One could say that we have a president who does not rush to decide or do things. In some cases that could be a positive thing. In others like the decision on whether to send troops and how many to Afghanistan it could be less so. The decision on whether to attend the Copenhagen summit at the beginning of December should not have been so agonizing for the president, specially if he believes in global warming. And yet it is only now about two weeks before that we have been told finally that he is going. Some say that after the debacle of his last trip to Copenhagen, when the Olympics were lost to Chicago, together with the strong opposition in the senate to any Bill curbing gas emissions to the amount propose by the president, the White House was apprehensive about the president going to the summit. As it is now Mr Obama will be in Denmark on December 9, at the start of the conference, on his way to Oslo to collect The Nobel Prize for Peace. The timing could be a coincidence or one could wonder whether the president would have attended at all were not for his trip to Oslo. In any case his arrival at the beginning is disappointing environmentalists that say the timing of the visit makes it little more than symbolic and it certainly would not be as effective as if he would have gone towards the end of the conference when most of the leaders such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown plan to attend the negotiations. Typically, major decisions at international climate forums come during the last weekend of the conference. In any case, Mr Obama will point to new US car mileage standards as well as saying that the target of a 17 per cent cut by 2020 should become legally binding in a Bill he hopes to sign next year. Whether Mr Obama can indeed turn his 17 per cent pledge into law is another matter.
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