Danish Guest Asks Bush to Back Climate Treaty

With less than a year to go in office, President Bush has begun offering valedictory courtesies to favored foreign leaders, including a much coveted ranch visit this weekend to the Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Despite his obvious delight at being invited to Mr. Bush's ranch, Mr. Rasmussen wanted the president to reciprocate his loyalty, providing support for Denmark's efforts to negotiate a new global warming treaty when it is the host of a conference next year in Copenhagen. Mr. Bush told reporters on Saturday, "We talked about climate change, more than once, as I showed him my ranch and how we're conservationists in Crawford.' Mr. Rasmussen, in turn, described Mr. Bush as "a convinced environmentalist' and world leader on the issue. But it remained unclear whether Mr. Bush was offering anything beyond a rhetorical blessing. The administration has long been at odds with many European countries that would like to forge a new treaty with mandated limits on greenhouse gas-causing emissions. Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor who has called attention to the issue of global warming, said in an interview that a Bush administration pledge about reducing global warming would lack credibility because the administration had opposed many domestic programs to save energy and cut oil consumption. "No one will take this as anything meaningful,' he said. Professor Oppenheimer also noted that Mr. Bush would be long gone from office when dozens of nations meet in Copenhagen at the end of 2009. Mr. Bush offered a favorable interpretation of Denmark's decision to withdraw most of its forces from Iraq, saying the action was based on "the policy of