Climate change conference sets sail on uncertain seas of diplomacy

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK — The COP15 climate change conference here sailed out of a harbor of anticipation and found itself immediately surrounded by the open seas of diplomacy. (For more ridiculously intricate visual analogies, watch the video above.)

The Bella Center, a self-proclaimed “green” marvel and the largest conference facility in Scandinavia, opened its doors for an official welcoming ceremony featuring remarks from Denmark’s Prime Minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen.

The language was universally urgent, and there’s no mistaking the growing resolve among the delegates for climate action at the global level, but actions and words are not of equal weight.

Regarding the big questions raised Monday right here on MinnPost … well, the answers are mixed. Should we care? According to the science, absolutely. (Question for any English majors: Is there a word more absolute than “absolutely?” If so, use that.)

According to the international community, however, progress could be slow in coming. And that doesn’t take into account the simple logistical hurdles. One ominous example: The opening ceremony Monday was supposed to start at 10 am. It was 10:45 before the organizers could even get the delegates to take their seats.

For more on the inner-workings of the negotiations, tune in every weekday this week and next.

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by david granneman on 12/08/2009 - 11:24 am.

    in 1975 government scientisits because of plunging earth temperatures warned of a coming ice age. somehow the climate data must have changed as now we are supposted to believe the earth is warming. it turns out al gore’s consensus of scientists is actually a gang of liars.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 12/08/2009 - 01:04 pm.

    Daily coverage is also being provided by Amy Goodman on her “Democracy Now” program. In St. Paul, see it at 7am and 4pm on SPNN Channel 15.

    SPNN’s Channel 20 also features news broadcasts from various countries. Last week. Russia’s RT-TV twice spoke of the hacked e-mails a group of scientists at a British university sent one another as if the interpretations placed upon them by global-warming deniers were solid truth. These interpretations have been debunked by the real science recognized around the world.

    Yesterday, MSNBC reported that the stolen e-mails were tracked through a server in Russia. (Coal, oil, and gas industries perhaps, creating doubt as to global warming’s truth just as their counterparts do here with such as their “clean coal” ads?)

  3. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 12/08/2009 - 02:07 pm.

    Thank you david, I was starting to wonder where the deniers had gone. I missed their uninformed misstatements of basic fact. You want to hold up isolated examples of theories about global cooling. In fact, even in the 60’s and 70’s, climate scientists were more concerned about global warming.

    Of course, that’s hard to compete with ill-informed media mania about a new ice age which missed that there was nothing approaching the overwhelming evidence for global warming.

    Moreover, the theory of global cooling was based partly on the increasing particulate pollution of the 60’s which, you may recall, we’ve done something about. I expect if you look through the media of the 60’s and 70’s, you’ll find deniers refusing to believe air pollution had any relationship to smog and lung disease.

  4. Submitted by david granneman on 12/08/2009 - 05:40 pm.

    hello eric

    your need to watch this videos

  5. Submitted by david granneman on 12/08/2009 - 05:48 pm.

    hello bernice
    who would belive those oil and coal companies – after all they only produce the electricity for you home and the gas for your car – would you prefer to make your own gas and electicity.
    i guess you want to put your fait in very expensive, unproven and unreiliable altenative energy. when it turn cold tonight – i want my electicity coming from a dependable coal fired power plant – you can have your home powered by solar cells and windmills – I DO NOT

  6. Submitted by david granneman on 12/08/2009 - 11:24 pm.

    some common sense regarding COPENHAGEN

  7. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 12/09/2009 - 02:44 pm.

    David: The fact that we have until now relied on polluting coal to make most of our electricity (not okay) and natural gas to heat many of our homes (not bad) doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t change to new technologies that produce electricity without polluting the air and/or water.

    Oil and coal have aggressively sponsored TV ad campaigns that try to convince us that coal is clean and that we are in no danger of running out of oil — we just need to destroy a huge swathe of Alaska’s wilderness by drilling. (Except that it would take years to get the wells dug and the pipelines built for an estimated six-month supply.)

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