Sierra Club Blog Posts
Throughout this process I have felt a growing sense of empathy for the actual negotiators involved. No doubt, this is an extremely frustrating experience for them. With so many delegates, so many world leaders involved, so many cameras and microphones everywhere, so many documents making the rounds, so many people watching/listening, and with so much at stake, I can't help but feel sorry for these individuals.
Let us always remember that these are people who, I have to believe, are generally working toward trying to reach an agreement. Such are the follies of international relations, however, that these types of negotiations are a painfully long and complicated process.... Read more »
Yesterday I filmed the Reclaim Power civil society protest. I arrived at 11:30 and things were just getting started. There, hundreds of protesters gathered around a semi-circle human wall of police in riot gear standing front of a wall of police vans in front of the fence blocking access to the Bella Centre. As I arrived, the event leader was calling on people to push through the police, climb over or though the police vans and over the fence. Protesters surged forward and were pushed back by police. After this, people milled around chanting messages but after about half an hour the police decided to declare the event illegal and threatened everyone with arrest and started closing in on protesters.... Read more »
Guess what. The Government of Canada (Read the CBC article here) is planning on using the Americans for cover to allow them to give the oil companies more subsidies. Make no mistake, giving the oil companies smaller emission targets than other industries is a subsidy. Even in these tough recessionary times oil compoany and their front men in the Canadian and Alberta governments are not above picking the pockets of Canadians.
Normally, I would not comment on business practices and government subsidies. The Sierra Club is an organization devoted to environmental preservation which places us outside of traditional left-right, capitalist-socialist debates. Only when profits and shareholder dividends lead to a major impact on the environment - especially the profound implications of global warming - do we raise the alarm. ... Read more »
A question for the planet, 'Can a few thousand negotiators gathered here in Copenhagen get beyond all the distractions and hype and cut deal?'
Despite the impending arrival of President Obama there is no sense of "Yes We Can" around here. We're coming down to the last few days and the United States is still more concerned with business issues than a climate treaty. My own country continues to stand in the path of the future, more concerned with oil profits than protecting the global commons.
While I'm typing the plenary session is on the big screen. There's no space in the plenary room for observers. After 20 years of campaigning on climate change and 35 years campaigning on energy (they overlap, I'm not that old) I am merely an observer.
Merely an observer allowed to be around only at the pleasure of government. Governments define the issues. Governments set the rules. Governments ............. Read more »
I've just witnesed an intense protest here in Coepnhagen. The event was called Reclaim Power and was supposed to be a peaceful protest by civil society in response to being shut out of the negotiations, but it wasnt so peaceful. I'll write a more indepth post soon, but in the meantime check out the footage I got. I was right in the thick of things until the tear gas got going at which point I left.
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How interesting that with the onset of Copenhagen, hate mail at Sierra Club Canada has increased substantially.
We have been accused of having something to hide.
We have been accused of being part of the biggest hoax in human history - a.k.a. climate change.
We have been accused of being funded by Exxon Mobile.
We have even been called "Nazis" and "climate terrorists."
Possibily the strangest, one woman told us that our "ox had been gored." Now I'm not sure what that means, but it was all written in capitals so I'm assuming it was hate mail.
Ever the eternal diplomat, the consensus builder, the peace-maker, it is my natural inclination to seek to understand why someone would say these things and to find a way to work towards a common ground.... Read more »
Below is the Climate Network Canada’s press release about our most recent fossil:... Read more »
As Week Two began at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, confusion reigned as numbers exploded, positions entrenched and pressure mounted.
Fresh from a weekend of an enormous peaceful climate march (where a minority, but sizable number of people were arrested) over the weekend, the conference talks continued to be stalled on key issues dividing rich and poor countries with two key issues of contension: whether or not to maintain keep or scrap the Kyoto Protocol after its 2012 expiry date; and how much industrialized countries should aid the developing world in financing the low-carbon transition.
... Read more »
Breaking News in Copenhagen: Secret Cap-and-Trade Proposal Confirms That Canada Has No Intention of Meeting its 2020 GHG TargetsSubmitted by Emily Rideout on mar, 2009-12-15 02:59
Sierra Club has just learned (via Climate Action Network Canada) that the Harper government has plans to futher weaken its climate change targets and policies. The fact that this government wants to weaken one of the weakest targets in the world is shocking. Please spread this story far and wide, and call you're MP or PM Harper himself at 1-866-599-4999 (ask to leave a message for the PM or for Environment Minister Jim Prentice). A rapid response to this news at home will show the Harper government that Canadians are watching the actions of his negotiationg team.
Read the CBC article here
Watch the CBC National here
Read the response from Climate Action Network Canda below:... Read more »