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Posts tagged "Copenhagen"

I was at the COP15 when Chavez arrived to deliver his vile, inflammatory speech. Obama was there, as well. In fact, the COP15 went down in history books as one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in one place at one time (I believe second only to the 2000 Millennium Summit).

You can watch Chavez’s vile speech in the link below provided by the excellent Fora TV:

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has died.  In 2009 he addressed COP15, the United Nations Climate Change Conference.  Criticizing the destructive practices of the capitalist system, Chavez feared that the “infinite model” of capitalism will exhaust the finite resources of the environment.  (Image via wikipedia)

We were kicked out of the COP15 because a protest, one of the largest in Europe’s history, flared up and scared authorities. In fact, Denmark actually suspended parts of its Constitution, blocked highways, rolled out the military and super-police units, and arrested (a few) protestors on sight.

I took some pictures of the protest, here.

I remember there was fear there would be a declaration of Marshall Law. And there was equal criticism that the peaceful, happy, socialist Danes would usher in a military response to a climate protest.

But, the public felt left out of the UN’s climate negotiations and quickly formed a peaceful protest.

In the end, no one listened…

Just wanted to let you know I'm writing a paper on Tuvalu and climate change for one of my classes this semester, and I too want to punch climate change in the face
climateadaptation climateadaptation Said:

Hey sensiblestupidity!

Thanks for your note. Yeah, I’m familiar with Tuvalu, a tiny nation in the Pacific just east of Australia and close-by to Fiji. In fact, I was serendipitously in the middle of a Tuvaluan flash-protest at the COP15 in Copenhagen back in 2009. In double-fact, here’s a picture I took of that protest.

Tuvalu is a small island nation that is eroding away by sea-level rise. So, they eventually have to evacuate their homes and land, but the problem is they don’t have anywhere to go. They’d have to emigrate to another country.

Abandoning a nation is a very strange thing if you think about it. Which country should take the people in? Should they be treated as refugees? Who is responsible and, if there is a responsible party, who will enforce penalties? Will they lose their citizenship by default, since their nation has disappeared under the ocean??

What’s most interesting to me (and should blow your mind) is who will clean up their trash and infrastructure before they evacuate? Their trash and sewers, like the secret of the Maldives, are an environmental disaster in waiting.





Copenhagen’s Bicycle Superhighways


“Copenhagen, a city of 1.2 million people [the bicycle-friendliest place on the planet], saves $357 million a year on health costs because something like 80 percent of its population commutes by bicycle, even in winter. That’s $300 per person per year.

Clearly, the reason the new Danish minister of the interior said she’d ‘rather invest in cycle tracks than freeways,’ is that only one of those has a positive return.” [photo: Ben]

From Copenhagen’s biannual Bicycle Account | Grist 

Copenhagen Zoo bus advertisement, 2010. Epic.

Bjarke Ingels is by far the most innovative architect in the world. I’m being subtle when I say that his ideas for sustainable architecture are absolutely dazzling, not because they’re “ideas” but because his projects are being built.

I’m staying in Copenhagen right now, right near the The Mountain apartments and the Figure 8 condos, which he introduces in the beginning of the talk. Both buildings are magnificent spectacles (though, to be honest, I think they’re slightly out of place). 

In this video Ingels walks through a few projects. The crown jewel comes in at around the 10 minute mark. I can’t even describe the project but assure you it will blow your mind.

Well, whatdya know - you can buy Jäger bombs on Iceland Air. 

I’m headed to Copenhagen for a month starting tomorrow. Suggestions? I’ve been there a bunch before, now I’m looking for interesting and obscure lil’ nooks. I’ve seen Christiania, Nyhavn, the palace, Strøget, Tivoli, etc… Do you have any tips? Food? Art? Museums? Sights? People?

"What will happen when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period expires at the end of next year?

This paper for the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements analyzes the options going forward, including adoption of a legally-binding second commitment period, a “political” second commitment period, or no new commitment period.

It considers the legal implications of a gap between the end of Kyoto’s first commitment period and the adoption of a new legal regime to limit emissions, the prospects for the Clean Development Mechanism in the absence of a second Kyoto commitment period, and the relationship between the Kyoto Protocol negotiations and the emerging regime under the Cancun Agreements.

It concludes that a transitional regime, involving a second commitment period that is politically but not legally binding, represents a possible middle ground that could complement efforts under the Cancun Agreements to develop a flexible, evolutionary framework of climate governance.”

Source: SSRN

If any American traffic engineers, city mayors, or MPO board members would like to visit Copenhagen to see its cycling infrastructure and effects firsthand, I will personally see to it that they are housed, fed, and given a first-rate tour through the city. 

Please, let me do this for you.

Source: Secret Republic

I’m digging around the Wikileaks cables for climate change nuggets and have found incredible diplomatic relations and global security issues. (Yes, this is what I do on Friday nights, and on one of my biggest birthdays).

I’ve found over 5,000 classified cables that deal with climate change, some of them jaw-dropping. The Saudi Arabia cables especially are stunning. 

My preliminary highlights:

  • UK and Argentina are battling internally over drilling for oil in the Falkand Islands
  • The United Arab Emirates secretly supported (and ostensibly still supports) the Copenhagen Accord
  • China’s political party, the PRC, saw/sees climate change as a soft power bargaining chip (I’m not making this shit up!). China got worried when Obama became president, but countered this worry by pointing out its rising status as a super-power would mitigate negotiations with him. 
  • French president Sarkozy renegotiated a security agreement with Djibouti (borders Somalia). Sarkozy insisted climate change policy remain on the table as part of the talks.
  • Russia is unnecessarily “flaring” (eg burning) untold millions of tons of natural gas at oil wells and rigs, dumping millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Russia flares this extra natural gas because it does not have the infrastructure to pipe or contain the resource for its cities. For context, Russian burns over double the amount of natural gas that Turkey uses for fuel in one year.
  • Saudi Arabia is internally panicked by Obama’s continued strong call for energy independence. This one is a block buster: “Senior officials have pointed out to us that oil is literally the lifeblood of the Kingdom, and that it is hard for them to react to statements about energy independence calmly.

More soon from me. Cheers!

Some picture I took of postal carrier’s bike in Copenhagen earlier this year. The postal worker’s uniforms are fancy, and a nice burnt orange color. But, check out their sweet bike set up! 

The S-Trains already are the envy of transportation planners around the world. I’ve ridden them dozens of times, and some cars were already dedicated to bike commuters. These new cars are put other subways in check. Brilliant idea to have them enter in one door, and exit via one way the other. So efficient. 

Copenhagen is doubling the space for bikes on a number of its suburban trains to meet growth stimulated by the switch to free bike travel.

The Copenhagen S-train has also introduced one-way traffic in the new bike compartments to make it easier and faster to get on and off.

Ten S-Trains are being remodelled with the new compartments, which are in the middle of the train so that there is more space for bikes on the platform.

The train system in the Danish capital is being gradually improved for travellers with bikes as increasing numbers of passengers are combining bike and train for their commute.

Full Story: Bicycle Victoria

Via (and follow!) Emergent Futures