It's not just the talks at Cancun that could be going better. Cancun itself could be going better–as John Vidal makes clear in today's Guardian, the giant resort town is an ecological disaster–dying mangroves, water pollution, on and on. We were particularly taken by the comments from a local marine biologist, Roberto Iglesias-Prieto, who works at the nearby university in Puerto Morelos:

"Reefs can only grow in the right circumstances. If CO2 in the atmosphere rises to 450ppm [parts per million], the limit that politicians are prepared to go to, then there will be a major die-back of reefs around the world. Even a rise of 2C in temperature will be a major problem. We have to [keep] to 350ppm. It is the only way to stabilise the climate that is compatible with coral reefs. The game is not over, but it looks bad."

Everyone seems to get it but the politicos–especially the Americans, who have pushed relentlessly for a 450 ppm target.