The 195 governments represented in Warsaw appear to be wearing their own ideological blinders, placing the planet and future generations in very real peril. National self-interest, it seems, outweighs global necessity.
As we watch the world debate how best to address climate change, and as carbon emissions continue to soar, at least one climate strategy strikes me as a "no-brainer." We should do everything we can to save the world's forests.
Climate change is the highest-ranking risk the world will face in the coming years, but what's even more important is the interconnections between climate change and the other top risks, from economic disparity to geopolitical crises.
This year, President Obama issued an executive order to implement conservation-based management of our public seas, while marine researchers discovered an area in the Pacific containing 40 times more plastic than plankton.
The acceptance of the Cancún Agreements suggests that the international diplomatic community may now recognize that incremental steps in the right direction are better than acrimonious debates over unachievable targets.
As the U.N. Climate Change Conference talks headed toward a conclusion last Friday in Cancún, civil society groups spoke out against the United Nations for what they called its "flawed" and undemocratic process.
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that while the world is far from ready to do what it must with the substance of the climate threat, it is also true that the process has become the enemy, rather than the facilitator, of progress.
It's going to be a long road ahead, but the resounding determination expressed by the nations of the world in Cancún to find a real and lasting solution to this pressing challenge has restored my optimism.