A strange cloud envelops human civilization as its leaders fail to take the measures to protect it in Copenhagen that they themselves endorsed just five months ago. A child under 13 today can expect to live into the 2080s, by which time civilization as we know it will have disappeared if we continue to fail to reduce carbon emissions by 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050, according to our climate scientists. What will occur in Copenhagen thus continues a pattern seen since the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Scientists there were anguished that the treaty only sought to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2012. None foresaw that the treaty would be ignored and that world emissions would be 40.8 percent higher (and U.S. emissions 19.8 percent higher) in 2007 than in 1990. We live today as if in a trance, conducting business as usual in times so unusual that they pose an even greater threat than 20th-century wars that killed more than 100 million people.