French intellectual Guy Sorman speaking with Russian economic advisor Arkady Dvorkovitch on global warming (from Sorman's book Economics Does Not Lie:
The growth potential of China and India has convinced them that oil prices can only further rise, to Russia's great benefit. When I raise the specter of global warming and the policy response to it, which could result in lower oil and gas consumption, my Russian interlocutors laugh. This is a debate fabricated in the United States, they explain, and is not taken very seriously by the Indians and Chinese--and in any case, Russian climatologists do not subscribe to the global warming theory. "Hasn't Russia ratified the Kyoto Protocol on the limiting of greenhouse gases?" I ask. Dvorkovitch is dismissive: It was merely a political gesture.
We can expect more such empty gestures from countries like Russia when the next round of talks on climate change agreements kick off in Copenhagen. The problem is that for the Obama Administration such agreements aren't merely political gestures, they're commitments that they're going to enforce upon America to our economic detriment. No wonder the Russians are laughing.