global warming

First big street protests of Copenhagen climate negotiations target pollution-trading allowances

By Alexander Kelly

COPENHAGEN -- Protesters and police clashed in the streets today as business leaders met with high-level negotiators to discuss the role corporations will play in a United Nations treaty to fight climate change.

Shouting “our climate – not your business,” hundreds of demonstrators organized by a group called Climate Justice Action roamed the streets of the Danish capital. Police dogs barked and a few minor scuffles broke out between police and protesters. Observers peered out from building windows overhead as shopkeepers below closed and bolted their doors.

[caption id="attachment_7118" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Demonstrators surge down a Copenhagen street. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]Demonstrators surge down a Copenhagen street. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

The march marked the first significant street protests outside the two-week-long global negotiating session that ends a week from today. Authorities estimated 68 protesters from 16 countries were arrested.

The demonstrators gathered to protest including big business in the climate talks and to highlight corporations’ role in the worsening climate crisis. Specifically, the protest was aimed at “cap and trade” policies being negotiated at the climate summit that would allow companies to buy and sell permits to emit heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide that warm the earth’s atmosphere.

Proponents of the idea point to how a similar system helped reduce acid rain in the United States. Opponents, though, say the massive worldwide system granting permission to pollute – for the right price – should not be allowed.

Finding the protest was simple.

First large street protests break out at Copenhagen climate talks

COPENHAGEN -- Today saw the first large street protests of the two-week-long United Nations climate negotiations. Some pictures are reminiscent of Seattle's World Trade organization riots 10 years ago this month, including the bubble blower:

Arctic elder tells of how oil drilling, climate change threaten her people's survival

Editor's note: Sarah James is an elder of the Gwich'in native people of northern Alaska, inside the Arctic Circle. In Copenhagen for the United Nations climate negotiations, she spoke with InvestigateWest correspondent Alexander Kelly and videographer Blair Kelly, stressing the need to protect the caribou that her people depend on for their very existence.

Arctic photographer, one-time Seattle resident Subhankar Banerjee attends climate talks

Editor's note: Subhankar Banerjee caused quite  a stir when an exhibit of his photography of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was pulled at the last minute from a prominent spot at the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibit was moved instead to the basement at the same time debate over drilling in the refuge was raging in D.C. Smithsonian officials denied that they were censoring the exhibit for political reasons, but legions of critics don't believe that.

Banerjee once lived in Seattle, where he was helped by the Blue Earth Alliance, an organization co-founded by Seattle photographer Natalie Fobes. The group's motto: "Photography that makes a difference." (Banerjee serves on the group's advisory board.)

InvestigateWest correspondent Alexander Kelly and videographer Blair Kelly caught up with Banerjee in Copenhagen, where the Indian-born artist traveled to call attention to the plight of the Arctic during the United Nations negotiations on a global climate treaty (for more information, see

Protests like Seattle's WTO coming to climate talks in Copenhagen? Stay tuned...

Editor's note: We keep hearing that big street protests are coming outside the United Nations' talks on a climate treaty in Copenhagen, protests perhaps as attention-getting as those that rocked Seattle when the World Trade Organization met there a decade ago this month.

Today InvestigateWest photographer Mark Malijan caught this image of Danish National Guard troops on the move in the streets of Copenhagen:

[caption id="attachment_7065" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan"]InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan[/caption]

Students in their undies take to chilly Copenhagen streets to support climate treaty

Editor's note: InvestigateWest photographers Christopher Crow and Mark Malijan both caught interesting images of a protest in the streets of Copenhagen today featuring young people who braved the chilly Scandinavian air in their undies. They were trying try to get through to negotiators at the United Nations' talks to reach a global climate treaty.
The 350 in one sign is a reference to what scientists say is a safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere -- 350 parts CO2 per million parts of air. We're now at about 389 parts per million -- and headed much higher.
The demonstrators are from Youth of the World. Their message: Don't leave us out in the cold!

[caption id="attachment_7054" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow"]InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7056" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan"]InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan[/caption]

Push for strong climate treaty still underway, says Seattle climate activist in Copenhagen

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

In the final installment of InvestigateWest’s conversation with KC Golden, policy director of Seattle-based Climate Solutions, we ask for Golden's impression of how the talks have unfolded so far and what he expects for the coming week.

Also, hear Golen discuss the Northwest’s role in overcoming the stigma of indifference to climate change that has plagued the United States in recent years and a comment on the African delegations’ responses to the proceedings so far.

Seattle climate activist KC Golden discusses how Copenhagen talks can affect NW economic growth

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

In the second installment of InvestigateWest’s interview with KC Golden of Seattle-based Climate Solutions, we ask how Pacific Northwesterners can get involved in the global effort to arrest climate change and how a deal in Copenhagen may affect the Northwest’s emerging green economy.