The climate change debate remained deadlocked in Doha at COP18, despite the toll of damage from superstorm Sandy continues to climb and the efforts of civil society activists go to waste. The changing opinion in the US that the devastating effects of climate change are now pocketbook issues will, perhaps, force President Barack Obama to tackle it in the second term.Recently, Carol Browner, former EPA Chief and White House Climate Czar, laid the blame directly on the climate deniers in the House of Representatives. “I think unfortunately, right now a majority in our House of Representatives appears to not even think the problem is real,” Browner told Think Progress. “It’s sort of stunning to me because I’ve never seen the breadth of scientific consensus on an environmental issue like there is on this,” she said.The report by DARA International, an independent organisation committed to improving the quality and effectiveness of aid for vulnerable populations suffering from climate change, describes the plight of the coastal people in the least-developed countries. In anticipation of the Doha COP18 talks, DARA International released a report in September 2012. It describes the damage caused by current levels of carbon emissions and rising temperatures. A carbon-saturated economy is a leading global cause of death, responsible for 5 million deaths each year (4.5 million deaths due to mainly air pollution and 400,000 due to hunger and communicable diseases associated with climate change), according to the report.The devastating impact of climate change on the world economy has risen to 1.6 percent of global GDP, amounting to $1.2 trillion in lost wealth a year, which will double by 2030. Lower-income countries already face extreme costs, reaching approximately 11 percent of GDP by 2030. For the past two weeks, as the delegates from 194 countries gathered to work out a legally-binding global climate deal, they arrived at no substantive agreement except to extend the existing treaty.One of the best summary of what went on in Doha for the past two weeks appeared in a blog on OneWorld.net on the final day of the discussions: “There were some winners here - the coal industry won here, the oil industry won here, the fossil fuel industry won here. This wasn’t an environmental or science-driven discussion. This was a trade fair,” said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace International stated: “We came to Doha with low expectations, but those low expectations got even lower. Any government coming out of these meetings suggests that this was a success is suffering from a case of cognitive dissonance…. We heard yesterday that the entire cost of reconstruction in New Jersey alone is $60bn. This is the entire sum we were trying to negotiate here for the whole world.” The talks ended with an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, which the US has never supported. Now, Kyoto agreement has an extension, but the coverage will include only 15 percent of global emissions. Several developed countries, including Japan and Canada, have opted out of the protocol.According to AP, Hedegaard said that the members of the European Union hope Obama “will present not only an enhanced domestic climate policy, but also an enhanced US engagement and willingness to commit more in an international climate context”.Even as the Doha talks were stalled, another major Typhoon Bopha hit the Philippines, taking as many as 600 lives and leaving millions homeless. The head of the Philippine delegation, Naderev Sano, in his closing remarks, urged world leaders to “open their eyes to the stark reality”.The writer has authored a book titled ‘Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President’. This article has been reproduced from AL-Jazeera