Feeling the Pulse in Copenhagen


Tommaso BoggiaBy Tommaso Boggia,
Foundation Beyond Belief Environment Blogger

Hi, Foundation Beyond Belief community!

I am about to ship out to Copenhagen to attend the international climate negotiations, in which world leaders will be setting the framework for global reductions of climate-altering gasses. Haven’t heard about it? Well, here is the spiel:

Remember the Kyoto Protocol? Back in 1997, developing nations agreed to give reducing their emissions a shot, but the United States never ratified it. After eight years of an anti-science federal government, the U.S. finally has a shot at taking responsibility for the fact that we consume so much more than anyone else on the planet.

I heart KyotoThe successor to the Kyoto Protocol was initially supposed to be finalized this December in Copenhagen, but was delayed due to the United States Senate taking forever to come up with a climate bill (did you call your senator yet?). Without a mandate from the Senate, President Obama’s negotiators don’t have anything to negotiate around and, with the United States gone from the table, so are 20 percent of the world’s current emissions. Needless to say, we won’t be getting a treaty signed yet, but hopes are high that participants in Copenhagen can, at the very least, get the overall framework in place so that they can plug in tangible numbers at a later date (probably at next year’s conference in Mexico).

Policy spiel over!

I’ll be heading to Copenhagen to report on the international youth climate movements, and I am hoping to get some good footage to post on this blog.

These are some people and groups I am hoping to capture on video while there:Survival is Not Negotiable

•    The movements: Every year, youth presence at international climate negotiations gets bigger. This year, young people will be joined by other allies, bringing their energy and excitement to Copenhagen for what is already being referred to as the Millennial Generation’s Seattle. The good: We could see an impressive demonstration of support. The bad: Radical extremists could damage the image of peaceful demonstrators.

•    Fun troublemakers: Ever heard of the Yes Men? These professional pranksters have been giving big, irresponsible corporations the runaround for years by impersonating their executives and announcing fantastic new environmental initiatives, from making diesel oil out of cremated bodies to taking responsibility for the most costly and ignored environmental disaster in the world (committed by Dow Chemicals). Though not necessarily a troublemaker, Umbra Fisk, Grist.org’s eccentric but hilarious blogger, will also be there extracting laughs from interviewees and lifting moods. And last but not least, watch for the Avaaz Action Factories, who in the past brought us the Aliens From Outer Space skit, demanding to be taken to the world’s climate leaders (who were nowhere to be found).

•    Senator Inhofe: The Oklahoma Republican is one of the few people left in the Senate who still has the presumption to claim that scientists are all corrupt liars. Hard to see the truth when you are the third highest recipient of oil money in Congress!

•    Faith groups: I’m interested to see how effective faith groups will be at the negotiation. My tendency is to be skeptical of their presence, but I do realize they have lots of sway with leaders from certain countries.

•    Atheist groups: I haven’t heard of any atheist groups attending the conference. If you know of any, please leave me a note in the comments section.

Who would you like to see? Leave me suggestions in the comments and I’ll seek them out!