True, I’m an American. But I spent the 4th of July in Beijing, talking over video to a big United Nations conference in Tokyo, about the most important number in the world.

The conference, at United Nations University, featured Jim Hansen detailing the science. I did my best to explain what the science meant in terms of the new international negotiations–mainly, the Copenhagen in December of 2009 represents our last chance to get things right. Others–notably Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute–focused on the need for new technological innovation.

For me, though, the most notable part of the day was simply being in China, talking to Japan–and realizing, not for the first time, what a big planet and a small one it is at the same time.Happy Independence Day to the Americans reading this website, and Happy Interdependence Day to all of us.

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