In the battle to curb global climate change good intentions are everywhere. A major new U.N. Climate Change Conference is coming up (COP 26 in Glasgow this autumn, chaired by the U.K. and Italy), and U.S. President Joe Biden has vowed to bring the United States back into the Paris accord.

But what happens when good intentions and hard reality become so far apart that they cease to connect? That is just the situation that lies a year or two ahead on the climate change issue.

While nations and political leaders around the world are now strongly committed to targets for reducing carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases to zero, while many nations are dead set on virtuous green agendas and making real progress in cleaning up their energy production patterns, and while investment in renewables, especially wind and solar, will be roaring ahead, the global emissions numbers will be receiving little notice.