Copenhagen

Wed, 2009-12-09 09:25Richard Littlemore
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Canada takes early lead in the fossil race

Summit watchers will recall Canada’s past domination of the Fossil of the Day competition - a race for the bottom in which the poorest performers in UNFCCC climate summits are singled out for their efforts to block, obstruct, degrade or otherwise louse up the climate talks.

Canada has appeared on the podium for the first three days of the conference - claiming the honour today for advocating a “base year” of 2006 instead of 1990, the year enshrined in the protocol and one still approved by 190 of the 192 signatories. (Croatia shared the prize today for being Canada’s partner in distraction.)

Sun, 2009-12-06 09:06Richard Littlemore
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Apologies for Canadian Environment Minister Prentice

As the editor of a blog that works to achieve appeal beyond the borders of Canada, I must apologize everyone else for our Canadian obsession.

Even more, however, I have to apologize for the obstructionist and embarrassing approach of the Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice. There was a brief respite from this action yesterday, when the Minister said that irrespective of the debatable contents of the stolen email, Canada would still struggle to take a responsible position in Copenhagen.

Overlooked, however, was the story in which Prentice said he was just kidding:

“There’s always a lot of hype and drama that gets built into this sort of international event, much of it intended to force the hand of participants,” Mr. Prentice said in a speech to Montreal business leaders on Friday. “We aren’t going to buy into that. We are not going to panic. We are confident about the actions we are taking on the domestic and the continental fronts.”

Sat, 2009-12-05 14:47Richard Littlemore
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Canadian Environment Minister Dismisses Stolen Emails

“It does not change the position of Canada”

Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice told the National Post that the emails stolen from the University of East Anglia would not change the position that Canada is taking to the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen this week.

“The science overall is relatively clear on all of this and as a conservationist and as a responsible environmental steward Canada wants to see carbon emissions reduced,” Prentice said.

Prentice and the Canadian government have been winning criticism lately for being neither preservationist nor environmentally responsible in the position that it brings to the climate conference. Canada has abrogated its Kyoto commitment, nominated an inadequate target for emission reductions and made no public plan to meet even that disappointing goal.

The minister also seems to show his hand in saying that the science behind climate change is only “relatively” clear - leaving the door ajar for those who continue to argue the contrary case.

But it has to be an optimistic sign that he would not choose, at this juncture, to use the emails as an excuse for Canada’s intransigence. You might even hope it presages a new and more responsible international position.

Wed, 2009-12-02 13:00Brendan DeMelle
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‘The Angry Mermaid Award’ - Vote On The Worst Industry Lobbyists Killing Climate Action

Citizens from around the world will convene in Copenhagen next week for the COP15 U.N. climate conference, ready to voice their frustration at the slow pace of global action to address climate change. Friends of the Earth International recently launched ‘The Angry Mermaid Award,’ inviting everyone to vote for the worst corporate lobbyists who are primarily responsible for obstructing progress toward a global agreement.

Copenhagen is home to The Little Mermaid statue, a Danish landmark honoring Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale character. In Andersen’s tale, the Little Mermaid saves the life of a shipwrecked prince and then risks her voice and tail to win his love. If the prince chooses another bride, she is destined to turn into sea foam and disappear forever.

The Angry Mermaid Award is designed to shine a spotlight on the worst industry lobbyists whose actions have done the most to cripple international action on climate change, a delay which now risks unleashing climate chaos. In this real life story, it won’t be a fictional mermaid who disappears beneath the sea forever - it will be low-lying island nations like the Maldives

Lobbyists for polluting industries have worked tirelessly to block effective action, while also seeking every possible way for their corporate clients to benefit from any agreement the nations of the world manage to reach eventually.

Cast your vote in the Angry Mermaid Award today and help decide which company or lobby group is doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change.


Tue, 2009-12-01 15:22Richard Littlemore
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Canadian Health Professionals Call for Climate Action

 The Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Federation of Medical Students have joined together to call on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to put the health of the world’s citizens first at the upcoming UN climate summit in Copenhagen. All three organizations called on the federal government to to commit to science-based reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to help protect the world’s people from the disastrous human consequences of climate change.

“Canada’s physicians strongly believe that the health of the world’s population must be the central consideration when governments deliberate on public policy whether at home or abroad,” says Anne Doig, president of the Canadian Medical Association. “In Copenhagen, Canada must step up and take a collaborative approach for action on climate change.

Tue, 2009-11-24 12:14Richard Littlemore
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State of the Climate: Much Worse than Predicted

Given the dated nature of the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a panel of some of the world’s most respected climate scientists have put together an update called The Copenhagen Diagnosis.

The news is worse than predicted on every front.

  • Global carbon dioxide emissions are up 40 per cent from 1990.
  • The global warming trend has continued, despite a temporary decline in solar energy.
  • Both Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass at an accelerating rates, as are glaciers the world over.
  • Summer-time melting of Arctic sea-ice during 2007-2009 was about 40% greater than the average prediction from the IPCC’s last report.
  • Global average sea-level has risen at a rate 80% above past IPCC predictions over the past 15 years.
  • Several vulnerable elements in the climate system (e.g. continental ice-sheets. Amazon rainforest, West African monsoon and others) could pass irreversible tipping points if warming continues in a business-as-usual way throughout this century.

Wed, 2009-11-18 17:29Brendan DeMelle
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Fred Singer, lacking nobility, still claims the Prize

Climate skeptics are, not surprisingly, hitting the European speaking circuit in the weeks leading up to the U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen. But what is surprising is that notorious global warming denier S. Fred Singer was described at a skeptic conference today as a Nobel prize winner, a flat out lie.

According to a Belgian journalist who alerted DeSmog to Singer’s appearance today at a skeptic conference in the European Parliament building, Singer was described in event materials as:

“a reviewer of IPCC reports, he shares the 2007 Nobel peace prize with Al Gore and 2000 others.”


The idea that Fred Singer shares any part in the IPCC/Gore Nobel prize is laughable, of course.  Other than Mr. Gore, the Nobel committee recognized only the IPCC authors, and they all received framed Nobel certificates.  If Singer can produce a framed Nobel, I’ll produce my Olympic gold medal (Singer must eat cereal too, I sure enjoy the prizes inside, although I’ve never seen a Nobel peace prize before).

Sun, 2009-08-09 09:42Richard Littlemore
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Incorrigible Lomborg: Defending the right of rich people to pollute

The Disingenuous Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg has once again celebrated a public epiphany on climate change, bringing him. once again, to the conclusion that the globe is warming, that humans are to blame and that we - especially we rich people - shouldn’t do anything about it.

In Lomborg’s latest feint, he suckered some reporter at London’s Financial Times into reporting that he has broken common cause with the “climate sceptics” and called for an a global agreement on climate change in this December’s Kyoto negotiations in Copenhagen.

But if you read the details, his position is the same as ever: that it would be a “mistake” to try to get rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Lomborg’s choice is to concentrate on every other thing - and especially to think about ignoring the problem in the short term, putting our energies into adaptation and “weighing up whether emission cuts are cheaper to do now or later.”

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