Here’s a piece that was just published at Mother Jones, a great magazine based in the United States.

Two caveats. First, early in the primary season, when I was asked to join Environmentalists for Obama, I signed on immediately. I knocked doors, made phone calls, gave money, and celebrated his victory—I think he’s the best president of my lifetime.

Second, Obama has done much that’s right about climate, including surround himself with a stellar staff of advisers. From auto mileage to green stimulus spending, he’s done more to deal with global warming than all of the presidents combined in the 20 years that it’s been an issue.

But that’s a pretty low bar. And the announcement yesterday from the APEC meeting in Singapore that next month’s Copenhagen climate talks will be nothing more than a glorified talking session makes it clear that he has, at least for now, punted on the hard questions around climate. The world won’t be able to get started on solving our climate problem, and the obstacle—as it has been for the last two decades—is the United States.

And in fact none of this should come as a surprise to anyone paying attention. For a year now it’s been clear that the president is not particularly focused on applying the political pressure that would have been necessary to reach any kind of pact, much less one that approaches what the science demands. Despite the deadline of the Copenhagen conference, Obama placed energy second on his priority list, guaranteeing that health care would occupy most of the year. He talked very little about climate, tending instead to talk about green jobs and energy security, and in the process left the door open for climate deniers to have a field day. And then—as with health care—he left it pretty much entirely up to Congress to write the necessary legislation. That kept him from having to bear the blame for a Byzantine bill, but it also meant that the Senate—the body from which he came, and whose culture he had to know—could work in its usual style, without White House pressure. Which at the moment means that Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham are essentially rewriting the legislation, to what end no one really knows.

Click here to read more of the article at Mother Jones

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