I was reading through some leftish/alarmist environmental blogs, and I was struck by how many desperately want to buy into the story line that poorer nations are the true heroes of Copenhagen, holding the rich nations feet to the fire so they will commit to deeper CO2 cuts.
Really? A bunch of dictators who demonstrably have little concern for their citizens and spend most of their time trying to figure out how to divert state funds into their Swiss bank accounts suddenly care about the effects of anthropogenic climate change on their nations? Hugo Chavez, whose nation currently is avoiding following Zimbabwe down the toilet only by its oil revenues really wants the world to wean itself off oil?
Here is the perfect analogy for the Third World's sudden interest in climate: The "I will work for food" sign. Beggers learned that (at least for a while) this sign was a good marketing tool. They had no intention of doing any work (I had a friend who used to drive up to all of them and offer them landscaping work in exchange for lunch, always to be turned down flat) but they knew it made potential donors more sympathetic - see, they really want to work but are just down on their luck. If you haven't seen the movie Interstate 60, you really need to. Relevant clip below:
This is exactly the equivalent of the Third World's sudden interest in climate change. Up to this point, their leaders have shown no interest in stopping the raping of their own local ecosystems. These guys are certainly not conservationists, but they know a good marketing tool. Copenhagen is about these guys putting their hands out, and using climate as the marketing tool to soften up their marks in the West. These nations certainly have no intention of having any targets or restrictions placed on their countries. And it looks like they may succeed, at least in the treaty phase.
Obama has positioned himself in such a way that he feels that he has to have something he can call a win at Copenhagen. So he goes to the politician's traditional playbook, which is to use taxpayer money to buy a deal to try to make himself look better. He is working to do this with the passage of the health care bill and he probably will do this in Copenhagen, agreeing to $100 billion a year in payoffs to third world kleptocracies so he can look like a winner to western socialists.