Copenhagen after hours: we have a deal

Copenhagen's after-hours agreements. Nations go home to complete a writing assignment.

Some nations at Copenhagen are proclaiming victory. There is a deal. Deal details to follow, at some point.

Every nation goes away with homework: submit a written report on what you are going to do about emissions. Reports due next month. This is essentially a writing assignment. Oh, and apparently there is agreement that billions of dollars worth of "aid" will flow to poor countries to cope with global warming between now and 2020. Much of this is "in-kind" and not actual cash. This could lead to NGOs planting trees in deforested areas and everybody proclaiming that a major donation.

President Obama proclaimed a meaningful breakthrough. Reporters there believe this means China has agreed to some sort of transparency on its emission reduction programs. US, China, Brazil, India and South Africa have now agreed to try to keep the earth's temperature increase to two degrees Centrigrade. But President Obama says there is much more that needs to be done. Even these modest moves by major countries is a major political defeat for GW denial. Not one major nation stood up in public and said "This ain't happenin'." So the GW concerns now run the gamut from right-wing and left-wing authoritarian, sectarian governments to Muslim fundamentalist states to various elected regimes around the globe.

In the U.S. it still remains problematic about how any emissions regs will come down. The EPA has threatened to administratively take action but would love be off the hook. That would require Congress actually doing something about a national energy and climate change policy. That could, in turn, largely depend on what China's really agreed to and how that sits with some members of the U.S. Senate.

If you're wondering where all this might lead for American greentech firms and jobs, there's a solid discussion of the matter on this NPR show. No politicians wreeinterviewed so there's some sense being made. One point made clearly: the Apple model may prevail in American greentech: research, development and design in U.S. Factories somewhere in cheap labor markets. No salvation here for all those unemployed factory workers in Detroit and elsewhere. [poll id="208"]

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