It is obvious that President Obama understands the climate and sustainability crisis facing America and the world. It is equally obvious that he and his team lack the leadership, management and political skills to do much about it.
Obama will no doubt outline how the planet is in crisis from global warming, which it is. But he also needs to sell Americans on how tough new standards for carbon polluters can lead to innovation in the broader economy.
The big question in Durban is whether an extraordinarily obstructive Obama administration is days away from killing this process and burying its corpse next to the Doha round of trade talks.
The stakes really are that high.