The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen,... Have agreed on this Copenhagen Accord which is operational immediately." And so ends the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
But what did the participants agree to? Was it substantial enough to make a difference? Did they silence the skeptics? Will Sarah Palin finally believe Alaska is melting into the North Pacific?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel defends the Copenhagen climate summit. In an interview with the German news source Bild am Sonntag Merkel stated "Copenhagen is a first step toward a new world climate order - no more, but also no less. Anyone who just badmouths Copenhagen now is engaging in the business of those who are applying the brakes rather than moving forward."
The headlines say it all... "Further commitment needed to break negotiation deadlock." The rich nations vs. the poor nations. Industrialists vs. environmentalists. And at the end of the day, looking out over the Pacific Ocean towards Catalina Island from Long Beach, the dense brown sludge of polluted air is a constant reminder we are dumping horrifying amounts of human waste into the oceans and air.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says "world policymakers do not have to choose between a clean environment and economic growth." Schwarzenegger believes people worried about climate change should pay more attention to companies, universities and "ordinary folks" and not put so much emphasis on a multinational consensus. (AP)
If you listen to the entrepreneurs and innovators in Silicon Valley, they would tend to agree with Governor Schwarzenegger. Green tech is becoming a big business, and, at least in California, you cannot discuss any new technology or construction project without at least some acknowledgement of environmental impact. Damn the politics, the investment community and innovator community is laying some serious right brain on developing environmentally friendly products and technology.
Coastal areas in Vietnam see a rise of 20cm in the past 50 years, increases in the frequency and intensity of typhoons, and a rise in temperature of .5C degrees. As water levels rise in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, and Malaysia, nearly one third of the world's population seeks relocation inland to escape the encroaching ocean. The World Bank claims global population is growing at 1.7% annually, further escalating the refugee problem.
In an interview with NPR (National Public Radio), retired Marine General Anthony Zinni expressed a concern that such conditions could plunge the world, and of course the United States, into conflict. "We will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll." General Zinni, participating in a panel of retired military leaders further contributed findings:
Climate Change (related to national and international security)