global warming

Seattle climate activist KC Golden in Copenhagen to push for ambitious global climate treaty

By Alexander Kelly and Blair Kelly

InvestigateWest caught up with KC Golden, policy director for Seattle-based Climate Solutions, who is in Copenhagen for the United Nations climate talks. He is attempting to let foreign delegates and world leaders know that the United States is getting serious about climate change. Hear more:

Counting the ways we could be screwed by abrupt climate swings. Avoiding them? It's not all about CO2

We interrupt Dateline Earth's relentless search for the 100 one-percent solutions to global warming for a special report on a sweeping new look at how we can give ourselves a lot more time to find those solutions.

rm iwest mugA collection of papers just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlights a series of steps that would forestall the worst effects of climate change by years or even decades. That gives us a lot more time to develop the technology it's going to take to get us out of this mess. (Although, as we've pointed out before, we already have the know-how to cut emissions 80 percent by 2020.)

The research is aimed at avoiding the "tipping points" that scientists fear could make the fight unwinnable -- abrupt, irreversible climate change. You know, stuff like permafrost melting, changes in the African winds that bring nutrients to the Amazon and methane bubbling up from the ocean bottom in world-changing quantities. (See the summary.)

Most of this series of scientific papers is devoted to this laundry list of Things That Could Go Really Wrong Really Fast. But there's hope! Read on. 

Now, the funny thing about this collections of papers is the proposed solutions, the ones to forfend sudden and dramatic climate change, do not target the most prolific greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

Video explains ice sculpture outside Copenhagen climate meeting -- notice how it's melting?

Earlier today I posted a photo by InvestigateWest photographer Mark Malijan of an ice sculpture of Copenhagen's most famous landmark, the Little Mermaid statue in the harbor.  It's melting. In December. In Copenhagen. Outside the global negotiations on what to do about global warming, Antje Von Broock of Friends of the Earth Germany talks with InvestigateWest videographer Blair Kelly and correspondent Alex Kelly about the significance of the ice sculpture:

-- Robert McClure

Activists shine light on issues getting short shrift inside Copenhagen climate negotiations

The scene outside the global climate talks in Copenhagen is a cornucopia of innovative artwork, inspiring panel discussions and provocative characters with fascinating stories to tell, the InvestigateWest team reports.

In fact, there were so many interesting events and people that the sheer number made it hard to focus on any one today, InvestigateWest correspondent Alexander Kelly told me by Skype just now.

But he’s focused enough to know that he will be doing a piece on the critique of cap-and-trade, which many economists and politicians promote but which many environmentalists in Copenhagen this week oppose.

[caption id="attachment_6879" align="alignleft" width="226" caption="In this panel discussion at a symposium known as KlimatForum09, Hanne Marstrand Strong, president of the Manitou Foundation, based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado speaks of her group, which provides land grants and financial support to religious organizations and environmental groups. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]In this panel discussion at a symposium known as KlimatForum09, Hanne Marstrand Strong, president of the Manitou Foundation, based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado speaks of her group, which provides land grants and financial support to religious organizations and environmental groups. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

And he’s considering writing about ocean acidification, which is a big concern to the maritime community of the Pacific Northwest.

Folks -- are there climate-related topics you’d like to hear about that probably are being discussed in Copenhagen?

Images of the Copenhagen climate conference

The fact that the United Nations barred InvestigateWest journalists from covering the actual meetings on climate change in Copenhagen didn't prevent InvestigateWest photographers Mark Malijan and Christopher Crow from capturing some interesting images outside the gates of the Bella Center:

[caption id="attachment_6860" align="aligncenter" width="226" caption="Chris Keene, of Wales, used a variety of self-propelled vehicles to make his way more than 900 miles to Copenhagen for the talks. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow."]Chris Keene, of Wales, used a variety of self-propelled vehicles to make his way more than 900 miles to Copenhagen for the talks. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6861" align="aligncenter" width="226" caption="One of the bazillion phone calls made by meeting participants. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]One of the bazillion phone calls made by meeting participants. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6863" align="aligncenter" width="226" caption="Delegates and others emerge from the Bella Center, where the negotiations are conducted, at day's end. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]Delegates and others emerge from the Bella Center, where the negotiations are conducted, at day's end.</p />
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Ice replica of Copenhagen's most famous statue melts

Ice melting in Copenhagen in December -- a statement by Friends of the Earth International on the condition of the melting  polar caps and glaciers worldwide. Read our latest on the climate talks.

[caption id="attachment_6837" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Ice sculpture melts just outside the Bella Center, site of the climate talks in Copenhagen. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]Ice sculpture melts just outside the Bella Center, site of the climate talks in Copenhagen. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

 Update 9:48 a.m.: Oops. Guess I should have said this is a replica of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen's harbor.

Obama administration's climate regs have two key and timely audiences

The United Nations' refusal to accredit InvestigateWest journalsts to cover the global climate-change negotiations today in Copenhagen took up way too much of my day. How ridiculous! The UN, which can't even figure out how to open up to independent journalists the corridors outside where actual decisions are made* ... is going to be running an international treaty? One that likely will engender massive worldwide economic and energy-use changes?

rm iwest mugAnyway, to recap the most important development in the climate story on this side of the Atlantic today, the Obama administration announced it would be treating greenhouse gases as pollutants. I first saw it on the front page of The Wall Street Journal this morning, and further checking suggests the Journal got the jump on others on this story (with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers' positions both mentioned before the jump).

Now, this is anything but unexpected. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced  months ago the agency would be taking the step it did today, which puts EPA on the path to regulating carbon dioxide and methane and the whole shootin' match as if they were, oh, say, benzene. The EPA was more or less obligated to do this by a 2007 court decision.

Jackson said nothing about today's announcement when she was in Seattle Friday.

Wading skeletons and other images of the climate-change conference in Copenhagen

Photographer Christopher Crow emerged with arresting shots from the scene outside the international climate talks that began today in Copenhagen. Find out more.

[caption id="attachment_6776" align="alignleft" width="512" caption="Artwork outside the Bella Center, where the international climate negotiations got underway on Monday. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow."]Artwork outside the Bella Center, where the international climate negotiations got underway on Monday. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6782" align="alignleft" width="512" caption="United Nations security guard tells a frustrated observer her credentials are not yet available. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow."]United Nations security guard tells a frustrated observer her credentials are not yet available. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6788" align="alignleft" width="512" caption="Theater for Africa presentation. InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow."]Theater for Africa presentation.</p />
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