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The Copenhagen Climate Conference was a Failure, or Was It?

by Bike Shop Girl

My head is still spinning from the Copenhagen (United Nations) Climate Change Summit that was almost a month ago.  At first I kept up to date with news with my news feeder on overload after a few days.  Quickly,my head only hurt more instead of feeling inspired and motivated.  I’m not a politician, and though I did well in honors debate, debating or spinning webs around politics has never been my thing..  This Climate Change Summit has not calmed my fears of the climate control issues, or energy waste that happens by the second.

It was a waste, it was a failure and the steps that we took going backwards will be hard to change in order to go forward.  But wait, just one more minute.  So far in the news there has been good thoughts out of the Conference.

Bolivia to have their own Climate Summit, First World Conference of the People on Climate Change.
The economy laying belly up, maybe be what the energy crisis needs. NY Times Economy.

Personally, I think there was one small step forward.  Not in my lifetime do I remember so many nations coming together for the better good.  I do believe that they want to do good, but they are clueless on how to get there.  Every country or nation wants to be the right one and the one with the brilliant answer.  It is like having a load of Harvard graduate lawyers fighting against each other for the same answer, but their answer is right because they think so.

The news covered, and have been covering the Conference well.  There have been more talks about the North Pole melting, about smog, about the Greenhouse effect.  Maybe, just maybe, the media will continue with this spin going forward in order to keep the education to the everyday man.

I have hopes that we will learn that bikes answer many questions and needs..  At the very least we will drive less, stop using Air Conditioning so much and put a size limit on cars.

Let me apologize for ranting or typos.  As I am typing this after reading for two hours straight on all the news blurbs I had missed on the Conference.
 
Burley nomad 229

29 Responses to “The Copenhagen Climate Conference was a Failure, or Was It?”

  1. William says:

    O.K. I’m probably going to be kicked off this site for this heracy but man-caused global warming for the most past is a hoax. Don’t get me wrong I like to recycle and ride my bike whenever possible instead of using my truck, not flush the toilet if I’ve only taken a piss to save water and so on and so forth. Yes we need to be kind to the planet and be smart about the way we use our resources but it must be an individual’s choice. The fact is the the so called “best minds” of global warming “science” falsified data to gain power and authority in there field and the politicians figured out they could use this hoax to gain power for themselves…”Oh no…This is a global issue…Poor us, Poor us!!! We need a global solution which is easily transformed in a global gov” In the end they can tell you how to run your life and your country just because everything can be made into a climate change argument…”You’re a fatty fat fat person so you’re carbon footprint is bigger than the regs say…Go run on a treadmill fatboy or pay us a fat tax” The earth will always be warming and cooling…One year will be colder than the last and the next year will be hotter…Welcome to life on planet Earth…Just pray that when it is hot you’re surrounded by gorgeous supermodels in thier undies who want you to take thier minds of how horribly hot and misrable they are…

  2. James says:

    William, you completely contradicted yourself. First you conceded that we need to be good to the earth and “be smart about the way we use our resources”. Then you go on to say that it should be an individual’s choice?

    You can’t treat the earth well, and leave it to individuals to do whatever they want without any consequence.

    Let’s pretend for a moment that global warming really is a farce. Individuals will still pollute the air, contaminate the water, burn through the earth’s resources, and fill up the earth with waste.

    What’s wrong with regulating consumption if it has a net benefit on our society and the earth?

    Most of the actions that individuals can take result in more money in their pocket, healthier lifestyles, less traffic congestion, sustainable and renewable natural resources, and less pollution in the air and water.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me. It’s no wonder that countries that emit less carbon are happier and healthier than countries that emit more.

  3. William says:

    James then go move to one of those countries…This country was founded on individual choices and that’s what’s made us the best country in the world. Yes some people are idiots, they might not do the things I might think they should but guess what it’s thier choice. The fact that we live in america means as frustrating as it is sometimes we have to live with conradictions and even have to contradict ourselves every once in a while. Why don’t we look at this from the capitalist prospective for a sec? I’m sure if someone invents a car that is run on air and is free of pollution and you can buy cheaper than a traditional car people are going to buy that car over the old one but have you noticed something about our history? The car wasn’t, light bulb, shower or dvd wasn’t invented by any gov. It was invented by the people…The government just gets in a persons way. If congress had signed a legally binding treaty at this climate summit it would have hurt the people of this country. We’d be looking a new tax’s, limits on business and would have to see hard earned american tax money shipped out to 3rd world corrupt goverments who instead of using it to upgrade thier power grid would probably blow it on hookers, weapons and drugs or some other shady dealings. The loss of jobs and tax money would cripple the U.S. and hurt her people. We all need to look to our own selves and decide what’s best for us and what we as individuals want out of life and how to live it.

  4. James says:

    If by “cripple the U.S. and hurt her people” you mean that more people will ride bicycles, and be healthier and breathe in less pollution, and waste less, be less obese, spend more time with family, and consume less – then yes, I think the government should “get in a persons(sic) way”.

    Many Americans (and Canadians) have a sense of entitlement where they feel they have the right to do as much harm to the earth as they please, because it’s a “free country” and they work hard and they deserve it. That’s all fine and everything until you look at the size of the footprint and all of the problems we are causing for future generations.

    “We all need to look to our own selves and decide what’s best for us and what we as individuals want out of life and how to live it.” – and then die and let somebody else clean up the mess after.

  5. matt says:

    I thought this was a website for bike commuting?

  6. William says:

    James who has the right to dictate to others how they should live thier lives? You? A Government? How will you enforce your way of thinking? A stern talking to? Taxation? Jail time? A swift kick in the nuts? Guess what…As a people we are better. As Americans, my people have given back to the world more than any other country in history…We’ve been cleaning up the rest of the worlds garbage for decades…Most of the countries that you’re talking about wouldn’t have thier freedom if not for us and guess what, the way you people think is the same way the commies thought before the fall of the Berlin Wall…The whole knows better than the individual…You’ll do what we say when we say because you can’t be trusted to think for yourselves. How would youl ike it if the government decided to start telling everyone what to do but the governments view didn’t allign with your own? What if they banned bikes and told you that you had to buy a giant SUV that gets 2 miles to the gallon and ran on cute little furry bunnies? When the government gets to decide what’s good for you and what isn’t you’d better watch out…administrations change, parties change but they all use the same tools. The next administration might not share your views…What then? A Democratic Republic isn’t perfect but it’s the best form of gov out there…If you don’t like it move somewhere else…Freedom lovers where here first.

  7. Andy says:

    Just registering my ‘vote,’ I’m with matt on this one. I hope we don’t get too many posts about Global Warming. I’m interested in reading about bike commuting. There are plenty of other places to go to read about Anthropogenic Global Warming. And as William & James have demonstrated above, there are pretty strong feelings on both sides of the issue.

  8. Bob Baxter says:

    I hesitate to get into a political argument, however if you’re interested in how our climate works read the book “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” by Thomas Friedman. You should be able to find it at your local library.

  9. John B. says:

    You know, I think the problem with this whole debate – and the reason that Copenhagen was an abject failure – is that it has become too politized with too many supposed “environmentalist” groups trying to use “global warming” as subterfuge for advancing political and social agendas. I think there are points of argeement on environmental issues -such as clean air, clean water, and nature conservation. I wish we could focus on that instead of wealth redistribution and “carbon caps” that would only have a negligible impact on CO2 levels anyway. Bicycles ARE a great answer to many challenges of urban living including traffic congestion, obesity, self-reliance, just plain fun (i.e. stress reduction). I think global warming believers and skeptics can come together on those things too. I’d like to see more honest dialog instead of hysteria and scare tactics (which, BTW, applies equally to those who think that cow farts are killing the planet AND those who scream “Communism” everytime the issue comes up.) There is middle ground and I wish both sides would work harder to find it.

  10. Early Man says:

    I appreciate the libertarian viewpoint of people like William to keep a more progressive approach to the world’s problems honest. But William really needs to read some of what the Founding Father’s wrote. They certainly recognized that some collective problems could not be solved solely through individual choice. What the problem of climate change requires is deliberation. In a democratic republic the only force that should matter in deliberation is the force of a better argument. That means entering into the debate in good faith–not summarily rejecting evidence, taking your cookies and going home. The success of democracy was never guaranteed–if the world is populated by more impudent children than reasonable people then a crisis just like global warming could portend its demise. Maybe the children need to be reminded that “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” I am sure they would prefer “We all need to look to our own selves and decide what’s best for us” because isn’t that what impudent children do anyway?

  11. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    The environment weighed heavy as a driving force to encourage me to sell my (car) as well as it is one of the top 10 reasons I chose to bicycle.
    The Copenhagen Climate Conference changed me. I have determined myself to ride in harsher conditions, which I have found to be enjoyable. Also, I have been noticing more and more how much pollution motor vehicles really put out and I don’t believe 1 in 10000 really understand it.
    The CCC also helped me to realize that I really need to avoid as much pollution as I can, because I really do depend on my heart and lungs.
    I also don’t need scientists to tell me Climate change is real.. I also believe that most people are unable to understand their actions that are outside of their sight.
    Last, the CCC has helped cycling” As now they see in riding in snow and on ice while below 0f, and it tells them to lookout at all times and also bike commuting is possible, once they quite calling me crazy”

  12. tom says:

    I travel by bike because it’s cheap, healthful, efficient transportation that’s FUN. Tooling back and forth to work or the market by me isn’t going to have a perceptible effect on the earth and no altruistic, quasi-religious mind-set is required to make cycling a sensible activity. When one of the speeches at Copenhagen is given Robert Mugabe, the definition of a third-world thug, the conference reveals itself for what it is, an opportunity for gangster regimes to exploit guilt-ridden liberal western societies in an attempt to redistribute wealth.

  13. BluesCat says:

    William, there was no falsification of data, just some Wacko-Rightie-pseudo-news-wonks taking a few emails GROSSLY out of context. Global warming is a simple fact: Alaska has warmed by 3 degrees in the last 50 years, and that pattern is reflected in the climate data for the lower 48 states. If that trend continues, my home state of Arizona will be mostly unlivable by 2100.

    For a moment, let’s set aside the whole issue of whether man is the PRIMARY cause of global warming. There can be NO doubt that the earth IS warming and the activities of man DO serve to increase mean temperatures (simply Google “Phoenix heat island” if you have any doubt).

    My question then, for YOU, William, is: if you had a loud neighbor, would you give him a bullhorn so his noise pollution would be even worse? Even if man ISN’T the PRIMARY cause of global warming, doesn’t it make sense to do everything we can do to limit man’s contribution to it? And isn’t that MORE important, in the big scheme of things, than American Nationalism or even the American economy? To put “America First!” over “Earth First!” is the epitome of misguided priorities.

  14. Bob Baxter says:

    We’ve heard several opinions so how about a couple facts. Ice core samples going back 200,000 years show the amount of CO2 at about 270 ppm (parts per million)fairly stable, with a couple of short lived spikes during that time. After 1700ad, the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the amount of CO2 began to rise and 300 years later it stands at about 380 ppm. Make of this what you will. The greenhouse gases are like the thermostat on the wall, they regulate the earth’s temperature. Without them the earth would be uninhabital, (is that a word?) with too much—-same thing.

  15. Matt says:

    Would someone delete this post already? I come here to learn about bike commuting not to hear people yell at each other about politics.

  16. crazyrightwingguy says:

    Alaska may be warming, but last month I shovelled three feet of snow off my driveway in Washington D.C. from one of the biggest snow storms ever in this area. There are record cold temperatures across the country this winter. So things aren’t getting warmer everywhere. And for the record, the warmer weather in Alaska is increasing, not decreasing, the Polar Bear populations. So what’s all the fuss about? I think AZ will be just fine in 2100. Urban heat islands have to do with concrete and asphault retaining heat, not CO2 causing a greenhouse effect. Apples and oranges.

  17. BluesCat says:

    crazyrightwingguy: No, we’re talking about man’s affect on climate, and global warming, whether it be CO2 or urban heat islands or anything else.

    Global warming does NOT mean a steady, unwavering march upward in temperatures year after year. It DOES mean radical weather: bigger storms, bigger droughts, colder periods, warmer periods, etc. It’s like a pendulum which swings over to the cold side one year, or group of years, and then over to the hot side the next, with the overall climate getting hotter and hotter. That is EXACTLY what we are seeing.

    When you talk about how much snow you shoveled last month, it sounds like you’re confusing “weather” and “climate.”

    Matt: I appreciate your desire to focus on bike commuter, only, but if you want my vote on the subject I have to say I like the opportunity to chat about things which deal with the peripheral aspects of bicycles like public policy and the weather.

  18. crazyrightwingguy says:

    BluesCat – you’re losing me. If it’s hot – its global warming. If its cold – it’s global warming. Come on. Weather patterns are part of climate. Climates are never steady and never have been steady. There was a warming spell in the 13th century about 500 years before the Industrial Revolution. There was a “mini-ice age” in the 19th century, in the middle of the Industrial Revolution. Remember how in the 70′s human activity was causing a new ice age? If the environmentalists were wrong then, why should I believe them now? The science is not “proven” as some people like to say. Science is never “proven”. Look how Newtonian physics turned out.

  19. William says:

    Look Copenhagen was a joke to begin with no wonder it failed. You can’t expect anyone to take you seriously about global warming when everything A – Either flew in thier private jets or B – Drive there in Limos!…So manyin face they didn’t even have enough in the entire country and had to have more driven in from other countries!!! I guess carbon footprints don’t really apply to the super elite and I don’t know about you but I didn’t see a single hydrid or even fuel efficient honda or other import. That conferance produced so much carbon it wasn’t even funny…Well actually i is LOL. It’s the same thing with Al Gore…His house uses like 20 times more energy than the average families house in the same time period but I shouldn’t expect any less from someone who comlains about livestock impact on the fake warming trend and then goes and has a stake dinner. Oh and Bluescat they found thousands of e-mails all saying the same sort ofstuff ” Can’t explain the past 10 years cooling trend and that’s a travisty” “Please delete data and e-mails on such and such subject” They even wanted the way pier reviewed articles are looked at before they’re published so they could silence honest scientists and run thier names through the mud. As far as shifts in warming and cooling it’s just life on planet earth. When I was a child there was a 7 year drought where I lived. It got so bad the that the biggest natural lake in cali that I live about 10 minutes from gained about 30 feet of beach around the entire lake. Then around ’93/’94 and for the next few years the winter storms were so bad the lake gained back everything it had lost and then gained way more than that until it started flooding city streets that were 3 blocks from the lake and now we’re going through another drought…There’s no global warming behind it it’s just the way the wheather is here and has been for a long time.

  20. John Gordon says:

    I hope you like excited comments :-).

    Auto air conditioning produces less carbon in modern cars moving above x mph than leaving the windows open. I don’t know what x is, but iauto air conditioning isn’t worth worrying about. Much more important to worry about where your electricity comes from.

    The best Copenhagen f/u I’ve read was this Brookings post:

    http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/1222_china_climate_lieberthal.aspx

    Basically it did skirt disaster, but overall there’s progress. The next steps won’t occur in big UN meetings, but they’ll happen. Obama did a lot, but so did many leaders and many bureaucrats. So room for optimism.

    The role of bicycle travel in overall carbon reduction will be very small. The bigger role will be changes in where people live, remote working, changes in how communities will be structured, and changes in public transit.

    Even so, if we do everything right, the world will change pretty radically. The goal is not to keep the world the same, it’s to keep human civilization running while reducing poverty. That might be doable.

  21. William says:

    So is this whole thing about global warming or redistribution of wealth? Global warming seems to be the lefties cause for everything. The problem with this world is leaders and bureacrats. They aren’t doing any of this because they think this is right. They’re using you and people like you who won’t think for yourselves to gain power and prestige for themselves and to push there own personal causes which aren’t as noble as you might think…Just a bunch of commies and socialists who won’t call themselves what they truly are so they use code words like Eco-warrior and socially conscience. how many of them do you think use composting tiolets or ride there bicycles to work on a daily basis. I sure as hell didn’t see any of those people there riding bikes or car pooling at the conferance. The poor countries where there to get handouts and the rich ones where there to deal with thier western guilt of there countries citizens and pursue thier own political goals. The funny part is nothing we do even if we needed to make major changes, even if global warming was real would, wouldn’t really work because of China, India and the other rapidly developing countries won’t give up thier chance to modernize even if it is extremely dirty. You want america to become green then build Nuke Plants, Allow the lines to be built where they need to be to get the electricity from solar plant and wind plants but no because people complain too much when you have to go through reserves and national parks. You can’t have it both ways.

  22. BluesCat says:

    crazyrightwingguy: Gee, sorry I’m “losing you.” If you can’t understand the basic concept of excluding obviously aberrant and inconsequential items from the data set, then one of two things is happening here: (1) You don’t understand how science works and should refrain from giving your opinion about it, or (2) You are being a purposeful, obnoxious contrarian and we can all discount your posts.

    William: Two things, BOTH of which YOU are doing:
    (1) You start out by dissing the MESSENGERS (Gore and the other leaders) instead of addressing the MESSAGE, and any time you do that you are tacitly admitting you know the message to be true but you simply don’t like it.
    (2) You, too, take those emails TOTALLY out of context.

    There were supposedly 1,000 email messages and 3,000 documents, total, hijacked from the University of East Anglia server. Only a few have been confirmed as authentic, some of those dealt with this issue, but only a handful are these supposed “climategate” emails, the rest are responses from the other scientists.

    As an example of how these emails have been taken out of context, the “travesty” quote comes from a respected scientist named Kevin Trenberth, who, himself, explains how David Harsanyi, the rightie columnist from the Denver Post, is “not interested in the correct interpretation of the quote.” Trenberth said as much in his own response in the Post:
    http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_14052007

    You both should do a little research about this, rather than believing what bird brains like Glenn Beck vomit. I leave with this quote from Dr. Trenberth:

    “Scientific facts don’t change by abusing the messenger. Global warming is happening and will continue. Nature will continue to respond, and there will be consequences. Wishful thinking by Harsanyi will not make that go away. A more fruitful approach would be to plan for the changes and slow them down.”

  23. William says:

    See here’s the problems Bluescat…The only thing you have to go by is the messenger unless you’ve done your own complex scientific study so when I you see your leaders and scientists talking out of thier asses and making obvious errors about the facts in thier documentarys and even facts in general it makes me wonder. Isn’t the earth important enough to these hypocrits to make sure everyone of your facts straight? Oh god the poor cute little polar bears are going to go extincts because there habitat is melting :( Then why were they just taken off the endangered species list? Even the WWF recognizes the fact they’re only threatened but gaining numbers. There are a hell of a lot of scientists out there who say that the science isn’t settled and that the very slight increase in tempratures could be the results of Sunspots of other natural phenomina especially since earth has a habit of doing that…Ever here of ice ages? The earth does get warmer and cooler on a fairlry regular basis and we are about halfway through a break in those. The science isn’t settled and the debate isn’t over. You want to save the world then do it yourself by getting your and your leaders need to get your own houses in order before you start telling others how to run there’s…Oh and by the way…The left attacks Glenn Beck all the time but you still haven’t found a single instance of him being wrong about Van Jones, Obama and others like them. Real americans don’t want there country to change in the dead of night by socialists and internationalists.

  24. Crazyrightwinguy says:

    William is 100% correct.

  25. William says:

    Thanks Right Wing guy. I just wish more people could be Pro-Bike and not Anti-Car. I love riding my bike not because I hate driving a car or anything else…I like to ride my bike because I enjoy it. If someone prefers driving a car good for them but if I can my preferance is getting to my destination by pedal power. I prefer buying humane products like free-range eggs and other humane meat because I’m against cruelty to animals but humans are omnivores and we need meat in our diets. We need to make our livestock as comfertable as possible before we eat them. It’s sad that more people can’t bemore middle of the road in thier views when it comes to all aspects of life…

  26. tom says:

    We’ve already gone through this once before, in the 80′s. Then it was chlorinated flourocarbons (R-12, R-22, R-502 refrigerants). These incredibly useful substances were found, via computer modelling, to be moving into the higher reaches of the atmosphere where they gobbled up ozone molecules, creating an “ozone hole” over the antarctic that led to blind sheep in Patagonia and skin cancer amongst Chilean schoolchildren. The Montreal protocol phased these two substances out, but only in the developed world. All the R-12, R-502 and R-22 that has ever been manufactured, or will ever be manufactured, will eventually be released into the atmosphere. This is an inevitable process that goes on at present, but we hear NOTHING about it. We hear no more about the ozone hole or the unfortunate sheep and schoolchildren of South America.

    Those with something to gain from the “climate change crisis” see what happened with the refrigerants and see no reason why the same strategy won’t work with CO2, and in a far more lucrative way. As in so many ostensibly altruistic campaigns, “follow the money”.

  27. BluesCat says:

    William: Where are these “obvious errors” that the climatologists have made in their studies and data? The only “errors” that they have made is NOT having a political agenda like Glenn Beck, David Harsanyi … or YOU, evidently … and therefore, according to YOU, not being able to promote American Nationalism along with the TRUTH!

    Glenn Beck hasn’t been shown to be wrong? ROTFLMAO! Look here:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-plait/glenn-beck-global-warming_b_70029.html
    This guy is drawing his information from ACTUAL CLIMATOLOGICAL data, NOT from his butt like your buddy Beck.
    Here’s another one:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-5738-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m12d4-Video–Glenn-Beck-apologizes-for-Van-Jones-error-nearly-four-months-after-the-fact
    Your buddy Beck RETRACTED his comment and APOLOGIZED for accusing Van Jones of being a convicted felon.
    Here’s a classic piece of misinformation Beck has YET to apologize for, and retract:
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-5738-St-Louis-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m8d1-Video–Glenn-Beck-promotes-paranoia-with-recent-Cash-for-Clunkers-website-myths
    The FACT is participants in Cash-for-Clunkers NEVER agreed to allow the government to “take over their computers” and open it up for the government to have all of their information. Look for the CORRECT information on Snopes if you doubt it.

    You seem to have a problem with the political views of the messenger rather than the content of the message. That has gotten both you and crazyrightwingguy into big trouble with the truth and with the facts. If the Devil himself told ME something that was the truth, that was fact, you can bet that I would act on it and not just knee-jerk deny the validity of it because I don’t like him.

  28. BluesCat says:

    Crazyrightwingguy: Nope, William is 100% WRONG.