Direct from Copenhagen, Denmark - 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference - (8 – 18 December '09)

Acting as the official High Tide COP15 envoy, distinguished ecological artist Aviva Rahmani will be immersing herself in the burgeoning eco-political activism in the city and sharing her experiences with us via this daily blog.

Why not get involved and join in dialogue with her? Log-on to share your views! This is the gathering storm…

Produced in association with FACT

Monday, 7 December 2009

2:45 PM COP15 DEC 7, 2009

At the close of the open sessions, I watched an interesting exchange between Papua New Guinea (PNP) and the African & Arab states. PNP was anxious to move into a discussion of jow they are being impacted. Three times they requested some wya to talk at this point. each time, they were shot down by the President & the other states. Clearly the little countries, most impacted are having a hard time being taken seriously, despite what the opening Plenary speakers say.

Watching the Arab and African states was very instructive but confusing. Some, as, Saudi Arabia, made a point of speaking their own languages, so they were clearly addressing their own constituencies and being self-referential. Somalia gave a long & passionate speech about needing aid to deal with global warming. The delegate from Palestine requested permission to speak with other world leaders, preeumably a political positioning request.

From there I went to the US Center, where they were giving out (bottled) water and organic sandwiches. There was a lot of literature, a NASA film which didn't seem very informative and some milling people of indeterminate affiliation.

But in the next room, I hit informational paydirt: current research on the effects of short term black particle emissions on the Arctic: MAJOR and unregulated. The reason this is so critical is the albido effect: soot particles grey the snow, clouds and ice and these particles are deposited from long distances. In response to my question, I learned this will be addressed as a transnational regulatory question with various agencies, inc the IMO in the next week. Elena Kobets, a researcher from St. Petersburg, Russia, showed vivid maps of the effects of agricultural burning, esp from Russia and the Eastern Europe. I didn't catch everyone's name, but several points stood out: Southeast Asia is the worst source of black particle emissions in the Arctic, vividly demonstrating that no nation is an island, or rather, that we are all sinking islands in a chain of effects. Re: my earlier rant about the Arctic becoming a pleasure dome, the greatest danger of particle emissions is from traffic there: trucks, shipping, etc off-road and on-road. Problem is the treaties: without treaties there's no hope of enforcement and many countries, inc the USA, won't sign treaties (yet).

PRIMARY Particle Sources:

Residential fossil fuels
Residential solid fuel (woodburning)
Residential biofuel

The good news is that there is the hope of progress over agricultural burning and filters are available for wood stoves. It's a start.

Time for the IT sessions.

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