There will be time for full post-mortems on the "deal" that the US, China, India and South Africa struck tonight. The initial impression of most journalists is that it was a failure–indeed, that’s the word the Guardian uses in its headline. It has no real targets, no real timetables, not really much of anything very useful. And it was reached without the participation of most of the countries that will suffer most and have contributed least to the problem.
And yet there was a strangely hopeful gathering outside the Bella Center in the freezing cold after midnight. Mostly young people, chanting slogans–especially 3-5-0–long into the night. They were upset, but they were also optimistic–because they know that the one undeniable thing about this conference is that it reflected the growing power of a people’s movement around the world. You were heard. We’re not strong enough yet to dominate the talks–that’s still the fossil fuel industry. But we’re strong enough to make it harder for the great powers simply to impose their will behind the scenes. This time the power grab was out in the open. People have learned a lot about both climate science and international relations in the last few weeks–it will pay off in the months ahead. Stay tuned–and stay hopeful. We haven’t won…yet.