Various governments may have agreed on what they're calling a new climate "agreement," but the debate is far from over.
The Paris agreement adopted on December 12 aims to prevent what some are calling "man-made global warming" from rising another 1.8 degrees (Fahrenheit) between now and the end of the century. Some religious leaders are applauding the move, as are President Obama and members of his administration.
"It will help the world prepare for the impacts of climate change that are already here, and also for those we know are now headed our way inevitably," said Secretary of State John Kerry.
The argument from the Obama administration and others is that man's burning of fossil fuels is resulting in heat-trapping emissions that warm temperatures and make for bigger, more powerful storms.
Regardless, the agreement in Paris is being criticized for not having any enforcement sanctions or mechanisms, something Kerry defended on Fox News Sunday. "If there had been a penalty, we would not have been able to get an agreement," he stated.
Kerry also acknowledged that the agreement will not "get us to the final level," but points out that countries did agree to reduce their emissions: "The curve of emissions is beginning to come down. If we can stay on track, we have a chance to avoid the worst damage of climate change."
Paul Driessen with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) sees a bit of silver lining in all of this.
"It's a victory for all of us, I guess, in the sense that it's voluntary; it's not obligatory for anybody," he notes. "But I think a lot of the language that has been used to characterize this is just incredibly misleading. And as a lot of scientists point out, the effect on climate change is greatly exaggerated."
Craig D. Idso, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and founder and chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide, writes: "The people behind the Paris climate negotiations care little for the truth, little for fossil fuels, little for affordable energy and little for the millions of unfortunate people who will suffer the negative consequences of their misguided plans to eliminate carbon-based energy."