Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It Has Been Getting Too Hot Out Here

For one who has been following the climate politics (with minimal carbon footprint) ever since a young Indian Kartikeya Singh accompanied Kapil Sibal to Bali precisely 2 years back, it has been getting too hot in the recent build-up to Copenhagen. Despite speculations and a series of international political meets, the Climate Change Conference began on the 7th to the accompaniment of plenty of drama and hoopla. Albeit, I have been doing my fair share of writing, reading, crafting, planning, mentoring, observing and discussing just about everything ….. from climate possibilities, youth movements to grass-root activism, this historic meet is something I have always been skeptical about.

So just when the ball got rolling and our Indian media set about catching up on all the geo-politics on the eve of the Copenhagen Climate meet, I decided to take a brief hiatus. Call it an overkill from climatic exposure or a pseudo-pleasure from observing what our suddenly climate savvy media have to say about the climate politics emerging. Whatever, I find I have been enjoying myself thoroughly.

For instance, take this.

According to James Fahn,

The most important delegation at the climate change conference in Copenhagen….. will be a group of 40 journalists traveling from the developing world who will come to cover the summit, and what it means for their countries.”Of all the fatuous theories and suppositions surrounding climate change, this one beats others hands down.

I wonder what all those at 350.org, IYCN and Greenpeace (to name a few) have to say to this claim. After all, it is these guys who have been labouring for so long to educate people about climate change and taken pains to retrofit the media. I have seen them giving up on personal leaves, social networking and free time, not to forget spending moneys for campaigns when sponsors were scarce.

While the media celebrates an all-expenses paid trip to Copenhagen to write what is in the first place handed out as an official press release, skeptics and climate warriors are going all overboard with their climate evaluations and conjectures.

And then, there are the ever-increasing James Hansen baiters (and may their tribe increase…. does make for interesting reads on rainy mornings), whose goals in life are to stop the eco warriors from doing their job.

To believe that dumping 70 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year would have no impact is a form of collective insanity.” Agreed.

The same scientologist has a wondeful take in his Climate Change and Jesus in a Burnt Toast., dissecting the purloined emails from the recent Climategate scandal to give us a “behind-the-stage look at a few Scientists Gone Wild”.

Indeed, in the run-up to this December historical meet of nations, it has been a mad, mad world out there, email leaks notwithstanding.

While King's College London psychiatrists have recently published a meta-study of how the many side effects of rising temperatures can really harsh your mental mellow, to say the least; one of our very own earnest climate activists lists reasons why she will wear the ‘bindi’ to the COP 15.

The techies have not been lagging either. Google has used the opportunity to put on show a new technology prototype at the Climate Conference. using the cloud computing technology to detect deforestation, areas and rate.

Whereas ESRI initiated an online “Spatial Roundtable” highlighting the value of GIS in carbon accounting and environmental sustainability. It does not need second-guessing why this begins right amidst the Copenhagen talks.

As the debate gets hotter, with an overwhelming sense of urgency to establish global policies for carbon emissions reduction, the geo-politic observer in me cannot but help ruminating over two things.

One, the total carbon footprint courtesy all those climate stewards, activists, politicians and journalists, who have invaded Copenhagen. Albeit, one must admit, the former have their rationale. As history reveals, no concrete decision or action is possible without a Gandhian AND an aggressive stance (as adopted by the likes of Dr. Glen Barry of Ecological Internet) acting concurrently.

The politicians and journos however could have contributed to reducing their footprint courtesy technology, as in online video conferencing. As anyway what you will find as reportage (barring for some good analytics) will be transcripts and press releases reproduced in toto.

Two, after all is said and done, it comes down to “money” and “political power” (a.k.a. lobbying). So at the end, your guess is as good as mine, whether money that developed and polluting countries will most certainly end up paying to the developing emerging economies ….. is indeed going to reduce carbon emissions.!

As a climate conference skeptic, I am not really keeping my fingers crossed..