New summer '08 hot spot: The North Pole

Forget Cape May -- the North Pole is looking like a nice spot for a sunset cruise these days:

For the first time in modern history, the North Pole may be iceless this summer. Scientists say it's an even bet that sea ice in the region will completely disappear in the next few months, perhaps as soon as August.

So you can understand the great sense of urgency that world leaders are applying to climate change:

RUSUTSU, Japan — Pledging to “move toward a low-carbon society,” leaders of the world’s richest nations on Tuesday endorsed the idea of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, but refused to set a short-term target for reducing the gases that scientists agree are warming the planet.


Environmentalists, though, were harshly critical. Phil Clapp, an expert in climate change at the Pew Environmental Group who is here monitoring the talks, said the leaders had significantly weakened language they adopted last year at Heiligendamm.

“The emissions reduction goal is extremely weak,” Mr. Clapp said, because it aims to reduce emissions from current levels rather than 1990 levels, as the leaders proposed last year. He added, “The science shows that we have to reduce 80 to 90 percent from current levels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

What would Ronald Reagan do?

It's the open thread, people. Who is the greater threat to mankind -- Obama, McCain, or Eaton? Discuss, and I'll see you tomorrow.