A silly spectacle

When it comes to the Copenhagen climate conference I’m with climate scientist Jim Hansen in hoping that the talks fail. There can be no meaningful agreement on technical detail, and the most we will see is a vague statement of political blah, now that heads of state and their ministers are running the show in its closing stages.

The rest is theatre, almost vaudeville in its silliness. We currently have Uncle Tom Cobbly and all converged on Copenhagen’s industrial wasteland Amager district; vast herds of vacant-looking police officers, pockets stuffed with plasticuffs, rampaging and a’thwacking as they go; crusties with bongos and nose flutes being intensely annoying; representatives of every NGO under the Sun lobbying furiously for their pet causes; an English chinless wonder talking crap about ‘planetary life support systems’ and the like; and journalists tearing their hair out in frustration at not knowing what’s going on around them in the Bella Center.

Cynicism aside, many will sympathise with small nations sidelined by the world’s major powers, and understand the frustrations of at least some of those protesting on the streets of Copenhagen. It’s a farce, and one that reflects badly on the United Nations, the Danish government, and politicians who appear to be treating COP15 as the photo opportunity to end them all.