Poznan: Green Leader Despairs at Conference Potential

“It’s like attending a family reunion on the Titanic.”

Canadian Green Party leader Elizabeth May is a difficult person to interview at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland. She seems to know nearly everyone, and when she isn’t waving and smiling at passersby, she is fending off phone calls or emails buzzing on her blackberry.

But regardless of the old-home week atmosphere, she is bleakly disappointed about what’s going on in this sprawling conference centre. Having attended the organizational meeting for the UNFCCC in 1990 and the inaugural meeting in Rio in 1992, and being a veteran of many “COP” (Conference of the Parties) meetings for the inrternational biodiversity treaty, she has seen her share of such events.

“But this has a dreadful pall to it.”

Chuse Science

Late yesterday, reports started zinging around suggesting that the Obama transition team was ready to announce its energy and environment leaders.

By now it’s clear they are the following: former New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Lisa Jackson will head up the Environmental Protection Agency; current Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory director Steven Chu will become Secretary of Energy; and Clinton administration EPA head Carol Browner will fill a newly created post, that of White House “climate czar.” In addition, Nancy Sutley, the current City of Los Angeles “deputy mayor” for Energy and Environment (and, of these four, the person with the thinnest Wikipedia profile), will come in as chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Poznan Spin: Don't Say We're Waiting for Obama

It would be easy to argue that the most important participant at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change occurring this week in Poznan, Poland is not even in the building.

The coming of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is “the one big positive factor that everyone is hanging onto,” says Fred Heutte of the U.S. Sierra Club, a point confirmed in slightly different language by Greenpeace, Kert Davies, “Everyone is happy that we can flush the toilet on the Bush decade.”

But if the coming of Obama is being celebrated, his absence is one of the factors that has thrown these talks off kilter.

Poznan: (Insincere) Praise for Marc Morano

Climate change denier extraordinaire Marc Morano dropped a news release on my desk this morning and smiled broadly when I said, “Hey, are you Morano?” - a smile that turned more sardonic when I told him who was asking.

Morano, whose political bona fides include inventing the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth when he was working the hill for Rush Limbaugh, has been reduced to tagging along with the staff of Barbara Boxer, the popular Democratic Senator from California who pushed Morano’s boss, James Inhofe, out of his old sinecure as chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Now, Morano gets to produce the “minority report,” a document of increasing irrelevance as the incoming administration firms up its climate change policy.

The reality of the US coal power industry

Did you know that a typical coal power plant in the United States will emit 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide, 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide this year?

I came across a great “top ten” list assembled by the Union of Concerned Scientists that paints a very clear picture of the major pollutants still being emitted by the US coal power generation industry.

I’ve made it into a static reference page on DeSmogBlog, you can click here to go the page: Facts on the Pollution caused by the US Coal Industry.

You can also download a PDF version of the fact sheet here: Facts on the Pollution caused by the US Coal Industry (PDF Version)

Pages

Subscribe to DeSmogBlog