Monday, December 07, 2009

COP15 begins today



the COP15 meeting on climate change begins today in copenhagen.  the danish parliament hurried through legislation enabling a big crackdown by the police on protesters. there's a holding area complete with cages for 350 set up in the old brewery not far from the center of copenhagen. and denmark has been granted permission by the european union and the schengen treaty signatories to institute border controls once again should that be necessary. "we're ready," say the police. per larsen, the gentleman in charge of the copenhagen police efforts said in the new york times, "his officers would have low tolerance for behavior that deviates from "Danish society as we prefer it to be." that could get interesting.

so there you have it. we're ready. the world's top leaders are coming (not all of them for the right bit of the meeting, ahem, mr. obama), but the meeting is expected to fizzle out and not achieve any legally binding agreement. the best anyone is hoping for is political agreement, but even that looks like a bit of a longshot.

the climate skeptics have given voice again in recent weeks in the lead-up. but i see signs of climate change all around. yes, the rose in my garden had frost on it last week, but the fact is that it's december and it's still blooming and we're not talking not only one rose, but several of them (tho' i only photographed the one). on the weekend, i saw forsythia blooming down the street, tho' ours isn't (our yard is north-facing and cooler and shadier). there was a canola field near sabin's riding school with many of those characteristic yellow flowers beginning to show. the climate is changing. and if there's a chance that there's something we can do about it, we should do so, immediately. at the very least, fossil fuels are limited and we've got to come up with alternative energy sources if we're going to continue in the lifestyle to which we've been accustomed (if that's even a good idea).

i've said it before (tho' cannot find the post for the life of me), i fear that it will take losing a major european country, like the netherlands, which will be severely affected by rising sea levels, before the world really wakes up. places like the seychelles and bangladesh are in danger too, but sadly, i believe the impact of losing them wouldn't be the same as it would losing the netherlands.

if i'm honest, i can see the upside in climate change for us living here in denmark. we're already increasingly able to grow grapes and that means we can make wine (pretty good if you've got an eye on self-sufficiency and a taste for the grape elixir). farmers are able to have two crops per year from their fields. in the decade i've been here, denmark has begun to grow corn. it's not as tall and robust as what you see in iowa, but corn nonetheless. and we could use more warm, sunny days.

i'm going to go in to the city to soak in the atmosphere with my camera and we've got couchsurfers galore coming (hotel rooms are scarce) in the coming days, so it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds. stay tuned, i'm sure i'll be returning to this subject.

16 comments:

Kamana said...

i love that photo.

i really debated on whether or not i should go as a chaperone with the students from our schools to the COP15. but in the end, as it is school holidays for us here, i opted ot stay home with my kids.

Elizabeth said...

Our private reporter is going to give us the otherside. That something, that isn't in the newspaper. YAH!!!

Protege said...

Great post on current events, that meeting is of outmost importance.;)
Love the picture of the rose...
xo
Zuzana
PS: Will try to find a recipe for you for Kapustnica.;)

Shokoofeh said...

I can't wait to see your photos Julie. You know my final year project which I am working on is about environmental issues. I am so involved with the problem, and as I am going more through these issues I am finding out more unbelievable things about the governments decisions around the world. Yesterday I saw a campaign which shows Obama, Merkel and other "big people" in their old years that say : I'm sorry, we could have stopped catastrophic climate change ... we didn't. ...
I hope it won't really happen.

I remember when I was child we has snow until March and April and now... I am afraid...

Shokoofeh said...

I just found the campaign was designed for COP15. So you have seen it definitely. xo

Eternally Distracted said...

Great photo - lets hope the meeting creates changes.

Barb said...

I also really love that photo. I'll be looking forward to the pictures you take of downtown. Don't get arrested!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

We can do more than hope our leaders develop some kind of accord that industries will ignore anyway. If we want to save the planet one way to have an enormous impact is to change to a plant-based diet. Forests are killed to provide farm land to grow the crops that feed industrialized animals for our food. The excrement from these animals produces more harmful gazes for the environment than all our SUVs; as well as polluting our rivers and land with the runoff. I would encourage everyone to read "The Food Revolution" by Robbins to learn ways to immensely improve the health of our planet and our bodies.

Sammi said...

I am not sure how I feel about about climate change since the earth has only cooled since the start of the noughties, which means that all this carbon emission crap can only be rubbish to keep the masses under the thumb (a bit like religion, really). Plus everyone is going to get there on a plane and drive around in cars, and its cost billions of pounds. Why can't they have a Skype call and stay in their own countries. It would probably acheive as much.

smith kaich jones said...

Too many lies have been told by those who "care" about co-called "manmade" climate change for me to take them seriously. They are not in the least concerned about the fuel they will be using to fly, drive, however they get to Copehangen, not interested in changing their lives one itsy bitsy iota. It is for the masses to change - Sammi is right, a bit like religion, keeping the underlings under their thumbs. Climate Gate is ignored by the mainstream media, which I find quite revealing. They are afraid to broadcast the truth, expecially NBC, owned by GE, which has much $$ to gain if all the Cap & Tax hoopla goes through. I pray not. And Obama? He's already used up his Copenhagen miles. He needs to stay home and actually do something - stop assigning lessons to others to figure out problems he supposedly had all the answers to.

The Earth is fine. The climate changes all the time - remember when we used to call it global warming just a year or so ago? Cooling started and so the "title" had to be changed. Climate change encompasses everything.

Have a good week!

:) Debi

SE'LAH... said...

that photo is too precious. wow.

love that you continue to raise consciousness throughout the blogosphere.

xo

Char said...

gorgeous shot missy...just gorgeous

Lisa-Marie said...

I often wonder if I should post things when people coment on anything political, but I reckon you are A- open to debate and B- of similar mind as me, so I'm going to go for it.

Having been a campaigner for Oxfam's focus on climate change fo a couple of years, and having been part of many protests in my life (for the good I think), I think it is a fucking disgrace that police set up cages in 'preparation'. It is essentially saying 'just don't make your point, or we'll put you in a cage'. So much for freedom of speech.

I would go so far as to say that if Copenhagen is so worried about protesters, the conference should be held elesewhere.

Whilst the system is far from perfect here, I'm glad I live somewhere where I can actively take part in politics and protests withouth feeling like a criminal.

That having been said, I hope the conference forces governments to make more of a commitment, even my own. Some of the climate change is cyclical, but it is happening at far to quick a pace for it all to be 'natural'.

(I'm sorry for swearing in your comments)

MissBuckle said...

Obama has changed his date to the 18th :-) So he will be there for the good stuff.

As for protesters, I didn't see any of them today, just lines and lines and lines of people. COP 15 beurocracy is insane!

And for you sceptics in the comments. Nobody doubts the man made climate change, he question is how it will affect the globe.

Meredith said...

Gorgeous photo, and good for you for raising awareness on your blog. I, too, seriously doubt we'll get anything like a real agreement during the Copenhagen talks, and it's just a damn shame that we don't have the moral guts to stop stealing from our children and the generations beyond.

Perhaps it's cynical, but I don't think the big guys will ever agree to real change. Our only chance is to work on change where we live, as if our lives depended on it.

By the way, Europe may be warming now, but if the great Atlantic gyre, that current that brings the warm waters up from the Gulf of Mexico, slows down or, Goddess help us, ever stops, or reverses, you could be in for a major cool-off there, as in large portions of the continent not growing much but ice. But for now, enjoy the corn and grapes and frost-bitten roses...

Abby said...

i read an article in a newspaper, maybe the ny times... there are many organizations and companies trying to utilize algae as a potential fuel source. interesting or what??