Atendendo a algumas respostas apreciativas e inúmeras ignorativas, aqui está......

19 dezembro 2009

Cop15 as I saw it

Here is a summary of the Copenhagen climate talks as I saw them on the Web 2.0 - a rather partial point of view, but not that much worse than what you'll read on the papers tomorrow.

Katrine Dalsgård together with her husband Thomas Fløe and their son Kristoffer hosted guests from Zambia and the UK. Through an organization called New Life Copenhagen, Danes showed their world-leading hospitality by hosting thousands of international attendants to the summit. Links in English (video), French (video), and Danish (text, subscription required).

José Serra seems to have enjoyed himself in the cold weather, especially working with fellow governor Schwarzenegger. He gave the impression that he had productive conversations with various international and domestic players, that he made constructive proposals, and that he bought the ideas of Green Party candidate Marina Silva completely. Whether true or just vaguely so, this impression may come in handy in the 2nd round of the Brazilian presidential elections next year. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the two governors seemed to be among the few trying to get some work done, apart from the thousands of Danish citizens who like the Dalsgård-Fløes opened their homes to visitors from around the world.

Dilma Roussef, the Worker's Party presidential candidate, had a Freudian slip: "The environment is a threat to sustainable development." May not be what she meant to say but pretty much sums up her environmental record. Subsequently she and Lula contradicted each other on a number of important points. Whether either had much of a clue about what they were saying is a matter of conjecture.

President Obama showed up in the last minute - he seems to be enjoying these short visits to Scandinavia - and burst into a meeting between Lula, Manmohan Singh, and the current Chinese dictator, who were privately plotting to block any deal. In all fairness to the Prime Minister, of all the main players in the climate change - China, the US, Europe, Russia, Brazil, and Indonesia - India has least to contribute. It is much poorer than all but Indonesia so it has less to spend, and emits a lot less per person than any of these countries so it has less to cut. In any case Obama seems to have wrestled some type of agreement, perhaps a disappointing one, out of countries that came ready to avoid any progress. He also crammed in a chat with Medvedev about nuclear weapons, pretty much the only subject on which anyone will listen to Russia.

Predictions for tomorrow and the next few days: the right will continue to deny that humans are causing global warming, the same way that they deny a large fraction of modern science - the names of Darwin and Keynes come to mind. They will also deny that the climate is changing at all, that the changes can be dangerous, and that they it may be worthwhile to avoid them. But in any case they will blame Obama and the socialist Europeans for whatever they will say went wrong.

The left will blame the Danes for the lack of a deal and the Jews for global warming - keep an eye on the usual suspects. African and Latin American politicians will congratulate themselves on standing up to the Americans, and will say that failure to achieve a deal which they never wanted is good because it allows the economic development of poor countries by any means necessary - and at whatever cost to their own people, the poor especially, but that is another story. In that sense the left-wing position is similar to the right-wing one, with a relevant difference: while the right is proud of not reading Keynes or Darwin or the IPCC reports, the left claims to have read and follow all of them - although without understanding what the science means.

Oh and before I forget some self-appointed very smart people will act superior and befuddled - the Economist has already made comments relating the climate talks to Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Prediction for the next decade: warm, with a chance of hurricanes.
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