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Who, what, when, where, WHAT!

December 10, 2009

My biggest question after 3 days of Copenhagen negotiations: What the heck is going on?

What's going on? Hard to say.

Yesterday I thought I was following the events of the conference well.  I went to a press conference for Climate Justice Fast at noon and heard from four activists and a retired professor who have fasted between five and thirty-three days to demand a binding climate treaty. I then sat in on a few minutes of a Brazil event on biofuels, went to an American youth meeting, and arrived early for the US delegation briefing.

However, I missed the news of the day. In the afternoon the Guardian wrote an article claiming, “Copenhagen climate talks in disarray.” The accompanying photo had a Haitian delegate with her face in her hands in an empty negotiating room. I saw the article and gasped. Whoa. I looked around. Did the talks seem in disarray? Well, not more than usual. What did the Guardian know that I didn’t?

The story reported a leaked “Danish text” that proposed the developed countries essentially take power away from the smaller countries in the UN process. Sounded important. Though actually in the Bella Center, I was at a loss how to learn more information. Finally, I  heard that there are dozens of “Danish texts,” drafts of possible treaties.  David Roberts from Grist wrote that the news was blown out of proportion–actually, he called it a “nothingburger” on twitter. But  Andrew Revkin at the New York Times reported that the “Danish text” was a list of current U.S. demands for a treaty, and that an opposing text by China was in the works.

Following the negotiations at the Bella Center is difficult, as is finding a bathroom and keeping track of the ticket to get my jacket back from the cloak room at the end of the day. Here’s to sorting out news worthy events from false hype and to finding the right meetings to attend.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Nicholas Johnson permalink
    December 10, 2009 10:22 am

    ” Though actually in the Bella Center, I was at a loss how to learn more information.”
    That’s CRAZY that you were physically present at the core of the conference, yet you learned about this development through rumors and struggled to find more information! I think this scenario certainly says something about the channels through which such information flows, and raises questions about what gets reported, and how it is mediated in the process. How are we ignorant little Indiana folks supposed to get reliable, unbiased information if you all are PHYSICALLY THERE and still can’t easily get the inside scoop?

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