spin that global warming can be successfully fought through "voluntary” programs.