The climate talks in Copenhagen: It's clearly an "all your eggs in one basket" kind of deal. However, it's better that the "eggs" ride along in any basket as opposed to being kicked around like golf balls "foot-wedged" from the rough. If we leave it up to lawmakers alone, though, we may end up scrambled anyway, but that's an entirely different discussion.
Admittedly, the Kyoto Protocol has served the world's governments as a framework within which they can build and implement environmentally conscious policies. What has been disturbing about all the lead up to the Copenhagen talks is that most new agencies and media figures have been repeating their skepticism at reaching any kind of binding climate agreement.
Even as the talks get underway, the media is poisoning the diplomatic dynamic, one that is inherently fragile and often emotionally charged, by continuing to convey only the doubts surrounding the summit. The media should report on the talks day-to-day, bringing the public a snapshot of a restricted, influential slice of the democratic process; leave conjecture to the think-tanks and just see what happens instead of jinxing the whole affair with negative projections.
As a media leader, The New York Times is doing the prescribed job at least: the organization is trying to present a multi-faceted look at Copenhagen while using Kyoto as a reference point (maybe the only one available). Check out the piece on the Kyoto Protocol's effect on carbon emissions and we begin to see from where the negative outlook for results in Copenhagen sprung forth. The interactive page-by-page diagram is particularly informative.
For the most part, the media has put a figurative "dark cloud" over Copenhagen where a literal cloud has already formed -- over there and over here and everywhere in between. My hope is that humanitarian vision and idealism will prevail over the practicalities of economic strength and profit trajectories as related to emissions legislation. Our leaders need to see that, in addition to supporting bottom-up, grassroots conservation efforts that keep local economies thriving and green, they need to put the U.S. in a political and economic position to lead by example and let that ecologically-minded position trickle down to developing world where the environmental battles can still be fought and won, as well.
We all have a responsibility to "quit smoking" fossil fuels, as we've learned to do so well since the Industrial Revolution, and begin sipping green energy to the benefit of the entire earthly system. Let's hope that those in Copenhagen can find a path through the concrete jungle of rhetoric and greed to a healthier planet for us all -- one where human rights, economic fortitude, and environmental impacts all still matter.