Obama sends in the troops

A year ago, Obama’s biggest worry was what kind of dog he’d bring to the White House. Now his smile is wearing thin and we can only hope he’s not Tony Blairing furiously and brokering deals that hold up only as long as he, and the cameras, are in the room. No wonder he looks weary. The contradictions must be getting to him. He’s just announced plans to deploy thousands more troops, and a week from now he’s due in Sweden to pick up a Nobel Peace Prize. One good thing: he plans to attend the global conference on climate change (Copenhagen, December 7-18). Last time the world made a treaty on climate change the US never signed up, so it’s some kind of progress to have a US president there at all. Let’s hope this is more than just a photo op.

Met Office map showing the impact of a 4º Celsius global rise in temperature.