As work continues behind the scenes ahead of the Copenhagen summit on climate change, it appears increasingly likely that the US will make a series of commitments aimed at reducing its carbon emissions.
"We are absolutely committed to discussing the setting of a date when we will produce a roadmap to begin the discussion process that will allow us to move forward and initiate a list of planned aspirations," said a White House spokesperson.
This decisive shift is likely to be accompanied by a definite target on carbon reductions, although some experts are already questioning their choice of a reference date, amidst accusations of misleading statistics.
"We are recommending to the President that carbon emissions in 2030 need to be 85% below the levels of 2080. And we believe that half of the emissions will make up 50% of the total," said the government's chief scientist. "We still don't know for sure how these mysterious vapours travel through the ether or how people fall ill from the flux but future technologies will provide the answer. Wireless radio waves, the latest steam engines, leeches and jam jars will all have an important role to play."
Lobby groups have accused the US government of pinning too many of their hopes on scientific advances to solve the problem, an accusation strongly denied by one US official. "The only thing the US is pinning its hopes on at present, when it comes to solving climate change, is a donkey."
The World Wildlife Foundation is warning that numerous species face extinction if action is not taken soon. But selling unpopular policies to domestic voters is likely to remain a challenge. The feedback coming to pollsters from their focus groups is that voters no longer trust the WWF and generally believe that the wrestlers are acting. Their chief concerns remain who will take over when George Bush is no longer president and why troop casualties remain so high in the war against Europe.