the rest of the world is no longer waiting for the Bush administration. At the international climate conference held in Montreal last year, European nations called the administration's bluff when it refused to commit even to the breathtakingly modest step of someday discussing what framework might follow the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. At past summits, the administration's stubbornness led other nations to back down in hopes of keeping America involved in the process. At Montreal, the world quit waiting for Godot and recognized, as Elliot Morley, Tony Blair's minister of the environment, says, "there are a lot of voices in the United States in addition to the Bush administration, and we will work with all of them to address this problem."
The same thing is happening inside the U.S. "It is very clear that Congress will put mandatory greenhouse-gas-emission reductions in place, immediately after George W. Bush leaves office," says Philip Clapp of N.E.T. "Even the Fortune 500 is positioning itself for the inevitable. There isn't one credible 2008 Republican presidential candidate who hasn't abandoned the president's do-nothing approach. They have all adopted the approach the rest of the world took at the Montreal talks—we're moving forward, you're a lame duck, and we have to deal with it."
Regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C., state and local governments across America are aggressively confronting the problem. Two hundred and eight mayors have committed their cities to meet or exceed the emissions reductions mandated by the Kyoto Protocol, and some have gone further. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has committed California to 30 percent cuts by 2020.