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.
The climate-change conundrum isn't set by contending ideologies, whose adherents can argue about whether tax cuts create jobs or kill them. Political reality is hard to change, but physics and chemistry are impossible to shift.
Driving change and convincing people that green is good for business requires logic, facts, examples ... but also passion, emotion, and yes, cheerleading. What's wrong with celebrating every now and then?
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.
Across Africa, changing weather patterns and erratic rainfall are making farming more and more difficult, contributing to food crisis and famines in country after country. Support and leadership from the US is urgently needed in Cancún and beyond.
There will be no major agreement to stop global warming this week, despite the timed release of a number of reports that show that the phenomenon is advancing more rapidly than expected, with lethal consequences.
The diminished number of political figures is contrasted by the growing participation of the business community which is speaking in stronger terms than ever before about the need to find real solutions to human-induced climate change.