I recently saw a speech that Senator John Kerry delivered which does a great job of encapsulating the context and background of the climate change issue. (video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI_V-3KJtJM&feature=youtube_gdata_player). Kerry traces the commitment that the US Administration made in 1992 at the Rio Summit to take a leadership role and how that has failed to materialize over the last 20 years. He also refers to David Orr's book, Down to the Wire, which does a superb job of outlining the choices before us with regards to climate change. Now that the Rio+20 Summit has concluded, there is no binding agreement signed. It appears that the real leadership on many environmental issues and particularly on climate change is being taken by cities from around the world that recognize the importance of implementing climate adaptation strategies. There have also be advances made by parts of the commercial sector that see the importance of economic savings in these strategies.
In a larger context, a colleague sent me a link to an encouraging set of photos describing acts of heroism and kindness. These stories titled, "Restore Your Faith in Humanity" provide an uplifting view of the positive capacity of the human spirit. Check out photos at: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/pictures-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity).