World leaders say Copenhagen to be a steppingstone to final climate deal,” as I wrote on Sunday.   Here is an excerpt from Time magazine’s take on the matter, “World Leaders Put Off a Climate Change Treaty,” by Bryan Walsh:

If there is a bright side, however, the deliberate downshift in expectations for Copenhagen could make it easier for world leaders, including Obama, to attend the summit and draft a stronger political agreement. In addition, diplomats could build out the framework of a future agreement, with the hope that, should the Senate pass carbon legislation early next year, a deal with real numbers could be finalized relatively quickly.

But there’s no getting around the fact that as the science of climate change grows more dire, the global political system seems increasingly unable to deal with that reality. “We don’t want a global suicide pact,” said Mohamed Nasheed, the president of the Maldives, a low-lying Indian Ocean nation that could be swamped by global warming-caused flooding. “We want a global survival pact.” But the world’s most influential leaders still aren’t ready for that.

There is no getting around the fact that the science of climate change is growing more dire, and the world’s most influential leaders are not yet ready to do what is necessary.  But my only small difference with Walsh is that I don’t think the global political system is “increasingly unable to deal with that reality.”  I think it has never been able to fully deal with that reality, but that in fact most of the nations of the world — including ours — are increasingly ready to take serious action.

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