Archive by date | December 2009

An alternative to the UN

Many events alter history, but some are turning points that can put us on a completely different track. The UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen was a defining moment in which we had the opportunity to solve the world’s most complex problem. It tested our ability to act collectively for the greater good, and we failed miserably.  Read more

Climate science ’09: the highs and lows

Climate science '09: the highs and lows

For climate science, the year 2009 brought significant discoveries and startling controversies. We’ve got a wrap-up from Kurt Kleiner of the top ten climate science stories of the past twelve months over on Nature Reports Climate Change.  Read more

Video: Copenhagen: the final hours

Join us as we wait for the conclusion of the Copenhagen conference on climate change. Author Tom Friedman, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and others give us their take on the UN talks, and we finally get a glimpse of Barack Obama.  Read more

Copenhagen: If you put it in the hands of leaders…

At the last round of climate talks in Barcelona, I had an interesting conversation with a former negotiator about what the global leaders might do here in Copenhagen. It wasn’t so much a betting game about what they would actually get done as a discussion about how the mere presence of actual decision makers could result in a political phase-change of sorts.  Read more

Video: For forests, a deal almost done

A global deal on protecting forests is likely to be one of the triumphs of the Copenhagen climate talks. I got the inside story from Paraguay’s chief negotiator on how close we are to sealing a deal to reduce deforestation.  Read more

Copenhagen: The leaders speak

The Bella Center paused as global leaders stepped up to the podium for the first time this afternoon. Everybody was hoping for something new from China and the United States, but neither Wen Jiabao nor Barack Obama offered up anything of the sort. Only Brazilian President Inacio Luiz Lula da Silva put something new on the table, saying that Brazil would meet its pledge without any international resources and would in fact contribute money to help poorer countries cope with global warming.  Read more

Copenhagen: ‘It’s anybody’s guess.’

I got off the train this morning, walked past a drum corps and the big-screen television broadcasting interviews with activist experts. I picked up my free vegan sandwich from the ever-pleasant anti-meat protesters and passed through the first security checkpoint. On my way in, I could hear another crowd of protesters amplified by bullhorns somewhere off in the distance.  Read more