Climate Change

Awaiting the final verdict ...

It is Friday December 18, just after 3PM. I am sitting here in the Øksnehallen in downtown Copenhagen, huddled together with other NGO activists that were banned from the conference centre. I have never been executed, but this is what it must feel like. You have filed a final appeal for the death sentence to be converted into a life sentence, you have made a passionate plea with the best (science-based) arguments available and now you are waiting for somebody else to decide your fate.... Read more »

Details on the Protest, International Youth Sit-in, Harper Arrives

Yesterday I filmed the Reclaim Power civil society protest. I arrived at 11:30 and things were just getting started. There, hundreds of protesters gathered around a semi-circle human wall of police in riot gear standing front of a wall of police vans in front of the fence blocking access to the Bella Centre. As I arrived, the event leader was calling on people to push through the police, climb over or though the police vans and over the fence.  Protesters surged forward and were pushed back by police.  After this, people milled around chanting messages but after about half an hour the police decided to declare the event illegal and threatened everyone with arrest and started closing in on protesters.... Read more »

Canada Attempts to Whitewash Climate Record

2009-12-16

Canada is attempting to whitewash its abysmal climate change record with short-term funding for developing nations. Meanwhile, other wealthy nations are making more significant funding commitments while also making the necessary policy changes on a domestic level, an area in which Canada has failed miserably.

“Money without action is a cynical attempt to divert attention from Canada’s refusal to do its fair share to reduce its emissions,” said John Bennett, executive director of Sierra Club Canada. “The time for public relations games is long past. Canada must take strong action on domestic issues like regulating tar sands development and supporting green jobs before anyone will see this as anything but a political stunt.”... Read more »

Time for a little separation of oil companies and government.

Guess what.  The Government of Canada (Read the CBC article here) is planning on using the Americans for cover to allow them to give the oil companies more subsidies.  Make no mistake, giving the oil companies smaller emission targets than other industries is a subsidy.  Even in these tough recessionary times oil compoany and their front men in the Canadian and Alberta governments are not above picking the pockets of Canadians.

Normally, I would not comment on business practices and government subsidies.  The Sierra Club is an organization devoted to environmental preservation which places us outside of traditional left-right, capitalist-socialist debates.  Only when profits and shareholder dividends lead to a major impact on the environment - especially the profound implications of global warming - do we raise the alarm. ... Read more »

A Question for the Planet

A question for the planet, 'Can a few thousand negotiators gathered here in Copenhagen get beyond all the distractions and hype and cut deal?'

Despite the impending arrival of President Obama there is no sense of "Yes We Can" around here.  We're coming down to the last few days and the United States is still more concerned with business issues than a climate treaty. My own country continues to stand in the path of the future, more concerned with oil profits than protecting the global commons.

While I'm typing the plenary session is on the big screen.  There's no space in the plenary room for observers.  After 20 years of campaigning on climate change and 35 years campaigning on energy (they overlap, I'm not that old) I am merely an observer.

Merely an observer allowed to be around only at the pleasure of government.  Governments define the issues. Governments set the rules.  Governments ............. Read more »

   

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