A quotation from Joseph Romm highlights the differences between current and future perceptions of leadership quality:
Future historians will inevitably judge all 21st century presidents as failures if the world doesnâ€™t stop catastrophic global warming.
Certainly, future generations forced to endure catastrophic climate change will consider their ancestors to have failed, whether they focus the blame on political leaders or others. I doubt the leaders of the 21st or late 20th century will be able to escape severe condemnation in a world that experiences mean temperature increases of 5Â°C or more, loses all its glaciers and sea ice, and experiences multi-metre increases in sea level.
Unfortunately, political leaders are conditioned to be a lot more concerned about the judgment of their voters at their next election (or of their generals, the next time the possibility of a coup is raised). The consequences of that may ultimately prove horrifically damaging.