Monday, December 07, 2009

Split personality

The Telegraph betrays its own with this ludicrous headline over a rather cynical live-blog (by Geoffrey Lean) of the first day of Copenhagen: "The world has just 11 days to save the planet from global warming. Read the latest updates from the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen here." From the post:
9am: Day one of the conference and already the rumours are flying. I have heard that Al Gore, the high priest of climate change, may not be coming to Copenhagen afterall. Perhaps he is leaving the limelight to President Barack Obama?

But don't worry. David Beckham could save the planet. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are in discussion with football teams coming to the World Cup about offsetting their carbon emissions. So, we could see a wind farm sponsored by Wayne Rooney or solar panels courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo. We'll find out later today which teams are signing up and what kind of projects they will be paying for to make up for their business class flights.

11am: Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernnental Committee on Climate Change, delivers an impassioned defence of the science behind global warming following 'climategate'.

“The recent incident of stealing the emails of scientists at the University of East Anglia shows that some would go to the extent of carrying out illegal acts perhaps in an attempt to discredit the IPCC," he said. "But the panel has a record of transparent and objective assessment stretching over 21 years performed by tens of thousands of dedicated scientists from all corners of the globe."

Dr Pachauri said even a rise in temperatures of 2C (3.6) will lead to sea level rise that could make millions of people homeless. He called for “urgent action” and said those questioning the science were just unwilling to make the changes necessary to cut carbon emissions. . . .

1.45pm: Delegates are outraged. Not only are they in a souless conference centre miles from anywhere on the borders of Denmark and Sweden, not only were hundreds kept waiting in the rain on the first day because of a bomb scare but there is no goodie bag.

Lars Ramussen, the Prime Minister of Denmark, said it was all about saving the plaent. "Looking in your conference kit, you were perhaps disappointed – or perhaps relieved - not to find a figurine of the Little Mermaid or other conference souvenirs,” he said. “We have chosen to cut back on gifts and instead invest in 11 scholarships for students from around the world who are attending a fully financed two year MA programme in
Denmark.”. . .

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