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Yet Another Round of Climate Talks Ends with a Pffft

You probably didn’t know that yet another round of international climate negotiations was going on last week in Germany. Don’t feel bad, we were just as ignorant. Fortunately, you didn’t miss much: The conference in Bonn ended without any commitments.

This is what we’ve come to expect, given the international community’s track record at these grand climate talks. At least there was an air of expectation in the run-up to the disastrous 2009 Copenhagen climate summit. Now that enthusiasm has been replaced by a feeling of going through the motions. With so many moving parts, growing uncertainty in climate modeling, and disagreement about who is most responsible for the problem, these conferences seem destined to fail.

These meetings do a fair job as an employment program for a cadre of globe-trotting diplomats—and that’s about where the utility of these summits ends. The carbon emissions of the flights these diplomats emit as they jet around the world surely outweigh the impact of the stern pronouncements and heart-felt calls to action they make once they arrive. Organizers of the next climate summit (this June, also in Bonn) should consider making it a teleconference-only event. The emissions saved thereby might actually do some good.

[UPDATED VERSION: An earlier version of the headline for this piece has been amended.]

[Earth image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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  • Corlyss Drinkard

    I turned off an NPR report yesterday that started out “Children today are being taught little to nothing about climate change.” First of all, that’s mere propaganda. They most certainly are. It’s a required bloc in teacher ed curricula

    • Jim Luebke

      I’m not impressed with NPR. A lot of my friends swear by them, but when they covered an event I was directly involved with, their short blurb on it was mostly wrong — 3 out of 4 bullet points were either confused with a similar event or just flat untrue.

      FOX News had a longer writeup, and out of about a dozen points they made, only one was wrong (again, a case of confusion with a similar event.) I don’t really pay attention to either FOX or NPR (coverage of this event interested me, which led me to search and compare lots of media sources) but this example seems to run counter to the conventional wisdom about the relative accuracy of the two sources.

      • Corlyss Drinkard

        I use NPR to find out what I should research on my own. I personally think they are almost as bad as MSNBC, whose reputation I know only 2nd hand because I was so offended by their 2004 presidential coverage I haven’t watch them since.

        With respect to media coverage of something you know about from first hand involvement, it was my experience that the media was so lazy and the subject so boring (to them anyway) that they NEVER got ANY of the story right except the punctuation, which was always attractively done and reasonably pertinent.

        • Jim Luebke

          Eh, I’m not quite so cynical. NPR was the only news outlet that didn’t have at least half the story straight, although a lot of them seem to be very lazy about figuring out what’s different between one event and the last.

          There were people — reporters, even — who paid attention, I’m happy to say, and got the story at least as right as FOX did.

          To be fair, it’s a tough business and careful attention is a rare trait.

  • Pete

    A fart!

    If a posting was made with such tasteless and sophomoric verbiage, the bright-eyed and bushy- tailed censors at ViaMeadia would have tripped over themselves to deleted it.

    As for man-made global warming….yes, we all know the hoax is ending. It has not been a ‘man bites dog story’ for some time now.

    • Corlyss Drinkard

      But you have to admire the MSM tenacity attempting the revive the dead. If they could only make it work . . . ! They’d be hailed as miracle workers for all eternity.

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