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7th December
written by Sean Noble

The climate conference in Copenhagen gets underway today. There is a great story in the London Telegraph, which has the following nuggets (emphasis added):

…total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. “We haven’t got enough limos in the country to fulfill the demand,” she says. “We’re having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden.”

And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number?

“Five,” says Ms Jorgensen. “The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don’t have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it’s very Danish.”

The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports – or to Sweden – to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers.

…In the city’s famous anarchist commune of Christiania this morning, among the hash dealers and heavily-graffitied walls, they started their two-week “Climate Bottom Meeting,” complete with a “storytelling yurt” and a “funeral of the day” for various corrupt, “heatist” concepts such as “economic growth”.

…And this being Scandinavia, even the prostitutes are doing their bit for the planet. Outraged by a council postcard urging delegates to “be sustainable, don’t buy sex,” the local sex workers’ union – they have unions here – has announced that all its 1,400 members will give free intercourse to anyone with a climate conference delegate’s pass. The term “carbon dating” just took on an entirely new meaning.

At least the sex will be C02-neutral. According to the organizers, the eleven-day conference, including the participants’ travel, will create a total of 41,000 tons of “carbon dioxide equivalent”, equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough.

The temptation, then, is to dismiss the whole thing as a ridiculous circus.

Many of the participants do not really need to be here. And far from “saving the world,” the world’s leaders have already agreed that this conference will not produce any kind of binding deal, merely an interim statement of intent.

Instead of swift and modest reductions in carbon – say, two per cent a year, starting next year – for which they could possibly be held accountable, the politicians will bandy around grandiose targets of 80-per-cent-plus by 2050, by which time few of the leaders at Copenhagen will even be alive, let alone still in office.

…And as the delegates meet, they do so under a shadow. For the first time, not just the methods but the entire purpose of the climate change agenda is being questioned. Leaked emails showing key scientists conspiring to fix data that undermined their case have boosted the sceptic lobby. Australia has voted down climate change laws. Last week’s unusually strident attack by the Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband, on climate change “saboteurs” reflected real fear in government that momentum is slipping away from the cause.

In Copenhagen there was a humbler note among some delegates. “If we fail, one reason could be our overconfidence,” said Simron Jit Singh, of the Institute of Social Ecology. “Because we are here, talking in a group of people who probably agree with each other, we can be blinded to the challenges of the other side. We feel that we are the good guys, the selfless saviors, and they are the bad guys.”

1200 limos, 140 private jets, free prostitutes, calling economic growth a “heatist” concept… yeah, you could say it’s just a big ridiculous circus.

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  1. Mollie

    Wow. I’m speechless. Disgusting display of elitism and hypocrisy. No wonder Obama still wants to go; he’ll fit right in.

  2. shannon hunsaker

    Some pigs are more equal than other pigs? Human behavior is the same, you just change the venue/cause. Either Copenhagen global-warming, The Log Cabin Retreat at the Palm Springs Riviera. Or the NRA defending the rights of gun-owners after the Columbine shootings. IT’S THE SAME THING.

    3 (totally different) groups trying to reinvent the world where they live.

    Sean, I can’t wait until you, and the people who follow your blog, figure out how to raise yourself up without having to step on someone else to do it.

  3. Mollie

    Shannon, you are TOTALLY ignoring the blatant hypocrisy involved here. IT’S NOT THE SAME THING. These people would be doing more for the Earth by staying home than they are by traveling around the world on private jets to talk about…uh, how bad it is for the earth when people use private jets…
    Hasn’t anyone heard of a teleconference? Skype? iChat?! I mean, it’s 2009, people!
    What if it was a conference for the anti-tobacco industry and they all lit up cigarettes the minute they got in the room? That would make about as much sense as this.

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