There’s a good Letter to the editor in the Fiji Times today )Friday) and I heard on the radio that Rudd in Australia is taking a contingent of 113 people with him to Copenhagen. Hey, that’s just too many. Even a photographer and five bodyguards are going!
Climate change dream
IT'S certain the 192 contingents to the Copenhagen Conference will generate more greenhouse gases (carbon-dioxide) in one week than some of their individual countries generate in one year. They're using more than 1200 limos and 140 private planes to travel to the conference daily, to discuss how we can all limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change proponents are guaranteeing their success by making sure they'll dominate the discussions, so detractors and sceptics aren't able to make their opposing views heard.
I wonder how they'll deal with up to seven billion people living in the world today, not including animals and other living things that emit huge amounts of carbon-dioxide eternally; not including plants at night. Breathing is compulsory for us, isn't it? If we stopped breathing out this ubiquitous gas, emissions would fizzle out altogether for sure. In fact the Creator had considered the effects of carbon dioxide for all times, and he thought it was fine. He had declared "It is very good (see Genesis 2: 18, 21, 25)".
The conference is absurd. More can be achieved if climate change proponents just admit they've been wrong and let us direct our scarce resources to empirical things, away from ethereal things.
I wonder about this conference going in in Copenhagen - will the final paper come out with something that is morally right, or just pragmatic and biased towards the countries that put the economy first. Already a leaked paper suggests that it's already over before the fat lady sings!
the mouse that roared - on behalf of Tuvalu at Copenhagen - story today:
You caused it, you fix it: Tuvalu takes off the glovesDecember 10, 2009 - 2:07PM
Activists hold a demonstration in support of the South Sea island of Tuvalu as delegates arrive for a meeting at the UN Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen. Photo: Reuters
Tiny Tuvalu drove a wedge in the bloc of developing nations at UN climate talks on Wednesday by calling on China, India and other emerging giants to take on legally binding commitments to slash carbon dioxide pollution.
Through an arcane diplomatic manoeuvre, the Pacific archipelago cracked a diplomatic axiom that has prevailed since the UN climate convention came into being in 1992: rich countries caused global warming, and it was their responsibility to fix it.
On the third day of the December 7-18 negotiations, Tuvalu proposed opening discussions on a "legally binding amendment" to the Kyoto Protocol that would set targets for the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions for major emerging economies, starting in 2013.
But the move was blocked by China, India, Saudi Arabia and other large developing countries.
"The constraints would mostly remain on developed countries but also, partly, on big developing economies as well," Taukiei Kitara, head of Tuvalu's delegation, told AFP.
Kitara acknowledged that the proposal constituted the first serious breach in the up-to-now united front of the "G-77 plus China", a bloc of 130 developing nations.
"We know the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol is not complete and we want to create an impulse for a stronger commitment," Kitara said, referring to the landmark treaty that imposes emissions cuts on rich nations up to 2012.
Today more than half of global carbon pollution comes from developing countries, led by emerging giants China, India and Brazil, and the proportion is set to rise as their high-population economies grow.
The 42-member Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), including Tuvalu, and the bloc of mainly African Least Developed Countries, have rejected the widely held goal of keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius as inadequate.
Only a cap of 1.5 degrees compared with pre-industrial times would give these nations a chance of fighting off rising seas or crippling drought, they say.
I liked the story of the weeping Fijian girl who is concerned about her children and grandchildren's future. Leah spoke passionately and her story was written up in a Sydney paper.
Clock TCKing for climate as young activist breaks down
December 8, 2009 - 1:22PM
Fijian Leah Wickham, an environmental activist of the TckTckTck group, tries to conceal her tears as she addresses the audience during a press conference at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen. Leah Wickham, a young Fijian student activist, was suddenly overcome with emotion as she stood on stage with the president of the UN climate conference, Danish Environment Minister, Connie Hedegaard, facing a room full of reporters and TV crews.
On the highly charged opening day of the Copenhagen conference, Leah had been chosen to lead 15 young climate activists up on stage to hand over to the UN the TCK TCK TCK petition signed online by 10 million people from around the world. The petition, organised by 226 environment, labour and community groups, is demanding that the world leaders at Copenhagen sign an ambitious climate agreement.
But when the moment came to exhort the leaders into action, Leah began sobbing as she talked about her children's future. "We [are] here in Copenhagen to fight for our identity, for our culture, and for our very right to exist," she said tearfully. "All the hopes and dreams of my generation rest on Copenhagen."
Embracing the moment, Hedegaard and the UN's chief climate official, Yvo de Boer, held up a candle donated by the youngsters, which they promised to put on the top table in the huge meeting hall to remind negotiators that time was running out to "seal the deal".
But just minutes after the students departed with Hedegaard, the top negotiators from the European Union took to the podium in a display of realpolitik to brutally lay out the deadlock facing this historic climate change conference.
Adreas Carlgren, the Swedish Environment Minister, said bluntly: "The US and China are not there yet."
He meant the European Union does not believe the cuts to greenhouse emissions promised by the US and China are enough for a deal on climate change that has a chance of stopping global temperatures from rising 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
"I am here to cut a deal", said Carlgren, stressing that the EU was ready to increase its cuts but only if others, specifically the US and China, did the same.
From day one of this conference, the familiar pattern of deadlock is already setting in. Winding up pressure on the US, Carlgren told reporters it would be "rather astounding" if President Barack Obama came to Copenhagen only to offer what was already on the table.
Less than an hour later, a senior US negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, hit back telling reporters: "What I would say is that the President has put a remarkable amount on the table." While leaving the door open just a little, Pershing stressed that Obama had to work with the US Congress and his long-term plan was steep cuts in greenhouse gases, but after 2020.
But despite the stand-off among the big players, there is still an optimistic buzz around these talks.
Australia's senior negotiator, Louise Hand, stressed in the opening sessions that its allies among the developed countries, including the US and Canada, were "committed to bold action".
And surprisingly, a new report by British economist Nicholas Stern and the UN Environment Programme said the conference was closer than many thought possible on getting the vital cuts in emissions that would achieve the target of avoiding dangerous climate change. But with the clock TCK TCK TCKing and the candle burning down in the main meeting hall, it is difficult to see this deal being realised in the remaining 11 days.
Marian Wilkinson is The Sydney Morning Herald's Environment Editor.
Fijivillage summarises some of the points:
World is not cared for-PCC Publish date/time: 10/12/2009 [15:09]
The Pacific Conference of Churches said the issue of climate change today is due to the arrogant assumption that we own and control nature.
PCC's Climate Change Campaigner Peter Emberson said they are standing in solidarity with the World Council of Churches and its religious partners attending COP15 in Copenhagen, who are urging leaders of the world to decide prudently to seize this opportunity to secure and protect the future of all life on planet earth.
Emberson said the world is not well cared for and something has to be done.
Meanwhile, a major split has emerged between developing countries at the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen over the best way to help the most vulnerable countries.
The small island states and poor African nations, want any deal to contain stricter conditions that those agreed on in Kyoto in 1997. The group includes the Cook Islands, Barbados and Fiji as well as the poor African nations of Sierra Leone and Senegal.