"For its part, the Bush administration deserves only censure. No one expected a miraculous conversion. But given the steadily mounting evidence of the present and potential consequences of climate change - disappearing glaciers, melting Arctic ice caps, dying coral reefs, threatened coastlines, increasingly violent hurricanes - one would surely have expected America's negotiators to arrive in Montreal willing to discuss alternatives." [LINK]
The UN is touting Montreal 2005 as a success, with "more than forty decisions that will strengthen global efforts to fight climate change." [LINK]
It's hard for me to really know if anything interesting or substantial has come from Montreal 2005, since it was hardly covered in the crappy mainstream media, which has been my only real source of news lately because I don't have much time to read the in-depth coverage that I'd really like to. My first guess though is that nothing particularly interesting happened at the conference. Most likely a few countries (Canada, Britain, etc) agreed to keep pushing for more responsible energy policies, but no one agreed to actually do more than they are supposed to already be doing. The US acted like a spoile child, "In the wee hours of Saturday morning, the United States finally agreed to allow new discussions, but only after everyone consented to a huge escape clause saying any talks will be 'open and nonbinding,' and 'will not open any negotiations leading to new commitments.'" [LINK]
In the meantime, prominent climate scientists are starting to think about real-life The Day After Tomorrow scenarios. James Hansen, NASA Goddard, has an editorial essay in Climate Change that goes through some rather dire scenarios [LINK]. Essentially, he's worried that the response time of large icesheets (Greenland mostly, but also Antarctica) is only 100-300 years, which is similar to the combined time it takes for humans to see the climate really changing and then do something about their climate-changing activity. Hansen sees a scenario where water pools on the tops of the ice, causing melting downward, lubricating huge chunks of ice sheet, which then break off and plunge into the ocean. Sea levels could rise by several meters in a few years, displacing many millions of people in a short amount of time. It isn't a likely scenario, but we can't yet rule it out.