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Here’s a surprise. The countries with the best stories to tell at the forthcoming U.N. Copenhagen conference on climate change will probably be the ones that have not signed up to carbon-reducing targets at all, or have only signed up very recently. It could be China, the United States, India and Japan that are making far the best progress in genuinely cutting carbon emissions and adopting greener life and work styles.

This is because many of the policymakers and lofty statespersons who attend events like Copenhagen have lost touch with the real springs of human progress. They have forgotten that ambitious promises by politicians convince ever fewer in a skeptical world and that the real drivers are changes in actual behavior at every level, from the home to the factory to the office and in every aspect of daily life.

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