SEA ISLAND, Ga. (Reuters) -- In the land of the mighty gas-guzzling vehicle, leaders at a Group of Eight summit are whizzing around in electric carts.
First lady Laura Bush used hers to pick up her Canadian counterpart, Sheila Martin, for lunch. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was going so fast in his that he almost overshot the mark at his arrival on Wednesday for a summit session.
The workhorse of the summit transport fleet on Sea Island, Georgia, is the DaimlerChrysler Gemcar, a battery-powered vehicle that is a darling of the green set because of its zero emissions.
Each delegation has two, painted in their national colors.
So it was easy to tell that Russian President Vladimir Putin was meeting Bush inside the resort's Dunbar House because his cart was parked outside.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's has a British flag emblazoned across it in Austin Powers style. Perhaps that is why he was frequently seen on foot.
The four-seater Gemcars, largely open to the elements, provided a quieter, slower contrast to the gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles so beloved by Americans. Bush himself is a pickup truck man.
They complemented the golf-course ambience of Sea Island, a privately owned Atlantic Ocean barrier island separated from the Georgia mainland by sprawling marshes and shallow waterways that are home to flounder, mullet and speckled trout.
Pelicans fly over head and the Old South is present in the magnolias, palmetto palms and Spanish moss. A newer South is evident in the multi-million-dollar retreats that line the shore, one of which is the Bush home this week.
Fortunately the accommodation is pet friendly. The Bushes brought first dog Barney, who Mrs Bush took for a nature walk on Tuesday. They saw three alligators.
"She kept Barney away from them. We have to protect the first dog," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the first lady.