For a few days at least, cynicism is officially suspended.
Yes, the world is in many ways exactly the same place as it was at the start of the week, its myriad problems just as intransigent as they were before Barack Obama's historic election victory.
But for now it is hard not to join in the global outpouring of optimism that has accompanied the election of the US' first black president - a man who single-handedly promises the diametric opposite to so many of the Bush administration's failed economic, environmental and diplomatic policies.
Of course, all those commentators counselling the world to take a deep breath and gain some perspective are entirely right to do so.
Throughout history the left has often been elected to clear up the right's mess and Obama is no exception. In fact, he has been handed a chalice so poisoned it would make a cyanide and olive Martini look almost appetising.
He has the advantage that Bush - a man whose approval ratings are lower than Nixon's on the day he resigned - has set the bar limbo-dancing snake low. In terms of policy, leadership, trust, credibility, and popularity Obama can only improve upon his predecessor.
But at the same time the challenges he faces are immense. The recession is only going to get deeper (it is worth noting there was no Obama bounce from the hard nosed realists that work the world's markets), the budget is a car wreck, the global energy crisis is worsening (as the IEA again warned this week) and the US remains embroiled in two wars.
Faced with these realities, funding Obama's many policy commitments will be supremely difficult. If the President-elect has not disappointed huge numbers of his supporters by early next spring then he really is a miracle worker.
And yet none of this should be allowed to take away from the scale of the change Obama promises.
When it comes to the environmental movement, it is not hyperbole to claim Obama's victory represents the most significant step forward, at least since last year's Bali summit breathed fresh life into international climate change negotiations, and arguably since the Kyoto Agreement and Rio Earth Summit of the nineties.
For years, uncertainty over future regulatory framework and market demand has represented arguably the biggest barrier to investment in and adoption of low carbon technologies.
Climate scientists, environmental campaigners and green businesses may have repeatedly argued that a global framework for tackling climate change is inevitable and as such early investment in renewables, energy efficiency and other green measures make long term strategic sense. But when asked to provide specific, detailed evidence to back up these predictions they have had gloss over the fact that the world's most powerful nation has spent eight years obstructing and delaying the development of that framework.
We all kept saying a more progressive approach to tackling climate change was inevitable, but if we're honest it didn't always feel that way.
There are still no guarantees a meaningful successor to Kyoto will be agreed in Copenhagen next year, and if there is one Bush policy Obama will retain it is the insistence that China and India also agree to play a significant role in the fight against climate change. But a deal looks far more likely than it ever did under the Bush White House, or would have done had McCain pulled off the biggest shock in polling history.
And regardless of the stance he adopts on international climate change negotations, one thing Obama will definitely deliver is far greater clean tech investor certainty than we have seen at any point in the past.
Businesses will have to wait for the first 100 days of his term of office for the precise details, but the election campaign made it clear that we can expect a president who regards the development of a low carbon economy as a top priority. Federal clean tech investment will climb, green incentives will get more generous, environmental standards will rise, the carbon market will get a huge boost with the creation of a US cap-and-trade scheme, and the legislative crack down on carbon intensive business models will get ever more severe.
In short, US environmental and energy legislation will end up looking a lot like that already being adopted by California, regardless of whether the rumours are correct and it is the California governor who ends up overseeing it.
And we can already see that this increasingly positive outlook is having an effect.
Taking the wind energy sector as just one example, the world's largest turbine manufacturer, Vestas, announced this week that as a result of the global recession its workforce is 15 per cent larger than it needs to be to handle projected demand over the coming months. But the company is adamant that it is not considering lay offs because the medium to long-term outlook for the industry is now so bullish that it makes sense for the company to retain some over capacity so it is well placed when the market inevitably accelerates again.
BP, meanwhile, would have announced that it is going to focus its wind energy investment on the US regardless of who won the election, particularly given McCain was also far more committed to tackling climate change than his Republican colleague in the White House. But its decision is further evidence that clean tech investors in general and renewables investors in particular are confident US support for the sector will continue to strengthen.
The development of a truly low carbon global economy still represents one of the biggest long term challenges mankind has ever faced. But as environmentalists and business leaders again ask themselves if we can ever successfully tackle climate change, it is tempting to look at the election to the most powerful office on the planet of a man who is clearly committed to taking on that challenge and borrow one of his favourite phrases: yes we can.
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