No surprises here really. Iraq is sliding into civil war, the dollar may be sliding towards a crisis, the Bush Administration may be sliding towards the history books, but least it’s its belligerent and blinkered attitude towards climate change isn’t shifting an inch.

The administration has announced that it opposes the EU’s emissions trading programme which is intended to encourage industry to cut greenhouse gases. It would set limits and allow for trading allocations of carbon dioxide emissions, including in the aviation sector.

However the Americans believe it would unfairly disadvantage U.S. carriers. “We are strongly opposed to the imposition of a tax. We think this will violate trade rules,” says James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“It’s also not a smart way to find your way to efficiency in the aviation (industry),” he said. “The aviation sector has already made dramatic progress in becoming more fuel efficient because they have to. It costs a lot of money to fly people around.”

Maybe someone should tell Connaughton it also causes a great deal of ecological harm to fly all these people around.