As delegates from 200 nations meet in Copenhagen to focus on Climate Change, there are good reasons for both cynacism and hope.
On the cynic's side, you only have to turn to the Fossil of the Day awards. Since 1999, these dubious awards have been given at each annual international climate talk. Environmentalists vote for the country which has made the best effort to BLOCK progress in the negotiations.
The three dubious award winners are a surprise: They are Canada (its environmental minister proclaimed that the "hype" around the event would not motivate his country to increase its emission targets), Finland, Austria and Sweden (all three cited for leading the fight to get the European Union to agree not to penalize countries to the full extent for greenhouse gas emissions generated by logging interests) and first place to "all the industrialized nations for collectively showing up in Copenhagen with too low an ambition level.")
On the HOPE side, this meeting is getting more press attention than any before it. And while most of the action appears to be photo ops and posturing, it is a big deal that the President of the United States is showing up give an address on the final day. Could you imagine George Bush or his father or Ronald Reagan showing up?
Personally, like many who voted for Obama, I've been disappointed by his politics as usual approach to Afghanistan and the economy. But at least he shows up occasionally on the world stage to voice some progressive views.
And while much of the U.S. media stays riveted to the Tiger Woods story (hey, I have to admit it's a fascinating story), the Copenhagen Climate Change meeting is getting a lot of attention both here and abroad.