Big political summits are often ceremonies of showmanship, where public relations is more important than content. So any euphoria about the upcoming U.N. global climate change conference in Paris would be ill-advised.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has already warned over-optimistic observers not to expect a binding agreement. That’s not what the United States wants. It never even ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which expired in 2012, and since then there has only been a certain vacuum regarding climate policy.
A look behind the scenes before the big show in Paris reveals it really won’t be that much about politics. Vilified companies, and even more vilified financial investors, have apparently made more progress than national governments as they bargain about allowable toxic emissions. Today the global trend is toward “green money” — or investing in ecologically advantageous technology. Industries that damage the environment are out of the game.