Posts tagged: Copenhagen

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
02 December 2009, 3:57 PM
A different angle from the Center for Food Safety

I just received two copies of a newsletter called Cool Foods: Countdown to Copenhagen & Beyond from the Center for Food Safety. The purpose of the effort is to remind negotiators and the public that industrial agriculture accounts for between 13.5 percent and as much as 32 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. "Particularly alarming," they write, "is that industrial agriculture is responsible for 60 percent of total global nitrous oxide emissions, largely from nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrous oxide is the deadliest of the three major GHGs, approximately 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide." And on in the same vein. Scary but vital information.

Lester Brown's Earth Policy Institute has a somewhat different take on the subject, but also provides compelling evidence and argument that climate change and agriculture are intimately linked.

View Molly Woodward's blog posts
02 December 2009, 3:53 PM
How a cute cartoon can fight climate change
Tamagotchi. Photo: imeleven.

As the Copenhagen conference approaches, our instinct may be to let politicians resolve the planet’s fate. But we’re also realizing more and more that we can’t just rely on politicians. Each of us needs to cut our individual energy usage. Dramatically. Now.

I’m the first to say that cutting down on the pleasures and convenience of heat and electricity is hard. It’s too easy to put off my goals for another day, or to console myself about the ways I do conserve. What will it take to get us all really saving?

Knowing us Americans, maybe what we need is… a new fad! Something fun. Something that will spur some friendly competition. Maybe even something a little bit cute.

4 Comments   /  
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
30 November 2009, 12:51 PM
Religious leader urges nations to downplay national interests at Copenhagen

Just one week before the Copenhagen climate change conference begins, the Dalai Lama is asking the world's governments to downplay their national economic interests and give priority to solving global climate change. At a news conference in Australia, he said:

Sometimes their number one importance is national interest, national economic interest, then global (warming) issue is sometimes second. That I think should change. The global issue, it should be number one.

The conference is Dec. 7-18.


View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
10 November 2009, 11:54 AM
Says he may attend climate talks if progress can be made

After weeks of speculation from Al Gore and others, we have the first indication from President Obama himself that he may go to the Copenhagen climate conference. In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he will travel to Copenhagen if he feels there is a chance of progress:

If I am confident that all of the countries involved are bargaining in good faith and we are on the brink of a meaningful agreement and my presence in Copenhagen will make a difference in tipping us over the edge then certainly that's something that I will do.

President Obama's statement of intent may signal the beginning of increased pressure on the Senate from the White House to continue pushing climate legislation forward, even as the health care debate—which has eclipsed global warming recently—rages on. Last week, the Kerry-Boxer global warming bill was passed out of the Environment and Public Works committee by a vote of 11-1. No Republican committee members were present for the vote.

Your move, Congress.

View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
05 November 2009, 5:46 PM
Our political leaders need to put this country on a low-carbon diet

Bill McKibben, founder of the campaign, took to the pages of the latest Mother Jones to offer a great primer on the Copenhagen climate conference. McKibben's article is clear: the world needs to stabilize carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 350 parts-per-million—the threshold of life on planet earth as we know it, according to scientists like James Hansen.

Problem is, the current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is 387 ppm, which means we've already exceeded that threshold by a mile.

What on earth to do? The politically impossible. A simple statement in McKibben's article leapt off the page and grabbed my attention: Getting to 350 ppm "would require focusing the entire planet for a generation on the task of transitioning off fossil fuel…It would mean aiming for a solution, not an agreement." To many, that's a painful (perhaps unrealistic) argument, but that doesn't make it any less true.

1 Comment   /  
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
04 November 2009, 4:30 PM
Senate vote on climate bill unlikely before climate change conference

UPDATE: Democrats today (Nov. 5) ducked a Republican boycott to pass a climate change bill out of a key Senate committee. One senator described the move as a way to prove the United States is serious about fighting global warming.

President Obama hoped to have a climate change bill in hand to strengthen America's credibility in December at the world climate change conference in Copenhagen—but he may have to settle for a "show of progress" instead. A Republican boycott on the bill this week all but doomed hope of getting a bill passed before the conference.

But, is a "show" enough to convince other countries that the U.S. is no longer the rogue nation it was under Bush? We posed the question to Earthjustice legislative representative Sarah Saylor. Here's her response:

Anyone watching the process knows that our Congressional leaders are moving the legislative process forward. That bill has cleared two of five key hurdles in the legislative process by passing through committee to the House floor, and through the House floor to the Senate.

1 Comment   /  
View Brian Smith's blog posts
03 November 2009, 2:05 PM
Tough slogging this week in both cities

At this week's U.N. climate talks in Barcelona, a big showdown is brewing between the rich countries and the Global South. The dispute boils down to whether the rich countries ("Annex 1 countries" including the USA) have made strong enough commitments heading into Copenhagen.

If the Annex 1 countries, who have profited from industrial pollution for decades, have missed their Kyoto targets, how can they now demand low-income nations dramatically reduce their emissions? Here's more on that issue.

The dispute led to a brief walkout. But, African nations are now back at the table.

Meanwhile, back at home…

2 Comments   /  
View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
02 November 2009, 1:13 PM
Former VP offers up his opinion on an Obama appearance in Copenhagen

Speculation abounds as to whether President Barack Obama will travel to Copenhagen this December to personally participate in international global warming negotiations, though many have expressed doubt about the likelihood (and value) of an Obama appearance without legislation from Congress in his back pocket.

Well, today, former veep and contrarian of conventional wisdom Al Gore told the German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel that he expects President Obama will indeed be there: "He hasn't told me that he will, and no one representing him has told me that he will. But I see the calendar, I see unfolding of events and I feel certain he will go."

1 Comment   /  
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
30 October 2009, 3:19 PM
Wealthy, big polluters still on sidelines as Copenhagen approaches

As the world's richest and largest polluters—the U.S. and China—remain ambigous about taking significant climate change action, the world's lowest income contributors are getting support to clean up their acts.

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