copenhagen climate talks

Thu, 2009-12-17 09:17Kevin Grandia
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Breaking: leaked climate talks text makes disturbing conclusions

Cross your fingers that this latest revelation is another Yes Men hoax. [update 1: I’ve confirmed that this was NOT a Yes Men hoax]

[update 2: Guardian is now reporting the story]

A draft copy of a confidential memo to the UNFCCC Secretariat has surfaced here at the Copenhagen climate talks that has some pretty disturbing analysis. The memo dated December 15, concludes that at this point in the climate talks:

“Unless the remaining gap of around 1.9 to 4.2 Gt is closed and Parties commit themselves to strong action prior and after 2020, global emissions will remain on an unsustainable pathway that could lead to concentrations equal or above 550ppm with the related temperature raise around 3 degrees Celsius.”  [my emphasis]


Here’s a screenshot, you can download the 4MB PDF version here: leaked UNFCCC secretariat document.


In layman terms this means that if the developed nations, like the US, Canada, Germany and France don’t commit to deeper emissions cuts at the talks underway in Copenhagen we’re screwed.

Based on the best scientific research, experts in the field have concluded that in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change, we need to stabilize carbon emissions at or below 350 parts per million.

Wed, 2009-12-16 08:15Jim Hoggan
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The Copenhagen Tea Party

The American Tea Party phenomenon unfortunately has a long arm, reaching all the way to the international climate negotiations currently underway in Copenhagen, Denmark.

With their outrageous signs and over-the-top rhetoric, the Tea Party claims can be easily dismissed as fringe players, but they are nevertheless playing a role in blocking action in Washington on the issue of climate change.

This is something the fossil fuel industry and their think tank network are very aware of and are using to their full advantage. One need not look any further than the notorious Americans for Prosperity, one of the leading groups organizing Tea Party attacks on healthcare reform, and now climate solutions.

The AFP is an organization that has recieved millions of dollars in funding over the years from the Koch Family Foundations - Koch Industries Inc., is the largest private energy company in the United States and a major Big Oil force. When it comes to funding the right-wing think tanks and the climate denial industry, Koch makes ExxonMobil look like a minor player.

AFP is a non-profit organization that will not disclose its donors when asked. However, Media Transparency shows that Americans for Prosperity, and their previous incarnation “Citizens for a Sound Economy,” have received over $13 million from the Koch foundations. 

Sun, 2009-12-13 14:13Kevin Grandia
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Copendenier Henrik Svensmark collapses on Danish TV

A little drama on Danish TV tonight here at the Copenhagen climate talks.

This article was drafted by Steffen Gronemann from the Danish site, Klimakampen.org, who I asked to write up a report on this, given my complete lack of ability to speak Danish.

During a live primetime climate-debate broadcasted on Danish national TV one of the participators, climate-skeptic scientist Henrik Svensmark, had a heart attack.

Bjorn Lomborg was by his side in the tv-studio when the scientist mid-sentence fell ill. THe 41 year old Henrik Svensmark made an awkward spasm/shudder and burst out a strange noise, sounding like a cough.

The other participants in the debate looked baffled and he mumbled:

“It’s my heart,” and fell to the ground and the pacemaker kicked in once more and you could hear him scream. Bjrøn Lomborg yelled “call an ambulance, call an ambulance” and the host and the other participants came over to help the man.

Sun, 2009-12-13 00:53Kevin Grandia
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Copendenier Fred Singer on holes in the ozone, toxins in our food and the misunderstood cigarette

Last week at the Copenhagen climate summit, we saw Christopher Monckton, the head of the delegation for the oil industry-friendly Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), accuse young climate change activists of being “Nazis” and the “Hitler youth.”

Another member of Monckton’s Copendenier delegation is a gentleman by the name of S. Fred Singer, who is well known to us here at the DeSmogBlog.

In fact, we once received a letter from Singer’s lawyer threatening to sue us after we reported that Singer once did work for the cigarette lobby. We never heard back from Singer after we sent along all the research behind our claim.

Like Monkcton, Singer has an “expert” opinion on many subjects. Not coincidentally, many of these expert opinions greatly assist the work of various industries looking to avoid being saddled with expensive health and environmental regulations.

Our research team recently came across a 1996 Washington Times article by Singer, titled Anthology of 1995’s Environmental Myths [pdf]. In the article, Singer outlines “five topics that demonstrate distortion or misuse of science in shaping policies.”

Thu, 2009-12-10 12:56Kevin Grandia
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CopenDenier Monckton pretends he's a scientist. "Hitler Youth" call him on it.

Christopher Monckton is making quite a show of himself at the Copenhagen climate talks.

Last night we reported that Monckton publicly called a group from Sustain US a bunch of “Nazis” and “Hitler Youth.”

Now in a video today he’s shown droning on in great detail about the science of climate change (although he has absolutely no background in the area of climate change research) with the same young people he called Nazis the night before.

Monckton’s intolerance and gall is outrageous. But what still remains more outrageous is that some mainstream media continue to use him as a credible source at the climate talks.

I tell you, whoever has the time to follow Monckton around Copenhagen with a video camera is going to get a lot of great clips. And I’ll gladly promote them.

Here’s the video:

Fri, 2009-11-06 04:43Kevin Grandia
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What Would Frank Luntz Do with the Copenhagen Climate Treaty?

When I’m trying to unravel public relations spin, I frequently find myself asking WWFLD (What Would Frank Luntz Do)?

As you’ll recall Frank Luntz is a chief Republican spin-doctor famous for his memo on climate change.

We have seen a lot of spindoctoring at the Barcelona climate talks underway this week in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate treaty summit to be held in mid-December.

As I’ve pointed out in previous posts, the most egregious spin has been the attempts by politicians to re-frame a successful outcome in Copenhagen as being a “politically binding” deal as opposed to a “legally binding” one.

“Politically binding” is great Luntz-speak. The term looks impressive, but is completely meaningless.

So WWFLD?My guess is that his communications memo would look something like this:


MEMO: Copenhagen Agreement “legally binding” language recommendation

Situational Analysis:


There is heavy pressure on the United States and other countries like the EU, Denmark, Canada and Australia to deliver a “legally binding” agreement at the upcoming UNFCCC summit in Copenhagen, Denmark scheduled for mid-December.

Wed, 2009-11-04 09:41Kevin Grandia
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A politically binding climate change agreement is great... if you're a politician

The biggest news coming out of the Barcelona climate talks being held this week is the re-framing of a successful climate change treaty as being one that is “politically binding” as opposed to “legally binding.”

With all the long hours I’ve been putting into to covering these climate talks, I’m sure my wife is wishing our marriage was a politically binding agreement, as opposed to a legal one.

This double-speak-aganza started earlier this week with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen telling Reuters that, “it is a challenge for every single industrialised country in the world to deal with the climate change issue and that’s why we are working very strongly to reach a politically binding agreement in Copenhagen…”

President Rasmussen said he was optimistic that a politically binding deal could be reached in Copenhagen. No kidding he’s optimistic. Who wouldn’t sign on the dotted line to an agreement that has absolutely no ramifications if the terms are not met?

Fri, 2009-10-30 16:40Jim Hoggan
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Halloween Murder Mystery: Who is killing Copenhagen?

With premature obituary notices popping up all over, it’s probably time to ask: who is killing Copenhagen? Who is responsible for the slasher attacks on the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen this December?

The wound have been oozing for a couple of weeks now, with the most recent and most worrying being revealed by the United Nations itself.

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said last week that it is “unrealistic” to expect a binding treaty from Copenhagen. Janos Pasztor, director of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon’s Climate Change Support Team, followed up saying there was no time left to seal deals that will commit the world to actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

This bit of pessimism caused such a stir that the secretary-general himself jumped out on Wednesday to resuscitate the Copenhagen corpse, saying - unconvincingly - that, “we are still keeping ambitious expectations and targets.” Then he redefined “success” to include a conference result that did NOT yield a legally binding agreement.

 

So, what zombie army is responsible for the world coming into a long-anticipated climate conference with no intention of making the long-delayed climate commitments?

 

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