17 December 2009

What's Worse -- the Waste or the Hypocrisy?

Mountain of Waste at Copenhagen Video at the link.

Use less water. Drive smaller cars. Turn down the heat. Save the planet.

Those are the messages coming from the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen, but the environmental elite here may have a problem with saying one thing while doing another -- at least when it comes to paper.

The odd thing is that even amid these mountains of papers, everyone has a laptop.
"So much of this could be done electronically," said Luke, an NGO worker from Germany who didn't want his last name used.

Most of the attendees don't see hypocrisy in the mountain of paper, let along the summit's overall carbon footprint. During Earth Hour, which ran from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Bella Center turned off the lights to save energy, but everyone clapped when they turned the lights back on — defacing the planet once again, in the opinion of many attendees. After all, Denmark gets 80 percent of its electricity from coal.

Most attendees haven't exactly been hoofing their way to Denmark's capital, swarming the city's airport with 140 private jets, 1,200 hired limousines and a carbon footprint the size of a small country.

Add to that the fact that only about 1,000 actual negotiators actually work on making the deal. The rest — the environmentalists, companies and NGOs — are here just to influence the process and make connections.

So all their plane tickets from Senegal and Australia, the U.S. and China, all their meals imported from Africa, Asia and Latin America, all their taxis in Copenhagen and the massive electricity bills at the Bella Center — all of those blows to the environment are coming to facilitate a massive activist meetup.

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