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      Paris in the Dark Before Dawn

      We can only wait as the clock passes midnight, the moment when the Paris summit is scheduled to end. In politics that means the screws tighten, hard bargaining begins, tempers escalate, and the pressure increases for either "any deal" or a "better deal." The crunch is on. If I had to guess, the talks will be put over into the weekend.

      The latest good news is the Vatican's call for setting a 1.5-degree rise in global temperature for this century, significantly below the unreal current consensus of 2 degrees Celsius, which would open the gates to an irreversible loss of lives and ecosystems. The Vatican is joined by the Philippines and a score of vulnerable nations.

      The Republican Congress seems to be the only elected body that is abstaining from the proceedings altogether. In the phrase of Paul Krugman, that revival of the Know-Nothing faction in history positions them as the most dangerous enemy of civilization. The stakes have never been higher for environmentalists and Democrats to name and shame the Republicans for jeopardizing national and global security as well as our children's lives. As the GOP smirks in Paris, intense pressure is building everywhere in a belief that they will end their blind denial - or face a long-term set back at the hands of a center-left majority coalition.  I expect them to be absolutist until the end, which means progressive strategy must aim at the presidency, a larger bloc of Senate seats and a coalition of Democratic-leaning states and large cities everywhere.

      Meanwhile, readers should browse the fine summary of late-breaking developments from Susan Franks in Paris, summarized below. Thanks to our California friends like John White and Dan Jacobson for daily feedback as well.

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