Dienstag, 25. September 2007

The big climate show

It was a big Hollywood moment at the UN yesterday. The Terminator wanted "action, action, action"; Oscar-winning Gore wanted a moratorium on conventional coal plants (they are selling "Re-elect Gore 2008"buttons on the streets of New York; what do you think?); and Lo Sze-Ping gave the best speech of the day (and I don't just say that because I wrote good chunks of it ;-)). Yesterday's UN summit was the biggest gathering on the environment in years - and though it clearly confused the UN security guards - it was a good thing.
Condi Rice called for a "technological revolution". This superficailly sounds a lot like the "energy revolution" we call for - and confused Reuters. But, the visions behind the technological revolution and the energy revolution could not be more different. The energy revolution is about acting now and using the technology we already have -such as wind and solar power. The technological revolution Bush waffles on about is about hoping that technological advances will somehow, miraculously save us - and wasting time until then. To quote from Sze-Ping's speech: "
The world has all the technology we need to start the job of preventing dangerous climate change – now. We cannot afford talk of more research replacing real action. We cannot afford to be distracted by technology initiatives." But that, and more talk shops, is exactly what the US administration wants. That's what they will be talking about at the Major Emitters meeting starting on Thursday - and for which I leave beautiful New York today ...

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