Coping in Copenhagen

The Politico and Roger Simon (who is in Copenhagen) depict a scene of chaos and division that the management can do little to hide. Politico hints that some politicians are beginning to sense that the heretofore unsinkable ship is down by bow and foundering and are, with stealthy tread, making for the First-Class lifeboats.

in a surprise move that captured growing uncertainty over conference — Denmark’s climate minister, Connie Hedegaard, stepped aside as president of the conference, handing the gavel to Rasmussen, as head of the host country.

Outside, Danish police — who have been accused of heavy-handedness by human rights groups — clashed with thousands of environmental activists who descended on the complex from a nearby train station and demanded entry to the Bella Center.

BBC video showed truncheon-bearing Danish police shoving the crowd backward as protesters gasped and covered their faces to avoid breathing tear gas.

Inside the building, U.N. officials revoked the credentials of about 100 accredited members of the green group Friends of the Earth for staging a series of small protests on Tuesday.

The dynamics of this crisis may be simple. A series of events, notably the Climategate revelations to which the cold snap in Britain has added psychological credence, has shifted a significant amount of public opinion to skepticism. But the real damage is being inflicted by the environmental left. They had been bought off by political promises which were barely capable of fulfillment when the tide of public opinion had not yet been turned. With the public increasingly skeptical, the environmental Left rightly sees that it has no chance of getting what it wants. Whenever the Left doesn't get what it wants it does what comes naturally: it becomes more militant.  Roger Simon relates a telling anecdote of streets crowded by hangers-on and empty power lunches. Oops, did I say power?

Basically, it’s a combination of a trade fair for eco products that are being flogged everywhere (I’m staying in a CO2 neutral hotel – you can see it on PJTV), third world operators looking for hand-outs (a couple of African scientists admitted to one of the skeptic scientists they knew AGW was a schuck, but it was a great oppo to get some cash) and leftover, re-upped hippies doing what they do — demonstrate and carry-on....

Last night I headed out with some folks to an event that was supposed to be for, supposedly a party/meet-and-greet with “industry” movers and shakers, some of whom reputedly knew AL GORE. (Gore’s name is thrown around here like Tom Cruise’s in Hollywood.) Unfortunately, very few showed, and yours truly high-tailed it in a matter of minutes.

And speaking of power, the curve has shifted to the "developing countries" like China who see in what Reuters calls the "flagging" talks an opportunity to be bought off in order to lend their support to a face-saving agreement. "COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A draft climate pact unveiled on Friday revived hopes that U.N. talks might be able to pin down an international deal to fight global warming, but developing nations said they needed more cash from the rich."

A European Union offer of 7.3 billion euros ($10.8 billion) of climate aid over the next three years was welcomed by the United Nations and the Danish hosts of the December 7-18 talks in Copenhagen.

"Things are progressing," said Connie Hedegaard, the Danish minister who presides at the negotiations.

The first four days of talks moved so slowly that European Commission delegate Karl Falkenberg joked on Friday that progress was only visible under a magnifying glass. ...

China, now the world's largest emitter, said rich nations needed to provide long-term cash if they wanted the developing world to agree long-term emissions goals.

"I doubt the sincerity of developed countries in their commitment. Why are they not talking about a commitment of providing funds through 2050? That will make them credible when they are asking for an emissions reduction by 2050," said Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei.

African nations said they were still considering the draft, but were also unhappy about financing.

It's about money, money and more money.  For a conference which was ostensibly about the soft songs of nature, the cooing sound of the whales and the primitive charms of nature piping in through a paneless window it sure got down to the nitty-gritty real fast. The translation from Chinese is approximately thus: "Quit the stalling Asgaard, or whatever your name is. Show me the money. Cash on the nail. If your wallet don't talk, then start to walk."

Copenhagen is shaking itself to pieces.  Whatever the climate change movement may turn out to be, criminal conspiracies are typically held together by the prospect of dividing the loot.  Up until the heist is consummated, a kind of brotherhood holds the perps together. But once the loot is in hand, but more especially if the loot comes up short, then the sidelong glances begin.  Is this happening in Copenhagen? And as for the Left, why it's about money too. The sound you hear in the streets isn't necessarily about demonstrators bewailing the fate of the earth. It might also be the sound of environmentalists lamenting the fate of their jobs or people worrying about their carbon business. But don't worry, they'll get something -- at the Western taxpayer's expense. Some things need no translation.

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