President Obama is scheduled to be in attendance for the start of the Climate Summit in Copenhagen. He has stated that he will personally commit the United States to a substantial reduction in greenhouse gases.

Obama reportedly will insist that the United States is ready to take on global warming, despite resistance in Congress over projected higher costs for business and homeowners and claims it will increase the federal deficit even more. The president is also reportedly going to recommend a U.S. commitment to a 17% reduction in greenhouse emissions over the next decade and an 80% reduction by mid century.

But will he really?

Considering the American track record of hedging, fudging and being non-committal to any serious goals of greenhouse gas reductions at past climate summits, it will be a minor miracle if he does make a serious commitment. Plus, Obama is under enormous political pressure from the right and their notorious spin machine (the Flat Earth Society), as well as some conservative Democrats.

Further consider that there is an ever-increasing disbelief by the American people in the science of global warming. In the most recent poll, only 51% of Americans believe global warming is real. That’s down from 71% in 2007. Additionally, about 29% don’t believe in global warming and 21% are unsure. Patterns of belief follow along political lines, with 73% of Democrats as believers and only 28% of Republicans in the same camp.

Even more interesting, a recent Reuters article stated that 25% of the U.S. population says they are evangelical Christians who believe in a catastrophic end to life on earth. So they see the end result of unchecked global warming as divine predestination. This is undoubtedly the same group that has succeeded in demonizing science.

If President Obama hopes to achieve any truly significant reduction in emissions at the Climate Summit, he will have to buck public and religious opinion, as well as political pressure from both sides. It will take a deep commitment to truth and not consequences, and perhaps a little divine intervention, to save us from ourselves.

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