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December 18, 2009
Evaluating the real results of two weeks in Copenhagen

Regardless of what the long-term implications of Copenhagen may be, the conference was different from others in the past.

Perhaps most notable was how the nations of the developing world came together to make their case.

For more on the climate conference, Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Lane Greene, an international correspondent for The Economist who recently returned from Copenhagen.

Will the Copenhagen conference do anything to solve the problem of climate change?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.

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46 comments

#46

hey go figure,,, the meeting shows that the 193 nations present like to point fingers and nothing was done to put the issue first. Good job guys, good job

#45

It is unfortunate that the Copenhagen Conference did not examine or discuss the real reason for global warming but instead listened to the extremist scientific green fringe and it’s focus on CO2. The real reason is solar activity. Over the last 3000 years we have had warming and cooling trends on earth. This current warming trend began around 1825 and we are gaining 0.7degrees C per 100 years and we are almost at the mean temperature of the earth now. The CO2 buildup started in the 1940s and has not affected or speeded up the gain in the earth’s temperature due to the solar effect. If we want to change the gain in temperature we need to block the solar effects from the sun Not waste our precious resources on CO2 minimization. Getting rid of pollution is great but CO2 is not a pollutant and is a vital need for growth of our forests and vegetation. Let’s talk about doing what is right and work on the real cause of global warming, real pollution and not these side issues like CO2. David Spiers

#44

Mankind has never been so healthy. Six billion on the planet. More people than ever living into their 80’s, 90’s, and 100’s. If global warming/climate change or whatever it’s being called these days, exisits, nothing can be done to stop it. NOTHING! Be greateful you live in an age when millions arent’ dieing of small pox or other dieases that no longer plague mankind. Oh yea, the plague also.

#43

I, like James Hansen, was glad to see the talks fail because nothing of any real value was going to come of it anyway. The Obama offer of cutting U.S. GHG emissions by 17% by 2020 at 2005 levels is a criminal joke. This is only about 4% emissions cuts of 1990 levels. What Canada, South Africa, Japan and China offered up was equally criminal but nature bats last as the saying goes.
Don’t F*&*&k with mother nature!
I think the discussion/debate on Friday night’s PBS Newshour was much more informative than World Focus friday night. Your guest seem to be trying to cover-up the complete failure of the so called world leaders to address the looming climate catastrophe.
For you corporate funded global warming denier trolls:
I hope you sleep well at night knowing that you are perpetuating genocide (survival of the wealthiest) and the biological holocaust.
I hope you have kids too because they will curse you someday when and if they found out what you did to destroy the biosphere.
I guess in your mind’s it is OK to keep pumping GHG into the atmosphere, shipping people deadly poisons like DDT, landmines, guns and bombs until the poorest and “surplus” people are dead and then the corporatists can move in to take it.
Of course the banksters and your ilk want enough poor people in Africa-Asian to be their wage and consumer slaves so you don’t want kill them all.

#42

Mr. Hughes… How do you know whether the grasshopper effect is actually wind borne? Do you think GreenPeace has enough fiscal resources to troll the Arctic oceans for grasshoppers with a cargo of toxins packed in steel barrels?

Who knows what is actually going on? Pollution in the localized areas close to the offenders should be even more pronounced… Where is that data?

Where is all this data, is this conveniently exempt from reference criteria you author?

#41

It is nice to see we humans struggling with this problem in a more urgent and united way. I see this will continue, however it is too late to avoid much of the consequences of our actions. These results of our actions and the need for collective solutions will aid the formation of a more universal and unified humanity.

#40

The sad loss of the Copenhagen conference, is the failure to discuss what is known, for instance how pollution is effecting rain fall patterns, causing extreme drought in Africa and elsewhere , along with famine , economic hardships, . Is that not global climate change ?
Another overlooked look factor is how pollution in our skies actually moves toxics throughout the world polluting water, and more take for example, the grasshopper effect
How is it that toxins, from thousands of miles away can enter an ecosystem that previously had no trace of these pollutants? The answer is the grasshopper effect, which is causing a health crisis among the Inuit people in the Arctic Circle.
In a phenomenon scientists call the grasshopper effect, toxic pollutants released thousands of miles to the south evaporate in the warm climate. They then ride the winds until they reach the cold air of the Arctic, where they eventually fall to the earth.
As a result, both land and sea dwelling animals ingest the toxins. On land the toxins are deposited into the plant life and eaten by Caribou, once source of food for the Inuit. In the water, the toxins are found in plankton, which fish in turn eat. These fish then become a source of food for seals and polar bears.
Hunting seals is an important part of the Inuit lifestyle. It is not only an important part of their culture, passed down through the generations, but it also provides food.
Recent studies show that Inuits have some of the world’s highest levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies. The discovery of toxic pollutants in the food supply has put 155,000 Inuit’s on the brink of a public health disaster.
These same industries pollutions are killing our world, we need to realize how deeply they affect our oceans, over half of the worlds coral reefs are dead. Our world is 2/3 ocean , there is an incredibility delicate balance of life being destroyed which in turn really does affect our climatology.
Copenhagen conference, for the most part was a failure.

#39

Leading meteoroligists will agree that there is not enough information to support the theory that there is any global warming occuring. The earth is a living organism that naturally goes thru changes. The ice age is one example. We do not have enough data to support this data on global warming. This is a scam to support “green” business. I’m all for a cleaner earth but global warming is a scam. Lets see what investments Al Gore has. He uses more energy than the average American.

#38

HA HA HA!!! This is just an excuse for hundreds of people to get an all-expenses-paid vacation in Denmark. Two weeks of total BS and absolutely nothing accomplished. Quit wasting OUR money!!!!

#37

Whether the planet is warming is irrelevant to the need to get off fossil fuels.

The economic, geopolitical and environmental benefits will kick in even without a CO2 benefit. Less pollution, less military deployments, energy dollars stay at home — saw a cool site; Balkingpoints ; incredible satellite view of earth

#36

The elephant in the room at the Copenhagen climate conference was ignored. Ignored is the source of the “global warmings” that occurred between “the last 3 ICE AGES”; notably before homo sapiens existed.

#35

Answer: No. Nobody in Copenhagen and only a couple of commentators here dared to recognize that the root cause of Global Warming along with all the other disasters recently destroying our planet is THE EXPLOSIVE POPULATION GROWTH of the HUMAN APE. [According to Al Gore, Inconvenient Truth, the human population remained steady at 250 million (1/4 billion) from 160.000 BC to 1500 AD. From 1945 to today it grew from 2.3 billion to 6.5 billion and will pass 9 billion in 2050. Al does not dare follow up on his own figures.]
Only one country, CHINA, has the wisdom to take corrective action with its policy of One Child, One Family Policy.
Sorensen

#34

Picking up on what “Michael” says: Focusing on an imaginary CO2 problem diverts attention away from serious problems’ like pollution, melamine, deforestation and people who really need help.

Let’s forget about CO2 and work on some real problems.

#33

Anyone who believes human beings are responsible for the current global warming must also believe the world is a very small place. Bear in mind that it takes 16 hours at 600mph to fly from L.A. to Sydney over oxygen producing oceans
Only the most naïve will lay an environmental guilt trip on lawnmowers, barbeques and automobiles when nature-driven volcanic action, forest fires and storms do the most damage.
Global warming is a natural phenomenon just like it was in medieval times (500A.D to 1300A.D.) Wouldn’t it be better to prepare for it instead of wasting time blaming people for causing it?

#32

We ALL need to do more. Stop blaming leaders. The outcome of the conference is a small step in the right direction. Attitude is a driving force. We all are in this together.

#31

When will uncle Al come clean about his interest in profiteering from the carbon credit hypocracy he and his ilk want to perpetrate on the rest of the U.S.. His father destroyed the native people of the central vally in California with heavy-handed back-door legislation in favor of Occidental Petroleum, a major part of his porfolio. If Obama cared so much about the planet maybe calling on his supporters in the hip-hop community to curb the Escalades and the furs they enjoy so much.

#30

the more you push for planetary dictatorship with contrived data and fear/terror mongering the more you expose yourselves for what you really are, a cabal of elitist murderers bent on total domination of the planet. i fear humanity will enter a new dark age if we fall for yet another attack on our freedoms through the scam that is “global warming or “climate change” the elite always need a new “crisis” in order to sell their solution which is always more tyranny with them in control. sure there are many problems with pollution like toxic waste dumping in the oceans and genetically reeingineering the planet, but no mention of that in the media. humanity can solve these problems with our brilliance and inginuity but we must shake off the parasitic robber baron class that seeks to keep us subservient with their evil banking (federal reserve and central banks) and propaganda. yes they own the media and sell their lies thru “world focus” and other sham journalism. sure, save the planet. but save humanity first from total enslavment and a new neo-feudalist dark age that is policed by an absolute global tyranny that has no room for any dessention…

#29

i agree with stew. you call out china for “carbon” emissions but say nothing about the melamine in the baby milk or lead in the toothpaste. there are way worse things going on than “carbon” emmisions. carbon dioxide is essential for life on earth!!! why dont you bring attention to real environmental crimes instead of supporting a tax on breathing you globalist scumbags!!!!

#28

there is no such thing as man made “climate change”. you have a bunch of well-meaning dupes buying your slick propaganda but those of us with brains know that you work for the globalist criminals who want to tax us and indeed , kill most of us. wake up people they want the world for themselves and the rest of us dead!

#27

This will accomplish nothing except one step closer to a one world gov’t. as declared by the new president of the EU. We have had the tech. to run our existing vehicles with no emissions since 1933 for as little as $200 per vehicle. Go here http://www.energeticforum.com/renewable-energy/3231-great-global-warming-swindle.html and herehttp://www.energeticforum.com/renewable-energy/4833-american-ruling-class.html for the truth of what’s going on and what you can do about this besides talk.

#26

Nothing should be expected to come out of the meeting in Copenhagen. As and we all, the U.S. did not take part of the Kyoto Protocol, and come 2012 we will be greatly higher than our previous 1990 emissions instead of reducing them by a wimpy 5%. What would 5% do anyway? Sounded like a pathetic leap anyways. The United States can put a man on the moon but not lead the world through solving climate change… ignorant.

#25

Copenhagen,
The earth has cooled and warmed countless times in its history. Man has only been aware of it for an instant. Species have been evolving and becoming extinct for hundreds of millions of years before man came on the scene and will inevitably be doing so long after man has become extinct. Human presumption has no bounds.

There is every good geopolitical, economic and health reason to reduce consumption of carbon based fuels without exhorting to preposterous claims that we know how to control the earth’s climate.

Mankind will eventually screw up badly enough sooner or later to seriously reduce his population (and the earth may indeed breathe a sigh of relief). Of course over population is at the heart of our current handwringing about ‘Global Warming’. Man is not above nature but apart of it and will have to ride along with his own folly as all other species do. Not e I also think human rationalism is also a presumption.

A health pandemic is probably a more serious threat to our over abundance than changes in climate.
The earth has already proven to have a very robust ability to transform itself and support life along the way. Seas come and go, continents form and break up. Many Roman cities in the northern Adriatic have been underwater for centuries before the industrial burning of coal.

Change is inevitable because the forces are a lot bigger than we are. This does not mean that we should not employ every means at out disposal to make life better for the time being, but it does suggest that we had better prepare for that which we cannot control.
I am one of your skeptical scientists who spent his career developing and engineering various complex systems and learned over and over that you never know as much as you think you do.

The premises of Copenhagen are pure folly

#24

The U.S. is the largest contributor to global warming on the planet. Unfortunately, the U.S. is no longer a democracy, it is a corporatocracy, and as such the corporate CEOs, who have repeatedly demonstrated openly their immoral and insatiable greed will never see far enough into the future to behave rationally and take any actions which could conceivably impair their incomes. We see this demonstrated in abundance by bankers and health insurance executives today. So the short answer is “No. Copenhagen cannot influence corporate America, therefore any effort to control climate change is doomed.”

#23

What are they (the leaders) going to do?
What are all of us going to do, that is the real question and the solution.

I sold my car a few years ago for the health of the planet which I found is equally the health of myself. But as I walked to and from work on empty sidewalks with car clogged streets and smog stenched air, I wonder: am I the only one who cares? And as I write this late in the day with burning eyes and a scratchy throat from the car exhaust I breathed, I wondered again: maybe it would be healthier for me to drive a car again too.

What are you going to do?

#22

The United States must participate if any meaningful steps are to be taken, Something which the last President was unwilling to do. No doubt, there has been irreconcilable damage done to the environment. The hope is that we can put our greed and selfishness in check and work together before we make the planet uninhabitable for our species.

#21

In a word, “Nope.” As Bill says, rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

#20

WHOEVER CONSUME PRODUCTS MADE IN CHINA AND OTHER DEVELOPING COUNTRIES SHOULD PAY THE ENVIRONMENTAL COST FOR THEM!

China and other developing countries produce not just for their own people. As the “world factory”, China has been producing for the world. It was foolish for China to do so, because China’s environment has been almost permanently destroyed but China actually has not got much of the profit from such high-cost manufacturing industries -the international companies from the US and Europe have (Levi’s pay $4.1 per pair of jeans to Chinese manufactures but it is sold here in the US for $30-40 or higher, so is Nike’s). So whoever have consumed these products should pay for the environmental cost in China and other developing countries, in proportion to the products they have consumed or will do. And the international companies should stop exploiting Chinese and other developing countries’ labors and environments, and China gladly has realized that its past economic strategy is foolish and unsustainable.

#19

Mans greed will not allow the change however there is a solution, we boycot the polluting countries ie: China, Canada and America, stop buying their goods like we have done with blood diamonds. If they can’t sell their goods they stop producing and this should bring down their pollution.

#18

The Copenhagen conference on climate chagne will do nothing to address climate change because CC is most likely natural and not “man made.” There is no data linking CO2 concentration to CC. CO2 is plant food. It’s been 10 X as high in the past and there were no “tipping points” (or we wouldn’t be here to discuss this.) It will help feed the expected 2050 world population of 9 billion. Climate is always changing, always has, and we are lucky to find ourselves in a nice calm period of it. How many irresponsible claims about the causes of CC will there be before scientists just get down to studying it and the rest of us focus on cleaning up the environment, getting rid of mercury in power plant plumes that are poisioning the fish we eat, dealing with deforestation, stopping wildlife habitat fracturing and ensuring bio-diversity, in other words, the real environmental work?

#17

Mr. Harper is an embarrassment to Canada’s international reputation. Canada per capita is among the worst GHG emitter, Alberta even more so. Mr. Harper will play his political games to maintain his core political support of Alberta, at the expense of our global ecology and economy, at the expense of Canada’s international reputation. We now have the fouling belching Tarsands as our national symbol. It is shameful, cynical. Why on our warming Earth do Conservatives vote for this guy. Canadian voters are the problem, when will we become the solution. If you love our Earth, you will not vote Conservative.

#16

Carbon sequestration is a JOKE when one considers the gigantic volumes necessary to make any king of a difference. In Canada billions of tax dollars are being spent on greenwashing by both Alberta and the Federal conservatives. A waste of taxpayer dollars into a one trick pony that will prove to be a giant white elephant.

Canada and Canadians that support this conservative mantra of “do nothing” really sicken me. When did we become such callous creeps of the planet. We are just parasites led by that creepy dude harper, the guy without any conscience or any sense of human decency for that matter.

Conservatives are just anti-humanity period!! Their entire value system is corrupted by greed and ignorance. They represent all that is wrong with the planet – Sustained Pillage is their mantra!

#15

The alternative? – open 2 coal plants per week as is the case now…may lead to future climate wars resulting from breakdown in civil order all around the world, even in advanced countries. The US geological Survey released a report last spring stating that while abrupt climate change is low probability, it carries high risk. It also predicts increased likelihood of droughts in the grain growing belts around the planet and raises questions about humanity’s ability to adapt fast enough. The question for society then, is the risk level of sufficient concern to take action?…and what changes are required from society to mitigate in a measurable and sustained manner…the goal being to transform the world economy into one of high value, low impact! The irony is: the current economic crisis is fully intertwined with the climate crisis in many ways. We need one solution that addresses both and deals with the geopolitical land mines that are worsened by the economic debacle! The West is in peril. One gets the feeling that mankind has reached a crossroad not unlike the one we crossed when we invented the wheel or discovered fire, or maybe 1917. Our future may be as dependent on a favorable outcome.

#14

What problem? Is the climate changing? Does it matter?

Are there really any data or observations that show anything more than normal events and natural climate cycles?

Pollution and deforestation are problems. But CO2 is natural and beneficial. Is there any evidence that it has hurt anyone?

Does anyone complain when we add oxygen to our environment with our agriculture and tree planting? It corrodes just about everything it comes in contact with! How can that be good?

#13

Copenhagen is a start. Countries will keep meeting and do more as the situation gets more urgent and as technology advances to bring down costs. Right now most “leaders” are captives to nationalism in the developing world or insular democratic legislative bodies in the developed countries. The critical mass for change will just have to keep pushing from the bottom up.

#12

I didn’t hear A SINGLE thing about over population and ideas to help people to breeding any more filthy babies. If people would stop having babies, the planet could be rid of pollutive humans in as little as 100 years. I have not heard a single thing about that from the trickle down media outlets.

#11

I didn’t hear A SINGLE thing about overpopulation and ideas to help people to breeding any more filthy babies. If people would stop having babies, the planet could be rid of pollutive humans in as little as 100 years. I have not heard a single thing about that from the trickle down propaganda outlets.

#10

the copenhagen circus finally showed it’s last act : when the dictators and entitled despots stood up and DEMANDED that we pay their way. i hope they did more damage to their credibility and the real reason for the conference (wealth re-distribution) than i believe it did. down with dictators!

#9

I don’t think it will accomplish anything tangible. The gathering of any number of world leaders often lead to the battle of big egos and unrealistic goals with limited financial resources esp with the United States and UK (who are still in recovery from the global slowdown).

However it does provide some signs of optimism that the issue is being addressed by many countries as well as bring to light the struggles that smaller islands i.e. the Maldives are facing due to climate change.

#8

The best it can do is inspire people to organize and make significant changes collectively but without the counter-humanitarian efforts of the commercial sector and the government/nations which support the commercial sector and the exploitative and destructive social systems of economy and political organization which have lead to climate crisis. It cannot be forgotten the these same practices effect the health/lives of all living things and our ecosystems-this has been the case since the “industrial revolution”.

#7

This is such a frightful, unempowered question…Of course the process has been moved along We are slowly but surely realizing that we must honour our great mother, the earth..Journalism is mired in the negative…wHere is the vision needed to activate othersI think journalista are parasitic and unconscious…the concentration on covering themselves in case of sueing with doomsday scenarios must be in the training of journalists. Any way\,of course progress has been made and let’s keep going.It is the great challenge of our age… it’s up to ALL of us!

#6

Unfortunately, the Copenhagen conference has become an exercise in “rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.”

#5

It probably won’t change anything any time soon. It was encouraging to see solidarity in the developing world, however, especially in Africa; That could form an important international framework for future treaties. (It could also widen the gulf between rich and poor nations and lead to more violence.) It all pretty much comes down to the U.S. and China, though. Unless Obama can ram serious emission reductions through Congress, and unless the west firms up and demands more substantial reduction verification from China, nothing much will change soon.

#4

Absolutly not! Waste of time and money.There is nothing we can do about climate change.Climate changes been hapening on earth for thousend’s of years. If your house getting flooded due to rising sea level,god dam it MOOVE!

#3

The Copenhagen conference serves as a signal to citizens of the world that both China and America are serious about getting control over greenhouse gases. This matter is serious and something that all citizens should be paying close attention to.

#2

The conference certainly won’t accomplish anything tangible at this time or at any time in the near future. In fact, all the hot air coming out of Copenhagen might just make matters worse. But maybe this kind of political hot air is a necessary prelude to pave the way for eventual tangible action some time in the future. Let’s just hope it’s not too late then, if it’s not already too late.

#1

Sure it will change things…but will it be enough?

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