Will he or won't he? To go, or not to go? That is the question.
The international climate change conference flies into Copehagen in December, trailing clouds of CO2 behind each jet. And the speculation and political bloviation over whether President Obama will attend is sure to reach atmospheric heights unless he makes a public announcement of his intentions.
Meanwhile, President Obama continues to push for an energy bill from Congress, and even talked to MIT students and faculty about how they can help with clean energy innovation and research. Bet they already know that.
Whether or not the American President is at the Copenhagen talks is more symbolic than substantive. His presence did not get Chicago the Olympics they wanted so why would we imagine he can wrestle over 170 nations into some global warming concensus?
President Obama is to go to Oslo, Norway, to accept his Nobel Peace Prize. That's set to happen while the climate change conference is going on. Oslo's a very short plane ride from Copenhagen. It is also a guaranteed international platform where he could talk about global warming without going to nearby Denmark.
COPENHAGEN: THE STAKES
Some African nations see their future at stake. Many nations there already have widespread poverty, drought, starvation. The three poorest nations on earth are in tropical Africa. Some analysts warn African nations they have to walk away from the next international agreement if it limits how they are can grow food or their economy.
Both China and India have been signalling they are ready for global action on global warming. But they also take the long-beloved stance that they want no legally binding mandates. They get the "you-can't-tell-us-what-to-do" position from the longstanding American policy that this nation is above international law, period. India did ratify the Kyoto Protocol, China and the U.S. did not. That expires in 2012. The lead U.N. negotiator on climate change has now admitted there'll be no agreement reached in Copenhagen. Perhaps a framework? An understanding? A promise to meet again? A statement of intention? An option on future talks? Maybe they need some political deriatives that look good and have no value. That's worked great for Wall Street. India is asking for widespread sharing of clean technology. [poll id="192"]