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.
Do you believe in global warming? Do you believe the cost of capping production of carbon dioxide is too high for our industrialized world to support? Do you believe if we do not aggressively act to stop global warming that Miami will be gone within 25 years?
It is confusing to the average American, as even our news media falls on the side of whichever political party or side of the debate is being funded by their sponsors. How do we find out the facts?
7 December 2009. Listening to Fox news, including both the O'Reilly factor and Sean Hannity's program, the guests (Brit Hume - himself a journalist, Bernie Goldberg, Dick Morris) all openly mocked the efforts of both Americans and the global community gathering in Copenhagen for the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15).
Carbon Dioxide, or CO2, is a natural byproduct of nature. Nature produces CO2 in large quantities during volcanic eruptions, geo-thermal events, and other processes as simple as breathing and normal chemical breakdowns of other elements. It is an essential component of photosynthesis, which is the process of plants changing CO2 into oxygen, and an essential component of the "carbon cycle." At proper levels, CO2 is a requirement to sustain life.
When the ratio of CO2 to other elements becomes disrupted, the carbon cycle is also disrupted. The earth's eco-system may not be able to absorb the excess CO2 present within the system, and the cycle is changed to account for disruption in the status quo of nature.
One byproduct of excess CO2 in nature may be excess "greenhouse gases," which may have the effect of retaining heat within the earth's atmosphere. This is widely accepted as being the main cause of global warming, which many scientists believe is causing much of the world's problems with deforestation, drought, and melting of the polar ice caps.
"By painting your rooftop white, you can save anywhere from 5, to 15, to 20% on your air conditioning bill" said Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (21 July 2009). In a rare moment without a snappy comment, Jon Stewart encouraged Steven Chu to continue. "If we start the transition to white rooftops and white pavement, (we could make) a profound effect on the climate."
The concept is pretty simple. If we spend less on energy, the requirement to produce energy is reduced, and we create less carbon dioxide.
In addition, Chu mentioned that if we painted the rooftops of our houses and buildings white, and the roadways to white or a lighter color, it would have the (one time) effect of taking 1 billion automobiles off the road for 11 years (from a study by Art Rosenfeld, California Energy Commission).