I don't know if the Copenhagen Summit will end in some kind of a climate deal. But even if it does mark the first decisive step to do something about saving the planet, there are some who think it will amount to nothing, even if nations reach an agreement.
The reason being that reducing carbon emissions by 80% from the 1990 levels - the target for 2050 for rich countries - depends on technological breakthroughs, not political pledges at Copenhagen. Without technological breakthroughs, reducing carbon emissions by 80% will erode living standards in the countries concerned, says leading Indian economics journalist Swaminathan Aiyar.
In his latest column, Aiyar argues that through history, treaties have been junked if they become politically inconvenient. Not only that, he debunks climate science too by calling the projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projections as "just intelligent guesstimates". His parting shot: IPCC scientists may be the best in the world, yet they cannot predict the weather more than five days ahead.
I am sure a column like this would raise the hackles of climate scientists and environmentalists. Some of the comments below the column point out that economists are as bad as climatologists when it comes to predicting stock markets and economic trends.
Almost as a counter, journalist Amit Bhattacharya argues in his blog that the study of climate change is a multidisciplinary system science. Like any science of this nature, there are things that are well established and areas which aren't as clear, that is, where competing explanations exist and some parts that are yet speculative.
Climate science is all about probabilities, not certainties, Bhattacharya says. And when scientists talk about it, they are careful about throwing in all the caveats while making their points. This is one good reason why everyone is not convinced about it, he adds.
Whether or not climate scientists can prove their forecasts right in the short run or the long term, no one can deny that glaciers are melting, that our seas are getting warm and polluted and the rainfall patterns are changing. It does not need a scientist to show us that climate change is happening. It is so up, close and personal for all to see and feel.