Climate Change

InvestigateWest photographer released after arrest at Copenhagen climate protests

[caption id="attachment_7203" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Christopher Crow"]Christopher Crow[/caption]

InvestigateWest correspondent Alexander Kelly reports the InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow has been released by Copenhagen police. In an earlier dispatch by Kelly we covered details of Crow's arrest, which occurred while he was photographing demonstrators outside the United Nations climate treaty talks in Copenhagen. The demonstrators were intent on shutting down the harbor of the Danish capital .

-- Robert McClure

InvestigateWest photographer arrested covering climate protest in Copenhagen

By Alexander Kelly

COPENHAGEN -- InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow was arrested today by police wielding batons and accompanied by police dogs. Crow had been photographing demonstrators trying to shut down Copenhagen's harbor outside the United Nations negotiations on climate change.

[caption id="attachment_7185" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Christopher Crow in custody at the scene of his arrest. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan. "]Chrirstopher Crow in custody at the scene of his arrest. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan. [/caption]

 Crow was taken into custody along with about 275 others. Some 400 to 500 demonstrators had been involved in the protest.

Demonstrators marched roughly six blocks before riot police trapped the group against a metal railing about 2 1/2 miles from the harbor.

InvestigateWest’s second photographer, Mark Malijan, and videographer Blair Kelly and I made our way across the police line shortly before officers closed in with rubber batons and police dogs.

[caption id="attachment_7193" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Crow is escorted to a waiting police van. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan."]Crow is escorted to a waiting police van. InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

Riot cops violently tore protesters from a cargo truck that carried the march’s leaders.

Changing the political system = saving the Earth, say protesters at Copenhagen climate talks

COPENHAGEN – T-shirts. Banners. Picket signs. Chants. Those were the weapons most demonstrators wielded to get across their plea as tens of thousands rallied to send a message to United Nations climate-treaty negotiators meeting here.

Their overriding point was probably best summed up in one placard: “Change the politics, not the climate.” Another frequently seen sign: "There is no Planet B:" The Copenhagen march was echoed by an international campaign of demonstrations.

[caption id="attachment_7155" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow."]InvestigateWest photo by Mark Malijan.[/caption]

The protesters targeted a proposal emerging from global negotiations here that wouldseek to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide by putting a price on the right to pollute. A similar system has worked well to control acid rain in the United States, by most accounts. But critics say exporting that concept to a worldwide climate treaty is foolhardy because it privatizes the right to pollute. (Jim Tankersley of the LA Times has an interesting look at what goes on inside the negotiations versus what's transpiring outside.)

The Saturday protest, billed as the largest likely during the climate talks, was not without violence. A few hundred of the 30,000 or more demonstrators tossed bricks at police, smashed windows and set off homemade explosives near the end of the march.

Copenhagen climate protests mostly peaceful

[caption id="attachment_7143" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow."]InvestigateWest photo by Christopher Crow.[/caption]

The InvestigateWest team is back from the massive climate protests that brought something like 30,000 to 50,000 demonstrators to the streets of Copenhagen today. They're protesting the global "cap and trade" climate treaty being negotiated there under the auspices of the United Nations.

InvestigateWest correspondent Alexander Kelly says the march was largely peaceful. In one incident, though, several hundred people dressed in anarchist black tossed bricks at police and set off homemade explosives.

Sounds pretty tame compared to the riots at the Seattle meeting of World Trade Organization in Seattle 10 years ago, or even the WTO meeting in Geneva just a few weeks ago. The Seattle protests involved a number similar to those mobilized in Copenhagen today.

We'll be posting video and pictures here, and Kelly will give readers insights into what motivated one of the marchers, as well as convey what speakers told the demonstrators.

 -- Robert McClure

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