I’m not going to spend hours debating the last desperate attempts that deniers have pulled just days before the start of the Copenhagen conference because they have “no leg to stand on”. Instead here are some videos that explain better how this is viewed in the scientific community with an adress by John Holdren, the scientific adviser of the White House:
This morning I was going round my usual round of news on Google News, when I came across an article about children raising their voices at Copenhagen. In it was prominently featured a (then) 12-year old Canadian girl called Severn Suzuki who gave the most amazing speech at a climate conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
I was pretty flabbergasted, not so much because I didn’t even know there was a conference of world leaders to discuss environmental issues as early as 1992, but the power of her speech is so moving, you’d think it ought to have made an impact on the then world leaders. Sadly we all know how bad the 90’s turned out to be, from an environmental perspective I mean.
To give you an idea, here’s a video of her speech 17 years ago:
Okay folks, you’re gonna have to bear with me here, this is going to be a bit of an opinionated post, and if as a result you’re gonna flame me, be sure to do it with biomass 😉
It’s now less than 68 days before the International Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) starts and all over blogs and news there is a rising amount of expectations. Can we reach a deal? Can we get Obama to attend? Can we get China to cut their emissions? Isn’t it too late anyway? If you’re reading this, chances are there’s little you can do about any of those questions above.
Or is there?
After a very promising first day, the second day was marked mostly with discussions from world leaders to (allegedly) kick start an agreement prior to the Copenhagen Summit in December. I’ll get back to that in a minute, but before a piece of news that caught my eye:
Airlines are set to cut their carbon emissions by 50% by 2050. That’s a long way to go 2050 isn’t it? Who’s to say what the industry will be like in 41 years? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good initiative but it’s almost as if there is no room for research an development in the industry to come up with a revolutionary system that would allow planes (or whichever equivalent may be invented) to fly of purely green fuel. I’m a bit biased towards aviation I must say, the carbon footprint that a single return translatlantic flight slaps in your face compared to everything else is staggering. Sure planes are convenient and bizzarely way cheaper than they used to be (flying was always a luxury for businessmen until the advent of low cost airlines…) but I’ve always hoped for a better way to travel to one day come up. Zeppelins would be fun if they weren’t so slow 😉
Well today was the first day of Climate Week. The event really centralises in New York City but with so much going on at the same time, this is turning out to be a global set of events. I’ll try to report as much of it as I can see, so far much of it is extremely encouraging and I hope the trend will continue.
The first thing to mention is of course the Global Climate wake up call, which is probably finished by now as 1pm has now come and gone on the far side of the USA. My wife and I took part in it on St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh and I was pleased to see that it was not going to be 3 people and a baby but a good 30-odd people gathered holding their phones up in the air. Hundreds of people have sent pictures to Avaaz to show just how global the event was, from Australia to India, Mongolia, France and of course the UK. You can catch a glimpse of us on this photo, this photo and this photo. Unfortunately, it started to rain just as we were wrapping this up so I was unable to take photos myself.