“The talent and the power to change the world”
Well,we’re approaching the first week of the Copenhagen summit. Are you already getting tired of it? Or do you think it’s starting to get exciting and wonder what the world’s leaders will come up with at the end of next week? Georg Windisch commented on the Ice Blog that he finds it sad we need to worry about overkill on this topic, because he says it’s a matter of our very existence.
“What ever comes about this crucial sumit we must continue to voice our concerns about the future of our children. It is very selfish from us just to keep on taking and not willing to give. To many people have to die because of our life style, its time we give our best efforts to help everyone and every living speceis to exist on our beautiful planet. With hope for a better world as we have the talent and power to change the world for the better” says Georg.
I agree with you wholeheartedly, Georg, I wish more of our influential politicians and business-people would do the same, and be prepared to put their money where their mouths are.
There have been some signs of hope. The US Environment Protection Agency’s decision that greenhouse gases represent a health threat, for instance. Might seem to you like stating the obvious, but if it gives the President more scope to reduce them, it’s a big step forward.
Then again we had the escalation in the dispute between the wealthy industrialised and the developing nations. EU leaders are supposed to come up with a figure for funding today. Let’s see what that brings. Somehow I fear it will fall short of what’s needed.
I’ve been pleased to note the media are really giving full attention to the subject. And people around me are actually talking about it. Let’s hope it stays that way until December 19th – and beyond.
Ice-Blog readers might be interested in a flash picture gallery I made on Climate Change in Greenland. And a 25-minute radio feature to listen or download on the same topic.
Climate Change in Greenland – in sound and pictures
Click on the “climate” section on the right-hand side.
There are some other interesting stories on the page too.
DateDecember 11, 2009 | 9:17 am
Sisyphos and the climate
Apologies for blog-silence. For one reason and another I wasn’t able to blog for the last couple of weeks.
The question is – did you miss it? Or have you been reading, watching, listening to so much about climate change you are getting tired of the subject?
I am very concerned that the international community is accepting that there will be no legally binding agreement in Copenhagen. I am even more concerned that a lot of people are getting tired of the climate change topic and simply don’t care. Is there a danger of “overkill” in our media coverage? I was giving a training session to some young journalists yesterday and some of them told me about a project they were planning dealing with that very subject. They have the feeling that there is so much attention to the topic that global warming is starting to leave people cold. (Sorry!) People like me were pleased that climate change came onto the “mainstream” political and public agenda. But unless there is a big disaster – and a clear link to climatic factors – people are tending to “switch off”.
I’ve been speaking to friends in the UK about the latest floods in northern England. People are happy to blame politicians, local authorities or private companies for inadequate drainage or flood protection. Some say “it’s just nature”. But few are willing to even consider a possible link to scientists’s predictions of an increasing number of extreme weather events because of climate change.
Yvo de Boer from the UNFCCC is giving a major press conference today about the Copenhagen meeting. I don’t envy him his job. Trying to keep interest alive in view of the apparent concensus that Copenhagen will not “seal the deal” has something of the Sisyphean about it.
DateNovember 25, 2009 | 9:19 am
The long plod to Copenhagen
Well, the “last round” of official pre-talks to the Copenhagen extravaganza have also come to an end.
“Copenhagen can and must be the turning point in the international fight against climate change – nothing has changed my confidence in that,” says UN climate chief Yvo de Boer. Although there’s still no major progress on mid-term emissions targets and financing measures in the developing world, environmentalists like WWF are also trying to stay optimistic, saying a deal in Copenhagen could still be possible.
I talked to German climate expert Prof. Mojib Latif on his view of the current situation recently.
He says it would be “disastrous” if we didn’t get a good binding agreement at the December conference. In spite of all the negative stuff we’re hearing, he still hopes the industrialised countries will get their act together. He’s particularly critical of the USA. He’s one of this country’s leading experts on the subject – and one of the few who say things in a way the average person on the street can understand.You can read the rest here.
Interview with Mojib Latif
DateNovember 6, 2009 | 3:37 pm
Worrying news from the USA
A poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre in Washington of 1,500 people shows the percentage of US-Americans who believe in global warming has dropped drastically from 77% to 57% in just two years.
Only 57% believe there is real scientific evidence that the atmosphere is getting hotter.Only 36% believe human activity is the cause.
The Guardian’s US correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg quotes Michael Dimock, associate director of the Pew centre as saying the economic crisis and the health care debate in the USA have squeezed the environment and climange issues out of people’s focus. But others, including James Hoggan, the author of “Climate Cover-Up” say there’s a a clever lobbying campaign going on to mislead people about climate science.
One way or other, this is bad news at a time when the US Senate is debating climate change laws this week. With a lot of media attention being devoted to the 1st anniversary of President Obama’s election, it would be great to be able to say public awareness of the urgency of the climate issue in the USA has risen. The fact that the opposite seems to be the case does not bode well for Copenhagen.
The Guardian’s report on the Pew survey
Pew Centre homepage
DateOctober 26, 2009 | 9:53 am
Shifting the Goalposts for Copenhagen?
Apologies for “blog-silence”, I’ve been on an autumn break, enjoying the “golden October” weather we’ve been having here in Germany. Not that you ever really have a break from the climate change issue these days. For one reason and another, it seems to have become an everyday issue, from people wondering whether the thick frost we’ve been having in our area is “normal” to the nature documentaries on tv and the media in general either stressing the importance of a climate deal or telling us Copenhagen won’t work anyway, given governments’s preoccupation with the financial situation.
Some of the conservation groups are suggesting the world’s politicians and influential lobby groups are actively preparing us for a failure in Copenhagen to soften the blow if no legally binding agreement is achieved.
The latest EU discussions on Copenhagen don’t exactly make me optimistic.Ultimately, it comes down to the political will to cut emissions drastically and fund adaptation programmes in the developing world. The lack of a firm commitment to figures bodes ill.
In my efforts to balance my natural optimism with observations of political reality, I find myself struggling to believe we can reduce emissions to the necessary extent. I wish somebody could give me reason to be more positive?
The UN climate secretariat has just published the official emissions figures for 2007. (There’s that frustrating time lag when it comes to publishing data). “The continuing growth of emissions from industrialised countries remains worrying, despite the expectation of a momentary dip brought about by the global recession”, says climate chief Yvo de Boer. He says (he has to, really) this underscores the need for a “comprehensive, fair and effective climate change deal in Copenhagen in December”. Too true. I wish our decision-makers would come up with the decisive action (and funding) to make it happen.
DateOctober 22, 2009 | 7:29 am