When it comes to global warming, who does President Bush think he’s kidding?

For five of the last six years he lived in denial, refusing even to admit the existence of global warming. A year ago, he finally acknowledged it’s real, but insisted we still don’t know whether it’s man-made. And all the time, of course, he opposed any action by the United States to help fight global warming.

Hammered at home and abroad for his ostrich-like approach to the problem, President Bush now has a new position. As he revealed at last week’s White House summit, Bush now believes: Yes, global warming exists. Yes, it’s caused by human activities. But NO, we shouldn’t mandate any reduction in greenhouse gases. We should just set goals for industry to meet — voluntarily.

What a total cop-out. What are we going to do? Go back to voluntary speed limits, too? Or how about voluntary taxes?

Let’s face it. If those who run power plants and refineries were going to stop polluting voluntarily, they would have done so a long time ago.

What an embarrassment. And what a tragedy.

The glaciers are melting. The icecap is disappearing. The earth is burning. And George Bush is fiddling.