Coming back to the UK from Mexico via New York and Boston a few days ago (before the US elections), I was struck that some of the talk among rational people about responding to climate change is at to least as radical as it is in Europe. This even goes for some politicians too. So, for example, it was said that Henry Waxman in the House and Jim Jeffords in the Senate have talked about an 80% cut in US emissions by 2050.
This impression is reinforced by a contribution to the Policy Forum in Science (3 Nov 06) by David Doniger, Antonia V. Herzog and Daniel Lashof which takes seriously the idea that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas could be stabilised at no more than 450ppm CO2e without bringing the whole show to a grinding halt.
(the quote in the title of this post is the second half of the much over-quoted observation which begins "The Americans always do the right thing...")