Greenhouse gases will have the same effect, whether they emanate from San Francisco or Shanghai. But politics, not science, keeps the focus on Bush, not Beijing.
You see, Bush had the audacity to refuse to support Kyoto. If he had been all lip service, like President Clinton -- if Bush had signed the treaty but not asked the Senate to ratify it, while U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose to 14 percent higher than 1990 levels when he left office -- then the vaunted international community would approve.
Science is supposed to be about results, but global warming is about belief. President Clinton's good because he said he believed. If you say you believe, you don't have to deliver.
If global warming is facing the tipping point, then the United Nations should lean on China. Believers shouldn't put their politics -- United States a must, China a maybe -- before the planet.
If undeveloped countries will pay the biggest price for global warming, as Ban said, then that's more reason to make them curb their emissions -- not less.
If the economics are clear, as Ban said, he should not have to pressure countries and businesses, execs would be making the right changes without government pressure. And Ban would not have to ask the media for help, as he did Friday.
If results matter, Ban ought to be hectoring Democrats in Congress, who are about as likely as Bush to pass a carbon tax. But he's not.
And if results really were paramount, why aren't global warming advocates talking about the sacrifices necessary to meet their goal of 50 percent to 90 percent fewer emissions? Instead, they talk as if Americans can change their light bulbs, or drive a hybrid, not an SUV -- and that will do the trick.
It's as if they don't care about results, they only care if you believe.