Though most attention last week focused on the Supreme Court ruling upholding federal reform of the health-care system, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued the most important judicial decision on climate change in five years. That decision upholds the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, and it [...]
Last week ended with high drama and muddled results. As Friday’s workday began, Danish television was trained on the convoy of vehicles that would take President Obama to the Bella Center as soon as Air Force One landed. The landing took place around 9 a.m., and the president was immediately taken to a meeting of world leaders. Notably absent was Premier Wen Jiabao of China, the country that arguably was holding [...]
As I write this a little after midnight on Thursday, less than 24 hours remain before the close of the Copenhagen talks. Local television is playing continuous loops of an English-language TV movie (with Danish subtitles) about an evil oil company that is trying to sabotage the “Kyoto 2 talks at Calgary” by pressuring the U.S. delegation, besmirching a respected scientist, hiding damaging data, and maybe worse [...]
The formal negotiations are taking place in only one place, the Bella Center, but throughout the city of Copenhagen the climate event cannot be missed. Numerous buildings are draped with huge signs proclaiming some company’s, nation’s, or group’s contributions to reducing the climate problem. Public plazas have large displays of electric cars, annotated globes, and alarming aerial photographs. A wind company has purchased the right to paste its posters on the platform floors in many [...]
Difficult as it is to discuss global warming in the midst of a snowstorm (such as Copenhagen is experiencing right now), discussions proceed on multiple tracks, though “tracks” implies more linearity and parallelism than actually exists.
The hidden elephant (or polar bear) in many of the rooms is the U.S. Senate. Virtually every other [...]
There are many shows taking place in Copenhagen right now. Where the real action is, however, is another question entirely.
Over the weekend a mass demonstration — estimates of the number of participants range from 30,000 to 100,000 — took over parts of the city, leading to nearly 1,000 arrests. When I arrived at the Bella Center first thing Monday morning, things were more [...]