A Bit of Sunshine From Cancun?

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Just got this direct tweet from one of MoJo’s editors:

Hey Kevin, you want to tweet/blog link to Kate’s Cancun wrap up?

Seriously? The Cancun climate talks? You’re trying to tell me that I shouldn’t have completely tuned them out weeks ago? That something actually happened there? Seriously? OK then. Let’s see what Kate Sheppard has to say:

Broadly, the agreement accomplishes most of what observers hoped it would heading in two weeks ago: It records the commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions that developed and developing countries made in Copenhagen, establishes a framework for transparency, sets up a global climate fund with the goal of providing $100 billion in financing to developing countries by 2020, and establishes an initiative aimed at curbing deforestation.

Um, what? Actual progress? Granted, it was fairly modest progress, and apparently a decision to extend the binding Kyoto limits on greenhouse gas emissions was kicked down the road another year. As Sivan Kartha, a senior scientist with the Stockholm Environment Institute in Boston, says, it’s not clear whether that one-year delay on a decision will serve as “a lifeline or a noose” for Kyoto.

Still, read the whole thing. I’ve been in such a deep funk over climate change for the past six months that I’ve barely paid any attention to it at all. I have a feeling I’m not the only one. But Kate quotes EU commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard, who says last year’s failure at Copenhagen might have opened a few eyes. “The major difference is that people this year realized if we didn’t get a result here the process risked dying,” she said. “Basically it was the political will that changed.”

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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