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Detroit? Climate Change? Waiting games continue

There'll be no word on loans to Detroit's Shrinking Three from the White House until the U.S.

There'll be no word on loans to Detroit's Shrinking Three from the White House until the U.S. President returns from his trip abroad. So the American-owned carmakers, the UAW and the many parts suppliers, not to mention dealers and potential customers (if there are any left), will just twist slowly...

But the chattering classes are not to be silent. Economists and those ever-popular "analysts" are being quoted as warning of Armageddon, money-wise, if the automakers and their employees are NOT saved from themselves.

Automakers' pain spreads. NASCAR appears to be running out of track, too. If you're not a hardcore sports fans, you may've missed all the predictions of NASCAR doom. Will we see Senate action to stop NASCAR bankruptcy? Will there be another Federal Reserve bail-out, or will we silently applaud the drop in air pollution as those cars stop circling and circling? There are so many endangered parts of American life circa 2008, it's hard to know where to look next. I'm starting to get nostalgic over 401Ks and $4 gasoline. Those were the days....

ALSO UP IN THE AIR

And as for the larger issue of the world's only atmosphere and climate change? The international conference in Poznan, Poland, is over. What's next?

Here's one version of the next step from an European wire service. "Next year holds a big dream: by its end, the world will have forged a treaty in Copenhagen to shrink global warming from mankind-threatening juggernaut to manageable problem.

"Unprecedented in scale and complexity, this accord, due to take effect from 2012, will rein in the greenhouse gases that stoke global warming and throw a lifeline to poor countries exposed to mutated weather patterns. But realising this vision will now require extraordinary effort."

An American version says the future of climate change efforts hinges on the political battles betwen the rich and poorer nations over who'll do what, and who pays.

Whatever version of the next steps you follow, it will be a complex and heavily politicized period between now and the next international conflab in Copehagen. COP 15 as it's called begins at end of November, 2009.