Copenhagen Challenge: Obama's High Stakes Climate Gamble - NBC Bay Area

Copenhagen Challenge: Obama's High Stakes Climate Gamble

Prez arrives for global summit amid bickering and no real agreement



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    President Obama is hoping to help forge an international climate change deal in Copenhagen, but the odds may be against him.

    President Obama will arrive today in Copenhagen for a United Nation’s Climate Change Summit that has been marked more by bickering than by compromise.

    Walkouts by smaller nations, resistance from larger countries and civilian protests have highlighted the 193-nation meeting that was intended to create a framework for  an international deal on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The hope was that Obama would arrive with an agreement in place – but that hasn’t happened. What will he say and what is at stake?

    • Newsweek’s Daniel Stone said, with no agreement close, Obama is “forced to transform rather dramatically from America’s grand orator to its top negotiator.” A balance of firm promises and humility will be in order, according to Stone. “He’ll have to make a repeated case for urgency in the face of the world’s environmental challenges while admitting that his country has, in fact, been one of the biggest foot-draggers of them all.”
    •’s Ed Morrissey isn’t sure what Obama should say, but is certain of one thing: “Obama can’t afford to look foolish for at least the third time on his international adventures. He went to Copenhagen earlier this year to make a personal plea to land the Olympics for Chicago, which wound up in last place in the final selection process. He returned with considerable egg on his face for that decision, tossed in some cases by his allies. His trip to Asia got poor marks across the political spectrum for having accomplished nothing, and set people to wondering whether his amateurish handling of presidential diplomacy was becoming a pattern.”
    • ABC News’ Political Punch blog called Obama’s trip a “high-stakes gamble,” noting the Olympic failure. “With much work left undone and very few hours until the conclusion of the summit on Friday evening, Mr. Obama's prestige may be put on the line by even attending the conference,” writers Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller said. “The last time the President flew to Copenhagen he came back empty handed, while trying to secure the 2012 summer Olympics for Chicago. Yet this time, Mr. Obama has higher stakes with the threat of international failure.”
    • Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft, a global warming skeptic is blunt, expecting Obama to “humiliate the U.S. again as he travels to the Copenhagen Conference tomorrow in a blizzard to talk junk science.”