By Dr. Orr Karassin.
DURBAN, South Africa (Nov. 28, 2011) — Two years ago, negotiations over a new worldwide agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions “rolled over and died” at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen. Attempts were made to revive them at last year's conference in Cancun. This year's conference, which opened today, must try to “stabilize the patient’s condition.” In the meantime, fewer than 12 months remain until the previous agreement, known as the Kyoto Protocol, expires. Despite all of this, the impression here is that the countries that hold the key to remedying the situation are not feeling the sense of urgency necessary to spur signing the agreement required to stabilize the rise in temperature which is projected at a maximum of two degrees over the next 100 years. And there is a broad consensus that an inability to meet this target will have disastrous effects worldwide.