Penny Wong’s moment of glory has been marred by protesters who tried to interrupt her speech:
COPENHAGEN delegates clapped protesters who interrupted Climate Change Minister Penny Wong’s speech.
Senator Wong had just taken to the stage to speak to hundreds of world leaders and diplomats when two young chanting protesters brought proceedings to a halt.
The summit president tried to talk over the top of the yelling, an alarm and the applause, calling for the talks to proceed and the noise continued as Senator Wong walked to the podium.
In her introduction a seemingly unfazed Senator Wong said her speech might not be as exciting as the last intervention. (source)
You can sure say that again. And things are still not going well, according to the BBC:
Formal negotiations at the UN climate summit have ground to a halt following wrangles about what documents should be used as the basis for talks. Beneath the dispute lies a long-running accusation from developing countries that the Danish hosts are trying to sideline their concerns. Outside, police clashed with protesters who stormed barricades around Copenhagen’s Bella Centre.
Activists have been angered by lack of progress on a new climate deal. They also complained about restrictions on access to the talks. Police detained more than 240 protesters during the clashes, which led to injuries on both sides.
As well as the negotiations at the summit, a succession of presidents and prime ministers has been delivering set-piece speeches. Many illustrated the very different visions that exist of the deal that should emerge from this summit.
Earlier, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown conceded that a deal might not be achievable here. But, he added: “If you don’t get an agreement this week, people will doubt whether you can get an agreement at all.” (source)
Then there is the required daily dose of alarmism:
Global sea levels could rise by up to 9m in the next few hundred years, even if the world manages to stabilise average temperatures to 2C above pre-industrial levels, according to a new study.
In this scenario, hundreds of millions of people around the world would be affected as low low-lying coastal areas became inundated. New Orleans would be lost to the sea, much of southern Florida and Bangladesh and most of the Netherlands.
The 2C figure is significant because this is level of warming that is likely to be adopted as the threshold to be avoided by the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen – although small islands states and developing nations have argued that 1.5C would be a more appropriate target.
Nine metres of sea level rise is higher than anything predicted so far because the new study takes into account the potential that the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheets start to melt as the Earth warms. This did not factor into the most recent assessment of the state of climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007. It forecast a sea-level rise of up to 59cm by 2100, and between 4-6m in the next few hundred years, if average global temperatures stabilised around 2C. (source)
“In the next few hundred years”? Sounds like a non-story dressed up as a scare. But hey, this is The Guardian, after all. And the funniest news of the day? Greenpeace getting a taste of its own medicine:
“Propaganda Warrior,” the huge banner proclaimed. CFACT activists sailed up long-side of the infamous Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior, and unfurled a banner which underscored how the radical green group’s policies and agenda are based on myths, lies, and exaggerations, and perpetuate poverty, disease and premature death in Third World countries. Earlier in the day, CFACT activists boarded “Arctic Sunrise” and unfurled a banner that read “Ship of Lies” off the starboard side.
“Greenpeace’s callous disregard for the truth and people’s well-being has become intolerable,” says Craig Rucker. “So we decided to take action.”
CFACT unfurled the banners for two reasons, CFACT president David Rothbard explained. “Greenpeace ships, like the Rainbow Warrior and Arctic Sunrise, have become global symbols for radical environmentalism, and we wanted to call attention to the harm these groups are causing. And second, it seemed appropriate to use one of Greenpeace’s own favorite tactics to make this point.”
“The continuing scandal over falsified and destroyed temperature data, manipulated climate models, and a perverted scientific and peer review process further demonstrates that there is no valid basis for this anti-energy, wealth-redistribution, global governance Copenhagen treaty,” says Rucker.
Anti-energy policies represent a “clear and present danger to the health and welfare of billions,” Rucker says. Mandates for wind and solar would send energy prices skyrocketing, sharply constrict economic opportunities and destroy jobs.
“People in developing countries simply want to improve their living standards, and give their children a chance to live past age five,” Rothbard says. “Greenpeace is diametrically opposed to giving them access to the modern technologies that would help them do that.” (source)